As we come to the end of a year that saw revelations about massive government spying programs, horrifying stories of police abuse, and brazen violations of the Fourth Amendment, I thought I might offer my own grim predictions about where civil liberties are headed in the coming year. Sure, some of these may seem outlandish. But to borrow from H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the grade and lubriciousness of the slippery slope.
So I predict the following for 2014:
1. Not content with their current powers to employ drug dogs and dubious accusations to engage in asset forfeiture shakedowns of motorists, some states will pass laws making it illegal to have a space in your car where drugs could possibly be hidden, regardless of whether or not you've actually hidden any drugs in those spaces.
2. Also on the forfeiture front: Taking the private prison idea one step further, prosecutors will begin hiring private security firms to pull over motorists in order to seize property for the local government. And they'll get to keep a cut of what they take.
3. Now that they've turned America's cities into surveillance societies, city officials will incredibly claim, incredibly, that using similar cameras to prevent abuse by law enforcement officers would be a violation of police officers' civil rights...