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Privacy at Risk

The New Government Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment

Without our consent and often without our knowledge, the government can constantly monitor many of our daily activities, using closed circuit TV, global positioning systems, and a wide array of other sophisticated technologies. With just a few keystrokes, records containing our financial information, phone and e-mail logs, and sometimes even our medical histories can be readily accessed by law enforcement officials. As Christopher Slobogin explains in Privacy at Risk, these intrusive acts of surveillance are subject to very little regulation.

Applying the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, Slobogin argues that courts should prod legislatures into enacting more meaningful protection against government overreaching.  In setting forth a comprehensive framework meant to preserve rights guaranteed by the Constitution without compromising the government’s ability to investigate criminal acts, Slobogin offers a balanced regulatory regime that should intrigue everyone concerned about privacy rights in the digital age.

274 pages | 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2007

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society, The Constitution and the Courts

Political Science: Public Policy


“The discussion of surveillance techniques is excellent, the legal analysis is sound, and the case for Fourth Amendment reform compelling. Recommended.”

D. E. Smith | Choice

"Slobogin thoroughly and convincingly analyzes the legal evidence and suggests methods for legislatures to pass better protections for individuals, while at the same time ensuring effective law enforcement. His work is a vital contribution to current discussions that affect not only the legal field, but political and cultural arenas as well."

John Readey | Virginia Quarterly Review

Table of Contents


I. Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment

     Chapter 1. Introduction: Surveillance Techniques and the Law

     Chapter 2. A Fourth Amendment Framework

II. Physical Surveillance
     Chapter 3. Peeping Techno-Toms

     Chapter 4. Public Privacy: Surveillance of Public Places and the Right to Anonymity

     Chapter 5. Implementing the Right to Public Anonymity

III. Transaction Surveillance

     Chapter 6. Subpoenas and Privacy

     Chapter 7. Regulating Transaction Surveillance by the Government

     Chapter 8. Conclusion: A Different Fourth Amendment?



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