Katz v. United States (1967) and Electronic Surveillance Law | My Paper Hub
Katz v. United States (1967) case has
Katz v. United States (1967) case has
great significance when it comes to issues revolving around individual’s
privacy. The ruling expanded the Fourth Amendment protection to cover
electronic wiretaps. The later ruling overturned the earlier trespass doctrine
that had been established by Olmstead and indicated that the Fourth Amendment
protects people and not places (Iannacci,
2017). The rulings on Katz helped to the removal of
constitutional concerns and queries that had been raised in the Olmstead which
laid out differences between places and medium when it came to the Fourth
Amendment applicability in the issue (Oyez,
Fourth Amendment exclusion of unreasonable searches and seizure was defined to
cover both physical searches and the electronic media (Oyez,
In recent years, the country has witnessed
increase surveillance by the government which has targeted the technology firms
such as Google, Twitter, [G1]Facebook among
2013). Katz plays an important role in guarding
against such indiscriminate and illegal activity by the government ([G2][G3]Greenwald, 2014). What
the government and its agents are doing goes against the spirit of the
constitution and is in contravention of the Fourth Amendment which is the
peoples right to privacy. Justifying such a move by demonstrating that such
surveillance is for the good of the nation should not be a premise for
disregarding the law. [G4]
The extension of the Katz to include wiretapping
can be considered in the present day to also cover digital content. Such
surveillance is covered under The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
Act which guards against searches that are conducted on American citizens
accounts; the Privacy Act protects against the disclosure of user information
without their consent (Savage,
2017; USDJ, 2015). Under FISA, Titles I and III have outlined that there should
be a probable cause which should warrant such intrusion and the individuals
being targeted and applies to individuals that are within the country
irrespective of the status of their citizenship (FTSA Transparency Report, 2016).
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