By Frederick S. LaneAs intrusive as data collection by private companies can be, the negative consequences (unwanted ads, commercial profiling, even credit redlining) pale in comparison to government power over our property, our liberty, and even our lives. As I wrote in American Privacy, we don’t have to look far back in our nation’s history to find instances of government misuse of personal information. Nixon, with his enemies list and abusive IRS practices, is the most well-known example, but similar abuses have flared up at all levels of government. (Among other things, there are numerous reports of investigating officers downloading and sharing nude photos and videos that they discovered while examining seized cellphones.)
The SCOTUS cellphone privacy ruling and the recent celebrity phone hack are two sides of the same coin, according to Frederick Lane, legal scholar and author of AMERICAN PRIVACY: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right.
Edward Snowden's leaks revealed that the National Security Agency had far overstepped legal boundaries with their current data collection programs. But, claims legal scholar Frederick S. Lane, these intrusions into American privacy and civil liberty are as old as America itself.
You may not want to explain the details of Anthony Weiner's public disgrace to your kids, but if you keep mum, you may be missing a chance to teach your kids some valuable lesson.
“You Have the Right to Remain Silent”
Frederick S. Lane makes an immodest proposal for airline safety in the wake of the failed Christmas Day bombing.
Frederick S. Lane looks at the Constitutional issues posed by the group of politicians at 133 C Street, otherwise known as "The Family."
Frederick Lane looks at the history of anti-Census fervor.