Technology Redraws Privacy Lines 

  Technology Redraws Privacy Lines 

Posted by FoM on February 17, 2001 at 15:54:19 PT
By Anne Gearan, Associated Press Writer 
Source: S.F. Gate 

With each new high-tech gizmo police use to watch and catch suspected criminals, defense lawyers and prosecutors face new confrontations over privacy rights. From new ``face-mapping'' computer technology, used to check for terrorists at last month's Super Bowl, to alcohol-sniffing equipment at the end of a traffic cop's flashlight, technology is an increasingly large part of law enforcement. 
The Supreme Court hears a case next week that will test whether police violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches when they used heat-detection equipment to find a homegrown marijuana operation. ``I think the average American, myself included, is only beginning to realize the cost of technology, which as we know is moving forward with lightning speed, is a loss of personal privacy,'' said American Bar Association President Martha Barnett. ABA committees representing a dozen different legal specialties are evaluating the impact of technology on their practice areas, Barnett said at the winter meeting of the 400,000-member organization. Police and prosecutors often argue that technology merely improves on the human eye, ear or touch without altering any fundamental expectation of individual privacy. That is the argument the federal government will make in next week's drug case. Police could watch Danny Lee Kyllo's house without a warrant, the government argued in legal papers, so scanning the exterior of his Oregon house with a thermal imager wasn't much different. ``Thermal imagers do not literally or figuratively penetrate the home and reveal private activities within,'' the solicitor general's office wrote. The Agema Thermovision 210, which detected suspicious hot spots along Kyllo's roofline and garage, is a passive device, ``unlike a hypothetical sophisticated X-ray device or microphone that could perceive activity through solid walls,'' the government wrote. Those examples of more intrusive police methods, which the government said would constitute a search, aren't so hypothetical. Technology already exists to check pupil dilation secretly for signs of drug use, or breath for evidence of alcohol, without police ever laying a hand on a potential suspect. Hundreds of police departments are using the ``P.A.S. III Sniffer,'' a tiny battery-powered alcohol detector, during traffic stops. An officer shines a flashlight into a car after a traffic stop, and the device sucks in the motorist's breath. A driver who tested clean would likely drive away none the wiser. Civil liberties groups say the device violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Fourth Amendment, but the device's manufacturer says there have been no lawsuits. Police point out they would quickly arrest a drunk who reeks of alcohol, so the sniffer technology is really just a more sensitive version of the officer's nose. Security cameras were trained on the faces of happy fans entering the turnstiles at the Jan. 28 Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., and the digitized images instantly compared with those in computer banks of terrorists and other criminals. No arrests were made, but the system did identify a known ticket scalper, who fled into the crowd. Tampa police said they are pleased with the system's performance. The American Civil Liberties Union called it the ``Snooper Bowl'' and said it subjected unsuspecting fans to a ``computerized police lineup.'' Authorities know of no legal challenges so far. Security planners for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City are now evaluating whether the same technology should be used there. ``It certainly has value,'' Christopher Kramer, spokesman for the Utah Olympic Planning Security Command, said afterward. ``It could be a preventive measure to stop terrorism.'' Carol Gnade, executive director of the Utah ACLU, has said the technology is ``outpacing our basic privacy rights.'' On the Net: Supreme Court site: Flashlight sniffer manufacturer site: American Civil Liberties Union: Complete Title: Technology Redraws Privacy Lines for Police, Lawyers Source: Associated PressAuthor: Anne Gearan, Associated Press WriterPublished: Saturday, February 17, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Associated Press CannabisNews Articles - Surveillance

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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 18, 2001 at 08:24:56 PT

One more note
CannabisNews doesn't have picture posting ability. I believe the rest of the codes work though.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 18, 2001 at 08:23:32 PT

CannabisNews Uses HTML
This might help you with coding. This is from my free ezboard which is much like ubb and it compares their code with what is used as HTML. You might want to check it out so I thought I'd post it again. Comparisons
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Comment #4 posted by zonker on February 18, 2001 at 01:45:22 PT

fix-em up
I definitely believe that technology and the law has gotten out of hand.should we start carrying "Lysol"in our cars to screw-up the "bad-boys"sniffers?And what about a camera on the house to see whos watching? Do we all need to become paranoid?
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Comment #3 posted by Mr. 2toes on February 17, 2001 at 23:43:39 PT

Obviously this isnt a ubb code compatible bad.
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Comment #2 posted by Mr. 2toes on February 17, 2001 at 23:42:26 PT

This is creepy
I dont remember who said they had a dream about drug offender registration, but, are we that far from it? all these technologys to prevent people, err excuse me 'Chill-drun' from EVER using drugs, this also means that [i]anyone[/i] in a house where drugs are detected can also be arrested, making criminals out of miliions.
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Comment #1 posted by biname/i/b on February 17, 2001 at 22:32:11 PT

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