Recognizing one’s Fourth Amendment rights is important today, in a society and culture directly shaped by people who have the ability to conduct any actions in a discreet manner who yet recognize that these actions may not entirely remain indefinitely private to themselves. Prior to the American Revolution, extremely broad and general legal search warrants could be easily obtained, granting the search of any property with no notice and without reason, while the founders believed that the freedom from intrusion of private property was a right fundamental to liberty. The Fourth Amendment is the part of the Constitution that guarantees citizens the right from such unreasonable actions in an ever evolving sense, granting “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” This right limits the power of government or state bodies to seize and search people, their property, their homes, and now in criminal proceedings and in observing private data or conversations regardless of occurring on public or private property through the use of modern technology. The application of the Fourth Amendment to modern technologies and advancements like the Internet and organized police forces would have been far beyond the foresight of the founders, and in recent years, at least recent compared to the publication of the Constitution, law enforcement have adapted technology such as video surveillance to fight crime, in which the possibility of Fourth Amendment protections eroding in the process is entirely eminent. Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, even in public places, and unfortunately, there is no longer such thing as irrefutable privacy despite actions occurring on public property. To put it in simple terms, it is easy for someone to eavesdrop on a cell phone call, or peek at someone else’s computer screen, and it is not the fault of the person conducting the conversation that they are on public property, but rather the fault of the curious observer.


CC BY-SA 4.0 The Fourth Amendment in Today’s World by Alex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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