Study Guide (old guide)

Study Guide (old guide)

What is Surveillance?

  • sur·veil·lance ( s?r-va'l?ns) n.

    1. Close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion.

    2. The act of observing or the condition of being observed.

  • The government defines a surveillance operation as an event during which the activities of a particular individual are observed and documented.

  • Computer surveillance is the act of surveilling people's computer activity without their knowledge, by accessing the computer itself.

  • The state and security services still have the most powerful surveillance systems, because they are enabled under the law. But today levels of state surveillance have increased, and using computers they are now able to draw together many different information sources to produce profiles of persons or groups in society. 

The Fourth Amendment

  • Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated."

  • When the framers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights they specifically addressed that day's most pressing privacy fears: (1) that government would search one's home whenever it desired and (2) the quartering of troops in the home. The framers, however, were unable to address future changes in technology and the myriad of privacy concerns that have evolved as new technologies permeated their way into our society. Therefore one must ask whether the law protecting the right to privacy has evolved with the new technologies to ensure the vitality of the Fourth Amendment.

Expectation of Privacy

A reasonable expectation of privacy is used to determine whether the Government's actions with regard to obtaining evidence are lawful. This expectation must be satisfied by an affirmative response to these questions:

  • 1) Did the subject of the surveillance maintain an expectation that their actions were private?

  • 2) Is the expectation one that society recognizes as being reasonable?

  • Reasonable Expectation of Privacy ,"Judicial implementations of the Fourth Amendment need constant accommodation to the ever-intensifying technology of surveillance" (Dean v. Superior Court [1973] 35 Cal.App.3d 112, 116); "the Fourth Amendment must likewise grow in response" (United States v. Kim [1976] 415 F. Supp. 1252, 1257)

Government surveillance

After Sept. 11, government had expanded power to law enforcement agent to seek information for anti- terrorist such as USA Patriot Act (H.R. 3162) and Terrorism Information Awareness Program. This bill involved surveillance population of United State and International whom live in the United State. There is some guide line that set by the Government Surveillance. This USA Patriot Act should be expired least year.  However, the bill had been extending for longer period. For that is raise questions about the right of the US citizens under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution . According to Key Controversies by Larry Abramson and Maria Godoy state that major change for surveillance provision.

· Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 is known as USA Patriot Act (H.R. 3162). The bill had significantly increased the surveillance and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies in the United States. Many of the provisions of the Act relating to electronic surveillance were subject to much criticism and debate (USA PATRIOT Act Page).

The USA PATRIOT Act that involves surveillance including amendments to:

  • Wiretap Statute (Title III):
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

    Further Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) introduced the bill, popularly named the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006, on March 16, 2006.  DeWine Bill  would allow special intelligence subcommittees to oversee electronic surveillance programs and would allow warrantless surveillance in some circumstances without judicial review. The citric describe in CDT Analysis: Dewine Bill the believes that the bill should not pass until being fully investigate details of any surveillance programs.

    Terrorism Information Awareness Program - The Pentagon's Office of Information Awareness is developing a vast surveillance database to track terror suspects. The Total Information Awareness (TIA) system allows law enforcement to “data mining,” which critics state in Beware of Total Information Awareness.  TIA would search thousands of databases and collect records about mostly innocent people. It would give government the power to generate a comprehensive data profile on any U.S. citizen. However, It program was shut down by congress.

    Wiretapping is other form of the government surveillance that Fcc propose. if the proposeal is passed , this will allow the backdoor for the FBI and other law- enforcement to tap into the communication system include internet. Julius Knapp, FCC spokesman claim that this is in the limited of the law it is just to enforce that the carrier company can provide information when it need. However, U.S. v. Councilman case was argu about offered e-mail accounts to clients was illegal.


    Audio and Video Surveillance

    • Video
      The "reasonable expectation of privacy" should apply as an ethical guideline. In general, employers can monitor the activities of their employees to uncover a variety of issues, including theft, substance abuse, vandalism, corporate espionage and other illegal or unauthorized activities. Central to this concept is that the workplace is not a location in which, under normal circumstances, persons consider their actions private. On the other hand, surveillance in the workplace must not intrude on those areas where persons consider their activities private. A restroom is an example of such a place. In some cases, the public presentation of a Warning Notice stating that a particular area may be under surveillance tends to mitigate a person's expectation of privacy.

    • Audio
      Under Section 2512 of the U.S. Code, manufacture, distribution, possession and advertising of wire, oral or electronic communication intercepting devices is prohibited. Excluded from this law are officers or employees under contract to the Federal government, a State or subdivision thereof. This is taken to mean that, with proper authorization, Law Enforcement agencies may be able to use covert audio surveillance. Agencies should review the laws for their jurisdiction before using audio surveillance. Clearly, covert audio surveillance is not permissible in the private sector.

    • Interesting Technology
      A computer surveillance keystroke recorder ,is it ethical to use a device like this without someones knolwedge? What about your own family as the ad suggests?