Search and seizure in the era of big data / by kevin murray

The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution makes it clear that the policing agencies of the governmental state are not permitted to engage in "fishing expeditions" when it comes to the searching and the seizure of goods or items from possible suspects; but rather are restricted to first getting a warrant, issued forthwith under probable cause or exigent circumstances, and specifically relating to what is to be searched for.  Never has the Fourth Amendment been of more vital importance than in this current era, in which seemingly every activity done over the internet or through one's smart phone is collected, collated, and stored, under the aegis of being for the benefit of the users of such or for the marketing of goods or services to those users.


The problem with companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Verizon, as well as other similar high technology companies really comes down to whether or not they are corporations that ultimately protect the users of their products and their privacy in regards to the integrity of their communications and activities, or whether these companies wittingly or unwittingly provide that cogent information to governmental agencies, for those government agencies own perusal, which essentially then allows those governmental agencies to monitor all those that live in a digital world, in a way, in which those governmental agencies have real actionable information, considered by those citizens to be in most instances to be their own business or their own private communications.


In point of fact, communications and posting of all sorts by its citizens, are routinely seized and searched by governmental agencies without a warrant, and specifically are done in a manner in which the privacy of the bulk of those citizens are violated by those governmental agencies, which is not reasonable, and is in constant violation of those citizen rights, all of which is done without probable cause.  This is akin to a fisherman that knows the law in regards to not being permitted to catch certain species of fish, or species such as dolphins, simply deciding to collect any and everything that is swimming in the ocean, because that fisherman has the tools to do so, and does not want to go through the trouble and expense of actually following the law, but rather prefers to ignore the law for his own purposes.


While the government can issue all sorts of Executive Orders, or spurious laws, or have court decisions manufactured to support their misinterpretations of Constitutional law; what the government has not done is actually overturned the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, but has effectively perverted such, and has instead added its own coda to the Fourth Amendment, which appears to state, that the government and its agencies are permitted to search and seize whatever that they so desire, without end, for the ostensible safety of its population, whereas the reality of the situation is that they want all of that information so as to get over on its population and to manipulate that population for governmental control of them.


If none of these high technology companies will proactively protect the consumer of their products, from unwarranted governmental intrusion of their person and the security of their personal affairs, then the citizens of this country have essentially little protection of their comings and their goings, for what has occurred for all intents and purposes, is that high technology companies and the government are united as one.