Online privacy vs. Constitutional rights
Law enforcement authorities are increasingly using tools like Facebook and Twitter to help catch criminals, but how much can the police glean from your online life before violating your rights?
Author of Black Hawk Down and former Peter Jennings Project Fellow Mark Bowden wrote a piece about just that in Vanity Fair last December. Should police be allowed to actively seek out child predators online? Or is the whole premise a little too close to Minority Report?
American courts have long recognized the right of police to invent ruses. Sting operations flourish in a climate of fear. Courts and lawmakers become less and less scrupulous about basic fairness. The more frightening and reprehensible the threat, the more license and latitude are given to the police.
For a variety of reasons, few of them valid, the child-molester has become the pre-eminent domestic villain of our time.