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Added: Obrian Pifer - Date: 05.12.2021 23:44 - Views: 15800 - Clicks: 7862

A lot of it has to do with dollars and cents: The price of surveillance technology has dropped so precipitously over the past two decades that once the agency overcame any moral objections, few practical considerations stood in its way of implementing a system that could monitor million Americans every day.

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If privacy law experts Kevin S. Bankston and Ashkan Soltani are correct, costs, once a ificant check on government spying and police monitoring efforts, have become an afterthought. In a recent study published in the Yale Law Journal Online, Bankston and Soltani found that most technologies deployed for mass surveillance efforts by police departments e.

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Cheaper, more effective tracking devices have been a boon to cash-strapped police departments nationwide, largely to the dismay of civil liberty groups. Meanwhile, privacy protections afforded to individuals under the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the state, have been eroding for years. As we place more of our private lives in the public domain 73 percent of adults online use social mediawe, as well as courts, consider fewer acts to be truly private and thus protected by the Constitution.

We like to think of legal checks on executive power, like the Fourth Amendment, as good enough.

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But practical considerations, like costs, have long provided structural defenses of our privacy. Imagine, in the s, 10 constables surreptitiously tailing one suspect through the winding streets of Philadelphia; by the s the same task still took eight officers in four police cars to accomplish.

Monitoring each suspect was costly. In United States v. Using the Jones ruling as a baseline, Bankston and Soltani calculated and compared the costs of different location tracking methods used by police. Newer surveillance technologies were ificantly cheaper, they found.

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After tabulating theirBankston and Soltani concluded that the total cost of using a GPS device to track a suspect over 28 days the method rejected in Jones was roughly times less expensive than the same tracking using a transmitter technology approved by the Supreme Court and times less expensive than using the five-car pursuit method also approved. Meanwhile, the cost of using transmitter-surveillance technology was only 2.

As data mining, wiretaps and domestic drones become the new norm for police departments at a cost of a few cents a day, we need to have a frank discussion about where our Fourth Amendment protections are heading. Continue to article content. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. More on Magazine.

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