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Technology and Your Right to Privacy

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Technology and the invasion of privacy and its effects onthe criminal

justice system over

the last 100 years

Will searching the internet for more than 5 hours on this topic I found a

quote that is very

appropriate it says;

Subtler and more far-reaching means of invading privacy have become

available to the

government. Discovery and invention have made it possible for the

government, by

means far more effective than stretching upon the rack, to obtain disclosure

in court of

what is whispered in the closet.

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandies, 1928

If Justice Brandeis could see the advances in technology, he would realize

just how

prophetic his statement is. He would also be appalled by the new

surveillance technologies

that go far beyond his wildest dreams. Now that the cold war is over,

bureaucracy has

little do but track us from the cradle to the grave, from your bank accounts

to the

bedroom. Several of the technologies created by the defense dept. have begun

to creep

into law enforcement, various civilian agencies and private companies. The

laws on the

books are old in comparison and unable to protect us from violation of our


I the old west there was no system to keep track of criminals. If someone

was wanted he

picture was posted with a reward. If convicted he was sentenced to what the

judge felt

was appropriate.

In the early 60's surveillance and tracking was a slow tidious process of

manual and/or

clerical work. To trace a person's activities you had to physically follow

them, or search

through volumes of card files. It was necessary to contact every one your

suspect came in

contact with. to learn his habits. Electronic surveillance was on a one to

one basis if your

dept was lucky enough to have it. As an example, it took 500,000 east German


informers and 10,000 transcribers just to listen in on it's citizens


Computers capable of storing large amounts of data have revolutionized the

world of

surveillance. The law enforcement benefits are enormous, and government


have been able to expand their reach and efficiency.

Will technology was expanding private business was also researching it's

uses. Huge

companies offering credit cards, telephone service, banking and many other


services began to use computers with massive storage capacity.

In this day and age information on every person in the developed world is


and stored in several if not hundreds of computers. Your information is


analyzed and disseminated to..... With computer net works, the net and

links, it is possible

now to track everyone with a single identification number, your social

security number.

With your specific identifier everything about you can be instantly

available. Because

medical, dental, financial and general information is stored in the data

bases, a great deal

of detail about you is readily available. Laws in effect make it difficult

to regulate invasion

of privacy as information travels from state to state or across

international borders.

Through the use of computers, finger prints, ID cards and data matching have


implemented. Tracking these items allows the government, business be

selective in all

processes affecting you. Intrusive technologies generally fit into three


surveillance, identification, and networking. when used together as with

biometrics and ID

cards or video and face recognition, a large segment of the population is

being surveiled

with out knowledge or consent. In a very real sense, what the east Germans

only dreamed

about is becoming a reality here in the United States.

ID technologies have advanced at a vary rapid rate. Use of the Social




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