The Editors write ...
Is Privacy a Constitutional Right?
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Reply to the Editors
The issue of privacy is getting a new look.
When it first became a hot topic in the 60's, privacy was all about what two consenting adults might or might not be doing in the privacy of their homes. In fact it was just such a case that opened the doors to the constitutional examination of the concept of privacy when, in 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut, a case testing the validity of that state's law banning the use of contraceptives. The Court found that a fundamental right to privacy existed in the "penumbras formed by emanations" of the Bill of Rights.
Normally we would have a problem with a newly discovered "right" found in such nebulous -- if not plainly invented -- constitutional law. But we have a hard time imagining a situation where an invasion of privacy is not an encroachment on individual freedom. And one does not need to look into "penumbras formed by emanations" to find the right to freedom.
But the focus on privacy is even sharper today when, though your bedroom might have received some constitutional protection, your medical records, your buying and credit history, the personal information you must give the government in return for a plethora of licensed "privileges", even your e-mail and web-surfing habits, cannot be assumed to be private. Especially when there is someone willing to pay for the information.
One of the hallmarks of a truly free people is its willingness to grant and accept anonymity out of respect for freedom. When we surrender our right to keep who we are, how we live and what we think to ourselves, it should be knowingly and willingly, generally in return for something we value as highly. When it is taken from us without our knowledge or consent, it is an invasion of privacy, an assault on our freedom, and should be illegal.
Privacy and freedom are the same right.
Mike Fuller, Crowley, LA writes ...
Griswold v. Connecticut
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Reply to Mike Fuller
The information provided by "Common Sense Americanism" is non objective and reactionary. The only sense I feel is the want for the writers and editors to regress to the elimination of all individual rights and liberties that our founding fathers fought for. Just be glad that they were liberal or else you wouldn't have the right to print your one-sided stance on this issue, which is aginst the opinion of our government. I was looking for information on this subject, not an opinion. I prefer to draw my own conclusions based on neutral inforamtion. You should try it sometime; maybe you would disagree with your own writings.
[Editors' Note: Pardon us. We didn't realize we were not entitled to an opinion. Opinions, by the way, are information as well, seeking to add relevance to the facts they reflect. You are, of course, abundantly welcome to your opinion as well.
Reactionary. Has a nice ring to it. To us it means reversing our rush to socialism and reclaiming the visions of our Founders.]
Mark Vorzimmer, Houston, TX writes ...
Trusted-Traveler ID Card Not To Be Trusted
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Reply to Mark Vorzimmer
I agree with Mowbray on not wanting the government involved another intrusive government program, but that's not in the Aviation Security Bill and it's not what they've intended. The Bill only grants the Federal government the power to set the requirements of such a trusted passenger program. Currently it is the Air Transport Association and individual carriers that have presented programs for government approval, and that's the way it should be. FBI checks are not a part of the ATA's or the carriers programs...besides the terrorists involved in 9/11 had no FBI records.
When it comes to a trusted passenger concept, certainly we could allow federal, state and municipal law enforcement, military, airport and transportation workers, etc. some form of trusted status couldn't we? I'm sure there's many other groups that could be included amongst trusted passengers and subjected to much less screening, and since it's a good idea, let's put it in the hands of private enterprise--particularly so the federal government doesn't make a move in the abscence of private initiative. Remember, the feds are going to be in charge of screening come the 18th of February and if someone like the carriers don't move to make this screening burden much easier on them, they're going to seek approval for this concept themselves.