Tranquility & Mosaics In The Fourth Amendment Summary

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The National Security Agency’s (NSA) collection of metadata has been questioned on constitutional grounds. Specifically, the NSA’s actions have been argued to conflict with the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, which states that all citizens are free from being subjected to any unreasonable searches or seizures initiated by the government. Proponents of the NSA’s collection of metadata believe that it is a crucial tool in preventing potential terrorist attacks, while opponents of the program believe that its questionable constitutional validity, along with its lack of clear success in preventing a single terrorist attack, leaves the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program in desperate need of reform or outright abolishment. …show more content…
The author explains how this theory came into being in the case of Jones v. United States. Defendant, Jones, maintains that the evidence collected from the GPS placed on his car by police should be inadmissible, since the police did not abide by the conditions of the warrant. Instead of placing the GPS on the defendant’s car within ten days of getting the warrant, the police waited until the 11th day to do so. After placing the GPS on the defendant’s car, the police would monitor the defendant’s movements for twenty-eight consecutive days. The mosaic theory applies to this case since intimate details of the defendant’s life can be discerned through the aggregate of information collected through GPS tracking. This theory can also apply to the NSA’s activities since, the aggregate information collected on citizens can “paint” a picture on how they conduct their lives, which in turn, maintains Gentithes, violates reasonable expectation for …show more content…
Obama and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) v. Clapper, that have dealt with the issue of whether the NSA data collection activities are unconstitutional. In Klayman v. Obama, Judge Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia reasoned that, due to societies ever evolving reliance on technology, individuals should be free to use these technologies without fear that their information is being collected by the government (5). In ACLU v. Clapper, Judge Pauley of the Southern District of New York found that metadata collection program is not in violation of the Fourth Amendment and that precedent, established in the Supreme Court case Smith v. Maryland, should be respected (5). The ruling in Smith v. Maryland established what is known as the Third-Party Doctrine, which reasons that when individuals divulge information to a third party, their right to privacy ceases to exist. Another case Smith v. Obama, also dealt with the constitutionality of the NSA’s bulk collection program. B. Lynn Winmill, the judge presiding over case, ruled that the metadata collection program is not unconstitutional, but noted that the plaintiff’s argument that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated was not without merit. Despite having a

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