Monday, February 19, 2007

Chapter 3 - Privacy & Public Knowledge

The section of chapter three, which speaks about how documents, as well as personal items were free for inspection. Letters in the post office, were always able to be "opened freely on suspicion, or in search of designated letters, or on informal order from Under Secretaries of State" (Starr, page 95). Even during the time the Fourth Amendment was instated, this still continued to occur. I find this interesting, because the idea of privacy didn't begin to take effect until the Post Office was in charge of Franklin and Hunter, in 1753. Franklin and Hunter had mail carriers take oaths not to open the mail they were carrying, as well as the postmasters. Eventually in due time, it was stated by the Supreme Court in 1877, that letters going through the Post Office were part of the Fourth Amendment.

This little section just shows how freedom of speech, goes hand in hand with the Fourth Amendment, but it also shows how it took awhile for the amendment to take affect, and actually be followed completely.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." (The Constitution of the United States.)