The Bill of Rights in 2007
So often when I hear talking heads pontificate about constitutional issues, I hear two basic sides. The first is the strict constructionist interpretation where they claim the constitution is clear as day hence end of discussion. On the other side you have the 'living constitution' side that often acts like anything that is inconsistent with their agenda should just be interpreted away. Whichever side one buys in to, it's hard to argue that rapid technological advances don't really complicate many legal issues. Orrin Kerr examines the United States vs King.
In short, a contractor in Saudi Arabia was connected to a military network. While doing routine patrols of the network, an analyst found some porn and happened to notice a folder named Pedophilia. That prompted him to look further and as it turns out, the folder was accurately labeled. King was arrested and charged. His defense was that the search was illegal. Personally, all normal legal issues aside, i think he should be thrown in jail for being a sick SOB and stupid enough to plug a computer with highly illegal material on it into a military network. It's not like that's material you bring to work to show your buddies and you'd have to know that a military network is likely to be subject to a higher degree of scrutiny than your average office. I know, there are tons of examples of amazing security lapses and incompetence on govt networks, but counting on the fact security might currently be lax is really foolish b/c just b/c it's lax now, who's the say that the next network guy they hire won't be competent? Having experience on two military installations, from what I saw, security was very tight. So much so, that our standard operating policy was "Don't do anything on that network that you wouldn't be ok with if it showed up on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper." And for God's sake, if you're doing something illegal (as well as something that you can rest assured will seriously anger just about any sane human being on Earth), why would you use the naming conventions he did?
All that aside, the case is mighty interesting and such issues are only going to become more and more frequent.