Christopher Slobogin comments:
Over the past 200 years, the Fourth Amendment’s guarantees have been construed largely in the context of what might be called “physical searches”—entry into a house or car, a stop and frisk of a person on the street, or rifling through a person’s private papers. But today, with the introduction of devices that can see through walls and clothes, monitor public thoroughfares twenty-four hours a day, and access millions of records in seconds, police are relying much more heavily on what might be called “virtual searches,” investigative techniques that do not require physical access to premises, people, papers or effects and that can often be carried out covertly from far away. This technological revolution is well on its way to drastically altering the way police go about looking for evidence of crime.
The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fourth Amendment has both failed to anticipate this revolution and continued to ignore it.
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