Tuesday, April 29, 2014

17400--Are They Lobbying for a Revolution?

Why do I seem to be asking that question so often?

You know those people who seem to inspire the query "Are you trying to start something?" almost every time they speak.  For me, those voices usually come from government.

The Supreme Court is said to be contemplating whether the search of an individual's phone should require a warrant or not.  I don't understand the controversy.  It sounds more to me like we're being lied to again and people are trying to screw with our rights...again.  Last I'd checked, there was already a law covering this issue.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Let's not pretend it's unclear just because it seems inconvenient or some people want to claim that new technology creates an unconsidered loophole.  My stuff is mine and I have the right to share it or not as I choose.  The Fourth Amendment was created to protect that right.  In that regard, my smartphone is no different than a briefcase.  It certainly offers no personal information in plain sight to be picked up and perused.

Just to be clear, stepping on my rights is picking a fight.  No, I'm not consenting to a search and you don't have a right to see my receipt.  If you have legitimate probable cause, get a warrant.  I'm not volunteering to bear witness against myself.  That doesn't mean I'm guilty or that I have anything to hide.  It means I value my rights and insist that others treat them with all the respect they are due.

Laws are intended to create a just code of conduct to protect us from abuses.  They are not meant to serve as weapons, nor inconveniences to be circumvented.  I can easily imagine the chaos that must erupt when government employees take part in family game nights.  I'd bet there are a lot of unresolved board games out there ending in angry frustration.

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