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Cybersecurity and Law Enforcement
Privacy from the government in a changing world
November 9, 2018
Back when the Founders recognized our privacy needs against the government, there were just two parties: the individual and the government. The Fourth Amendment limited the government’s right to search individuals. Searches had to be “reasonable.” They still do.
But the scene has become more complicated with the introduction of third parties that hold our personal information. In the past 60 years, the law has been trying to keep up with technological changes in how our information is held and revealed to the government.
With the emergency of major technology companies like Google, Apple and Facebook, we are in something of a Wild Wild West. You may recall a few major stand-offs between tech giants and the government on handing over consumer data. For example, after the San Bernadino shooting, the government asked Apple to help it override the security features in the shooter's iPhone. Apple had its reasons to refuse.
What are the incentives of tech companies in supporting their consumers and refusing to override their own security features? How does that interfere with the government's interests? Is our law adapting to address the technological changes?