Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment famously protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” As capabilities for government surveillance rapidly develope alongside technology, the amendment has consistently been at the center of discussions over privacy and the scope of state power. In particular, NSA bulk surveillance has recently triggered a debate on the constitutionality of warrantless bulk collection under the Fourth Amendment, and on what should be considered a “reasonable” search in an increasingly digital age.

Latest in Fourth Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Opening a File Whose Hash Matched Known Child Pornography Is Not a ‘Search,’ Fifth Circuit Rules

The Fifth Circuit has handed down a fascinating computer search case in United States v. Reddick. Here's the question: If a private company runs a hash of a file and compares the hash to those of known images of child pornography, and it finds a match to a known image and forwards on the file to the government, is it a “search” for the government to then open the file to confirm it is child pornography?

Fourth Amendment

Public Utility's Recording of Home Energy Consumption Every 15 Minutes Is a 'Search,' Seventh Circuit Rules

In a fascinating decision, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville, the Seventh Circuit has held that a public utility commits a "search" of a home when it records every 15 minutes how much electricity the utility is providing the home, at least until the smart readers that enable this data collection come into general public use.

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