Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Civil Liabilities

It looks like your right to privacy (US 4th Amendment and Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Section) and all that unlawful search and seizure is no longer an impediment to 'good' police work.

It gals me to come to the defense of the subject of this article but I'm afraid I must, or else our society would be lessened:

The true measure of a civilized society is how it treats people
accused of crimes.

- Winston Churchill

The key is accused of a crime, while this individual is accused of a most heinous crime, he only stands accused, innocent until proven guilty, and while I suspect from the article that the contents of his computer were damning, without warrant and just cause the officers had no business being on his computer.

The issue is probably two fold, one is of the legal systems ability to find the analogs in precedent involving non-technological situations, this can further be subdivided into an issue of first understanding the technological situation, and then seeing that they are truly analogs of the, well, analog situation.

The second issue is the old 1984 bucket, police state and all that. I don't want to blow this way out of the water, but I think the US under George have done a good job of getting us closer to that state. With secret courts, and the suspension of Habeas Corpus its a dark and slippery slope. I'm ever so glad that the Canadian law was not extended that offered our police similar nebulous power.

We stand at a technological and civil crossroads, where Rights and Freedoms are whittled away in the name of safety, and we wrap ourselves in warm blankets of ignorance, until the day comes where our door is broken down, and we are taken away, only because an officer mistook his burrito for a gut feeling.

The author of this post can be found at reeducation center 01101101 and thinks Mr. Bush is double plus swell good.
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