[Politech] Judge Samuel Alito's police-friendly views of

Declan McCullagh declan at well.com
Tue Nov 1 09:55:39 PST 2005

electronic surveillance [priv]


Nominee's past rulings give hint of tech views
November 1, 2005, 4:58 PM PST


In a case decided last year, Alito ruled that the FBI did not need a
warrant to outfit the hotel suite of a boxing official with a hidden
audio recorder and remotely controlled video camera that could swivel
360 degrees. The devices were activated when a police informant was
also present in the room of the official, who was suspected of taking

Alito's fellow judge Theodore McKee, a Clinton appointee, dissented
on the grounds that advances in surveillance technology would
eviscerate the privacy principles found in the Fourth Amendment's
prohibition of "unreasonable searches."

"Given the evolving sophistication of technology, it is increasingly
imperative that the fundamental liberties guaranteed under the Fourth
Amendment not be eroded by the warrantless use of devices that allow
the government to see through curtains, walls and doors," McKee
wrote. "To the extent the Fourth Amendment has any vitality in an era
of increasingly sophisticated electronic eavesdropping, it surely
protects the privacy of someone in the intimacy of a hotel suite from
the potential of warrantless 24-hour video surveillance."


In another case decided in 2002 by the 3rd Circuit Court, police in
Pennsylvania acted on a six-month-old tip that a high school teacher
was viewing illegal adult pornography on the Internet. They obtained
a search warrant for the teacher's home and found child pornography
on his computer's hard drive.

In an opinion written by Judge Maryanne Barry, another Clinton
appointee, the 2-1 majority said the search warrant was invalid
because the tip was "stale" and based on a dubious source. Also, they
said, police had no probable cause to look for any kind of
pornography, and investigators should not go on a fishing expedition
through a suspect's hard drive just to find some sort of
incriminating files.

Alito dissented. "The previously-noted incidents alleged in the
affidavit showed that the defendant had a sexual interest in minors
and that he had used sexual materials on several occasions as part of
his course of conduct," he wrote. "All of this information tends to
support a finding of probable cause."

Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

You are subscribed as eugen at leitl.org
To manage your subscription, go to

Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/

----- End forwarded message -----
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

[demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type application/pgp-signature which had a name of signature.asc]

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list