michael from the old-amendment-learns-new-tricks dept.
MacRonin writes: "In an important declaration of the constitutional limits on new privacy-threatening technology, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the use by the police of a thermal imaging device to detect patterns of heat coming from a private home is a search that requires a warrant. The court said further that the warrant requirement would apply not only to the relatively crude device at issue but also to any "more sophisticated systems" in use or in development that let the police gain knowledge that in the past would have been impossible without a physical entry into the home. "We must take the long view, from the original meaning of the Fourth Amendment forward," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for a 5-to-4 majority that cut across the court's usual ideological division. Justice Scalia said that to take any other approach "would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology, including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home." There is coverage in the: New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN. This older piece has a little background."
If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could
work for with a great deal of enjoyment.
-- Douglas Jerrold