The Right to Privacy or the Land of the Monitored? Well, Which Is It?

Written by Marilyn Assenheim on July 18, 2013

The monitoring is conducted with surveillance equipment located on bridges, the sides of buildings and street poles. It has been going on since 2008. The Yonkers, NY Police Department claims that, “These plate readers are not intended nor used to follow the movements of members of the public…” But the public is precisely who is being spied upon.

An ACLU report includes 26,000 pages of responses from 293 police organizations nationwide. It concludes that a very small percentage of criminal activity is hampered by such surveillance. States, such as Maine and Arkansas, don’t even have a limit on how long records can be kept. Lt. Bill Hedgepath, spokesman for the Mesquite Police Department, in Texas, insists that , “There’s no expectation of privacy” for a vehicle driving on a public road or parked in a public place …”

Okay. But what about the drones capable of indiscriminately penetrating the walls of one’s home? Isn’t there an “expectation of privacy” there?

MyFox.com quotes Catherine Crump, attorney for the ACLU: “There’s just a fundamental question of whether we’re going to live in a society where these dragnet surveillance systems become routine.” The ACLU has come late to this particular party; we already live in such a society.

But it does raise a question: The Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. They scrabbled around until they’d fabricated an inherent “right to privacy” out of thin air. Our right to privacy is being violated daily, repeatedly, right now. Isn’t that Unconstitutional? One or the other is clearly a Constitutional violation; is it the invasion of every American’s privacy? Or Roe v. Wade?

They can’t have it both ways.

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Marilyn Assenheim
Marilyn Assenheim was born and raised in New York City. She spent a career in healthcare management although she probably should have been a casting director. Or a cowboy. A serious devotee of history and politics, Marilyn currently lives in the NYC metropolitan area.