Monday, October 10, 2011

Right side, wrong reason

Recently, the ACLU  once again came out against a government agency acting in a manner unsurprising... power-grabbing, this time by police departments and other investigative agencies attached to law enforcement. The ACLU is against the coppers being able to put GPS gadgets on a citizen to track him everywhere he goes, without a warrant.  The ACLU's complaint?  It violates a person's right to privacy.

Well, I'm agin it, too, but not for the reason they are.  You see, as far as I can tell, we really don't have an expectation of -- or a right to -- privacy, especially once we leave our homes and go out into... you know... public places. It's really hard to be private in public.

No, my reason for not wanting the police to be tailing me or any other US citizen without warrant falls under the presumption of innocence part of our nation's legal tradition.  A person's going hither and yon is his own life, and, unless he does something obviously unlawful while on his peregrinations, he's still a lawful citizen.  If you can't figure out how to demonstrate to a judge why you think that person ought to be watched more closely, it's your problem.  Do your homework a little better before you go there.

If I haven't done anything wrong, or, for that matter, if there's no really good reason to think I've done wrong, and somebody -- uniformed or not -- puts a GPS tracer on me and starts following me around, it's not law enforcement, it's not justice, it's just plain stalking.

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