Domestic Surveillance Via Drones: Looking Through the Lens of the Fourth Amendment
MetadataShow full item record
Prompted by a newly minted governmental conceptualization of domestic surveillance, this Article focuses on a set of legal and philosophical dimensions to evaluate whether drone-enabled surveillance of citizens comports with fundamental liberty. Identifying the post-9/11 landscape as a primary contributor to the emergence of a security-centric society, this Article provides an interpretative gloss on the contemporary legal frame-work’s tendency toward immunizing governmental surveillance of its own citizens. By evaluating how the original understanding of the Fourth Amendment may have been attenuated within jurisprudence, this Article provides a stark reminder of why the aspiratory dimensions of the Framers’ view of liberty is in conflict with the ensuing pervasiveness of drone surveillance. In combining social contract theory with the individual rights paradigm espoused by Warren and Brandeis, this Article further establishes that individuals in the contemporary American society have a long-standing constitutional inheritance to be secure within their private seclusion. This leads to the author’s conclusion that, first, the Fourth Amendment is still sufficiently robust to address the emerging complexities of domestic drone surveillance, and, second, when empowered and augmented by the continued relevance of social contract theory, the Fourth Amendment remains a bulwark against introducing domestic drones at present.