Technology, having outstripped our ability as humans to control it, has become our Frankenstein's monster. Delighted with technology's conveniences, its ability to make our lives easier by performing an endless array of tasks faster and more efficiently, we have given it free rein in our lives, with little thought to the legal or moral ramifications of allowing surveillance technology, especially, to uncover nearly every intimate detail of our lives.
Consider how enthusiastically we welcomed Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, which use orbiting satellites to produce accurate and continuous records of their position and of any person or object carrying them. Yet by ensuring that we never get lost and never lose our wireless signals, we have also made it possible for the government to never lose sight of us, as well.
Indeed, as a case before the U.S. Supreme Court makes clear, the government is taking full advantage of this technology to keep tabs on American citizens, and in the process, is not only violating the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures but is putting an end, once and for all, to any expectation of privacy in public places. Thus, what is at stake in United States v. Jones, is nothing less than the continued vitality of the Fourth Amendment in the modern technological age.
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