4 Ways the Fourth Amendment's Already Being Pummeled in a Non-Top Secret Way

The government will always insist it's acting within the law.

(Page 4 of 4)

4. Search warrant? Will a dog’s word do?

can he fisa?Inventorchris/Foter.comEarlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the response of a drug-sniffing dog is sufficient to trigger a reasonable search, a position that both exaggerates the dogs' ability to detect illicit drugs and ignores the fact that the animals are search tools themselves. This builds on an earlier case in which the Court concluded that the canines only detect contraband for which there’s no “reasonable expectation of policy.”

In the wake of that earlier ruling, Julian Sanchez warned Reason readers that the decision would have far-reaching effects. The dogs, he wrote, represented a crude version of the “new wave of advanced surveillance tools...capable of detecting not just drugs but weapons, explosives, and illicit computer files, potentially flying under the Fourth Amendment’s radar all the while.”

The foreign intelligence surveillance courts that approve the NSA's telephone and Internet surveillance operations are a bit like the drug-sniffing dogs. The authorities act as though both are infallible, and neither one's judgments can be reviewed or appealed by those at the receiving end of the subsequent search and seizure.

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  • AlgerHiss||

    This piece is quite dead on: The fourth amendment is barely alive. US civilian peace keeping hopes and prays the sheeple remain ignorant of a few simple words:

    Am I being detained?

    Am I free to go?

    No, I do not consent to any search of any kind.

  • Almanian!||


    Best pic in a long time. Alt Text to match. #WINNING

  • John Galt||

    Seizing our liberties isn't something the despots who rule over us could ever pull off in a day, they do it a piece here and a bit there. The end result is the same.

  • Bucky||

    and byte by byte...

  • MoMark||

    When listening to Obama & Clapper today, I suddenly had this feeling this entire country has fallen down a rabbit hole… and I might be having an acid flashback!

  • GroundTruth||

    With the greater part of the population ignorant of history and the basis of their own government, and more interested in the latest winner of "the Voice", and preoccupied with their own comfort, we who see the problem must be ever more clear, outspoken and forceful.

  • Bucky||

    ask a teen near you who were the
    brown shirts,(tell them first they're
    not a new band)...

  • LexLibertatis||

    They don't collect DNA when they detain you. Even in Maryland, DNA was only collected for serious offenders and after arraignment. The Court suggested it might be a problem to collect for all arrestees. It is still concerning, of course, but the tagline misleads.


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