A SPN Exclusive Article By David Jackson (c) 2011
On February 5th, 1956, a science fiction movie titled “Invasion of the Bódy Snatchers” was released in the US. The movie is about a small-town doctor who discovers that the population of his community is being systematically replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.
Fast forward to today, and life is imitating art, with a real life version of Invasion of the Bódy Snatchers being played out. But it’s not just happening in one small town. It’s happening in cities and towns all across America. Only it’s not bodies that are systematically being snatched, it’s our individual right to privacy.
“If you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day, the public movement of every citizen of the United States.” Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
I just read a disturbing article on the BBC News website titled How Much Privacy Can Smartphone Owners Expect?
Among other things, the article discusses how The US Supreme Court could soon make a ruling allowing police to monitor the movements of US mobile phone users without a warrant – which legitimately begs the question, now that most of us carry sophisticated tracking devices in our pockets, how much privacy do we have a right to expect?
Because if authorities get their way, they won’t have to ask “Where’s Waldo?” They’ll know exactly where he is, because they’ll be monitoring his smartphone.
The Erosion Of Privacy In America
As American citizens, we have the constitutional right not to be subjected to unsanctioned invasion of privacy by individuals, government or corporations. And while those rights are supposed to be protected by the constitution, the truth of the matter is, the erosion of our privacy has been occurring for decades.
And it hasn’t been occurring in a vacuum either. The media has been reporting on invasion of privacy stories for as long as I can remember. In fact, I distinctly remember a huge media story from twenty years ago about a government agency that used thermal imaging devices to locate a marijuana growing operation in Oregon.
On January, 27, 1992, Oregon authorities arrested a man named Danny Lee Kyllo, who was tried and convicted of illegally growing marijuana. Authorities located the marijuana by placing thermal imaging devices outside of Kyllo’s home. However, in 2001 in Kyllo v. United States (533 U.S. 27), the conviction was overturned because it was decided that the use of thermal imaging devices that can reveal previously unknown information without a warrant does indeed constitute a violation of privacy. (Source: Wikipedia)