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Judge John Roberts' views on electronic privacy: should we be worried?

Judge John Roberts' views on electronic privacy: should we be worried?
Judge John Roberts' views on electronic privacy: should we be worried?



[EPIC's letter is 23 pages and is excerpted below. --Declan]


http://epic.org/privacy/justices/roberts/0905letter.pdf 

We urge you to explore the views of Judge Roberts on the right to 
privacy, particularly as they may relate to the future of the Fourth 
Amendment and the role of the Congress inestablishing statutory 
safeguards. Although Judge Roberts is a distinguished lawyer and a 
brilliant jurist, we believe that he may have a very limited view of 
both the Court=92s role inprotecting Constitutional rights and of the 
ability of the Congress and the states to defend privacy through 
legislation.
In focusing on other important issues, one disturbing and 
well-documented aspect of Judge Robert's past opinions and memos has 
been substantially ignored.  In the contemporary environment, 
Constitutional and statutory protections of privacy are more vital than 
ever. Fear of terrorism has prompted a substantial increase in 
government surveillance.
Technological change and lax corporate data security have made privacy a 
matter of pressing legislative concern.  Given the dramatic expansion of 
the government's surveillance capabilities during the last several years 
and the likelihood that the issues the Supreme Court will face in the 
next few decades will be heavily influenced by the advance of 
technology, we believe it is important to understand how the nominee 
views the relationship between Constitutional principles and emerging 
threats to privacy. This is not simply the question of whether the 
Supreme Courtbroadly applies Constitutional principles; it includes also 
whether the Justices are prepared to defer to the Congress and the 
states when they seek to protect the privacy rights of individuals. On 
this point as well, we are concerned about the views of Judge Roberts.
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