In recent years, the people have advanced technologically. People have discovered and harnessed mass amounts of new information. From the invention of the telephone to the personal computer, we have created many new things to communicate through. These creations have many uses. Our creations have allowed the people to communicate almost too secretly, some for good and some for bad. This new technology can be used against the United States government, or that is how some look at it. With the rapid rise of these devices most people cannot keep up, or the constitution.
With the dawn of this new equipment the constitution is becoming rapidly outdated, primarily the forth amendment. When the constitution was written, it was written for many generations to come, but the creators of the constitution had no idea how far technology would progress. The forth amendment protects people’s privacy. It is there to prevent people from being invaded without probable cause. With the invention of the telephone, executives found that it was too easy to sneak information. They had them tapped without the user’s consent. They then said that it was not in violation of the forth amendment due to the fact that the officials never touched any part of that person’s property. This then progressed to other problems along the same lines. Today with so many computers in use it can be said that National Security is threatened, because the individual can use cryptology to send information. In the public’s eye it is for their protection. While in the government’s view it poses a severe threat to society and the United States of America. The government has developed cryptology that only the government can decode to use at their will (although they say probable cause). When the public sends messages back and forth through the use of computers. This poses a threat to the government for not being able to enforce the law as it was intended.
Electronic surveillance is a powerful tool. Some say it is too powerful, to the extent that the general public cannot possess this because it can be so easily misused, but the government should not have it because what is to say that they do not misuse this. The government cannot simply remain neutral, but they can’t put too many restrictions so that the people are losing rights. In a Supreme Court case Katz v. United States a public telephone was tapped, but the tap was setup on the outside of the booth. So the government said that they did nothing wrong because they never entered the booth. Katz couldn’t actually find the government guilty of anything because the constitution didn’t clearly cover the subject. Technology is becoming available to look through walls. The person viewing would never have to actually set foot on the violated person’s property.
This issue cannot be seen as right or wrong. This, like many other things, can be good for today’s society if used correctly. That is where the problem comes in. If everything were used as intended there would not be this complication. Electronic surveillance can be a great tool if used only to gain intelligence, prove criminals guilty, and promote our nation’s well being. As it is apparent electronic surveillance isn’t being used for this reason. Electronic surveillance should be legal, but illegal to misuse. By misuse, intended to be defined use it at will to find criminals or just see what the general public is up to.