Barlow’s fight for the 4th amendment


So often the system gives us a choice between acquiescing to a little erosion of liberty or taking it on the chin and fighting for the liberty of us all. Salute to John Perry Barlow, the latest hero in the good fight.

(I’m going to skip my armchair legal reasoning for why it’s important that the government not have the right to use the excuse of “we’re looking for terrorist threats” to search someone’s ibuprofen bottle for drugs without a warrant, and why it’s important that evidence found during such illegally-conducted searches not be admissable — if you don’t know the arguments, check out some legal discussion on the Exclusionary Rule.)

Jumping briefly to media technology, when I cross this and my previous post in my head, I can’t help but add a new tech toy to my Christmas wish list: a suitcase that automatically starts recording video and audio whenever it’s opened, so when I recover my bag I can see just how intimate bag-searchers are getting with my personal effects. Think of it as a cross between a radar-detector and an automatic Rodney King video camera for privacy advocates.