Christopher Slobogin’s Privacy at Risk

slobogin.jpgProfessor Christopher Slobogin (University of Florida College of Law) has just published Privacy at Risk: The New Government Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment (U. Chicago Press, Nov. 1, 2007). According to the book description:

Without our consent and often without our knowledge, the government can constantly monitor many of our daily activities, using closed circuit TV, global positioning systems, and a wide array of other sophisticated technologies. With just a few keystrokes, records containing our financial information, phone and e-mail logs, and sometimes even our medical histories can be readily accessed by law enforcement officials. As Christopher Slobogin explains in Privacy at Risk, these intrusive acts of surveillance are subject to very little regulation.

Applying the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, Slobogin argues that courts should prod legislatures into enacting more meaningful protection against government overreaching. In setting forth a comprehensive framework meant to preserve rights guaranteed by the Constitution without compromising the government’s ability to investigate criminal acts, Slobogin offers a balanced regulatory regime that should intrigue everyone concerned about privacy rights in the digital age.

I wrote a blurb for the book. Here’s what I wrote:

Privacy at Risk is a thoughtful examination of how new surveillance technologies are allowing the government to subvert the basic constitutional principles underpinning the Fourth Amendment. It is a very fine book—one that is timely, interesting, and of essential importance in light of current events. With clarity and depth, Slobogin sets forth a comprehensive and sophisticated vision for how to reinvigorate the Fourth Amendment. His book is a must-read for anybody concerned about establishing an appropriate balance between government surveillance and privacy.

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1 Response

  1. Admiral says:

    The book looks really good, and I suspect I’d agree with its not-at-all controversial thesis. But it seems to me this is just one part of government’s overreach, and unless we connect the boundary between the privacy concerns of the 4th amendment with the liberty concerns of interstate commerce, we’re going to be losing this battle.