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article imageU.S. Constitution Challenged by New Technology and Changes

By Nancy Houser     Dec 5, 2011 in Technology
The Constitution of the United States is historically the center of the nation, and has been since September 17, 1787. New technology has begun to challenge constitutional categories that prevent clear answers to today’s most basic questions of life.
Jeffrey Rosen has written a book called “Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change.” The technological changes he discusses would have challenged the notions of today that were not present when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. New technology has brought about concerns like freedom of speech, individual self-reliance, and personal vs. private space.
One of the examples Rosen discusses is in the case United States v. Jones. At question is whether the police need a judge’s warrant prior to attaching a secret GPS monitor to a suspect’s car parked on private property. Or does it constitute a Fourth Amendment search?
“The relevant constitutional text is the Fourth Amendment, which says, ‘The right of the people to be secure in their houses, persons, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,’ he says. ‘But that doesn’t answer the question: Is it an unreasonable search of our persons or effects to be monitored in public spaces?’ ” (NPR: Interpreting The Constitution in the Digital Era”)
On the second day of office, the GOP read aloud the Constitution. According to Peter Keating at Vanity Fair, $1,071,872.87 million was the estimated cost when the GOP read the document on the House floor, and it was not read in its entirety. Certain sections before the amendments were omitted, each one chosen by the Republicans even though the Democrats questioned it.
According to Huffington, the decision by the Tea Party to read out loud the Constitution was "an opening act designed to herald the arrival of a new season of checks, balances, and financial cutbacks. "
"We always hear members of Congress talking about swearing an oath to represent their constituents, when in reality the only oath we take is to the Constitution," explained newly-minted Speaker John Boehner to the Post last May 25, 2011. (Huffington Post)
The right to free speech is being challenged more now than any other time. Google is under a lot of pressure from the United States government to take off any terrorist videos from YouTube. However, Google refused as they were protected speech. According to Rosen, Twitter had been pressured by Senator Joseph Lieberman to remove all pro-Taliban tweets. Twitter is much more pro free speech than Google; it will remove content that promotes violence or is illegal. Twitter’s conclusion was that the tweets were pro Taliban newsfeeds but did not promote imminent violence, therefore they were not removed.
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