“All of this leaves us with a rather important question: are we at the point where technology is outstripping the ability of current laws, and the Constitution, to protect the civil liberties and the privacy of American citizens?
In many important respects, the answer to this question is yes. Take public surveillance cameras, for example. After the bombing attack in Boston, it was through the use of public surveillance cameras that authorities were able to identify the €œpersons of interest € that we eventually learned were the Tsarnaev brothers. In that particular case, the cameras in question were nearly all under the control of private companies using them for building security rather than surveillance, and in that situation the Fourth Amendment doesn €™t apply at all. Even in the case of wide nets of government-run surveillance cameras, the law places virtually no limit on what authorities can do with them…”