The Impact of Technology and Terrorism on Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence
Wilson, Benjamin Richard
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Although Fourth Amendment protections have been tested by the development of technology and even more so by the threat of terrorism and the need for national security, its fundamental principles remain unchanged—the safeguard of individual liberty, personal privacy, and the rights of property against arbitrary governmental intrusion. The Framers’ awareness stemmed from observing the British government’s abuse of general warrants and writs of assistance to invade the privacy of her citizens. Given these intrusions among others, the Founders were determined to institute protective safeguards. Thus, when considering search and seizure challenges, the courts commonly consider the historical safeguards of the Fourth Amendment. To determine the context of these historical safeguards, the history of the Fourth Amendment must be reviewed and considered. Thus, in mostly chronological fashion, I will consult the constitutional record and historical scholarship to determine what the Fourth Amendment may have meant in 1791. From there, case law and relevant legislation will highlight emerging Fourth Amendment principles in response to technology-involved litigation.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2006
- F&M Theses Collection