This Is What Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Thinks About Your Privacy Rights…

Antonin Scalia

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, at Zerohedge:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke yesterday at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) Titans breakfast gathering in McLean, Virginia. He discussed the fact that prior to a Supreme Court decision in 1967, there were no constitutional prohibitions on wiretaps because conversations were not explicitly granted privacy protection under the Fourth Amendment. He goes on to imply that he thinks it was better before such privacy rights existed.

SCALIA EXPECTS NSA PROGRAM TO END UP IN COURT

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Wednesday that the courts ultimately will have to determine the legality of surveillance programs by the National Security Agency.

And he’s not sure that’s a good thing in an era of complex security threats against the United States.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Wednesday that the courts ultimately will have to determine the legality of surveillance programs by the National Security Agency.

And he’s not sure that’s a good thing in an era of complex security threats against the United States.

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3 Responses to This Is What Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Thinks About Your Privacy Rights…

  1. It’s an unfortunate fact that many traditional conservatives, those adhering to the basic foundation of liberty this once great nation embraced are slowly becoming neoconservatives who are more interested in protecting the controlling state than the concept of a free and prosperous nation. The more they find ‘justification’ for state intrusion into the lives of free people, the more control they concede to the state in order to supposedly protect those people, the faster we swirl around the drain to oblivion.

  2. In point of fact, there is no such thing as a “privacy right,” except as such rights are corollaries of property rights. Once you release information from your strict control, you no longer have a valid claim to controlling its dissemination. You can claim a patent over an original design or copyright a piece of prose, but you cannot claim rights over the information content of those things, unless you keep it strictly to yourself — meaning within the domain you have established as your property.

    That’s why the Fourth Amendment reads as follows: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,” etc. Those things can be established as property They bear the all-important characteristic of excludability: it’s possible for the owner to control their use, and access to them. Information cannot be thus controlled, unless it is kept to yourself or recorded solely upon your “person, house, papers, and effects” — and if you can assure yourself of that, its privacy is secure.

    The sole exception to this rule is contractual non-disclosure. If you enter into a contract with another party that obliges him to refrain from disclosing certain information, you have an enforceable right over it to the extent that a court would award you damages from him should he violate the contract. When it comes to certain sorts of commercial services, the law imposes contractual non-disclosure upon the vendors of those services as a default of all transactions with them. But this is nowhere near the creation of a blanket “right to privacy.”

    • While I whole heartily agree the so called ‘right of privacy’ isn’t explicit in the Constitution, neither is there a blanket right of the government to surveil or otherwise monitor the private activities of private citizens.

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