Privacy, according to the legal terms, is the right of a person to control the access of his/her personal information. This definition keeps changing in regards to the concept of which it is being applied. In the United States’ constitution, the right to privacy is stipulated under the Bill of Rights. Although not explicit, the amendments in the bill provide the guide on the various aspects of privacy. Most of these amendments were framed before the technological era (The Bill of Rights: A Transcription, 2018).
With the current advancement of technology and digitalization of almost every aspect of life, the current constitution might be failing to adequately protect its citizens’ privacy. Therefore, the privacy rights need to be revisited, amended and some other laws, if possible, to be included.During the last electioneering period, the issue of privacy emerged on the issue of Hillary Clinton usage of a personal server to send government emails. The true information on where the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) got the details of the suspicious emails became the matter of controversy regarding the privacy rights. According to an article written by Clark Cunningham, the FBI claimed to have found the emails from Clinton’s former colleagues’ laptop while investigating another alleged crime. The crime that was being investigated was not related to Clinton, therefore, it is possible that the information the FBI obtained regarding her was as a result of privacy invasion (Cunningham, 2016).
Since the crime was unrelated to her, I agree that the right to privacy was violated by the FBI agents. The information on what should have been obtained from the laptop ought to have been specified in the search warrant and, therefore, it means that they broke the law by checking the entire content of the laptop. In that case, the ultimate guide of where the privacy boundary should be is stipulated in the constitution under the 4th and 5th amendment (Formalism, Legal Realism, and Constitutionally Protected Privacy under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, 1977).
The historical thought and tradition have had a great impact on the civil liberties and rights. They are the basis of the constitution which acts as a guide in the day to day life. The various amendments that have been introduced in the constitution over the years and more so in the Bill of Rights, have continued to protect individuals from the invasion of their privacy by the government and social and political freedom as well as upholding equality in the society. In the case of Clinton’s email scandal, the constitution provides a clear framework on the legal procedures that should be followed when accessing private and personal information.
Therefore, the FBI must have misinterpreted or broken the law intentionally by invading her colleague’s privacy without her consent or power from the court. In these modern days, any leak of personal information could be very detrimental to an individual or the state. In my opinion, I suggest that those that are found culpable of breaking the law regarding other people’s privacy rights, stern action should be taken against them. They should be prosecuted and jailed or be penalized huge fines and be demoted from their offices. This would reduce the deliberate cases of privacy right invasion. In addition, the individuals to whom their privacy rights have been violated, or the victims, should be compensated by the culprit do to the damage caused. The compensation may be materialistic, for example money, and or possibly symbolic like an apology.ReferencesCunningham, C.
(2016). In getting ‘new’ Clinton emails, did the FBI violate the Constitution? The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/in-getting-new-clinton-emails-did-the-fbi-violate-the-constitution-67906Formalism, Legal Realism, and Constitutionally Protected Privacy under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
(1977). Harvard Law Review, 90(5), 945. http://dx.doi.
org/10.2307/1340134The Bill of Rights: A Transcription. (2018).
National Archives. Retrieved 14 January 2018, from https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript.