June 7, 1999 |
When the Supreme Court recently ruled that the police should no longer take reporters and photographers into private homes when they make an arrest or search, Inquirer police reporter Tom Gibbons cheered. So did I. Some free-press advocates defend ride-alongs, contending that they enable journalists to serve as watchdogs to ensure that the police and other law officials are performing within the letter of the law. Given the stream of recent police brutality cases, that reasoning is understandable.
March 23, 2004 |
FOR MOST people, "privacy" is a sacred concept, enshrined in the Bill of Rights. While an actual "right to privacy" is never mentioned in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, Americans believe, by and large, that the government has no right to interfere in the most intimate areas of our lives. And they would be correct. A line of cases, starting with Griswold v. Connecticut (access to contraception), through Roe v. Wade (abortion), culminating in the recent Lawrence v. Texas (tossing out anti-sodomy laws)
May 17, 2003 |
I know the story about Bill Bennett's gambling is fading - and rightly so - from the public radar. Meanwhile, another story is getting bigger on the screen. John F. Kennedy had an affair with a 19-year-old intern while president of the United States. The two stories may seem to have very little in common, but they do. In a sense, they tell the strange story of liberalism zig-zagging on the issue of privacy. Let's start at the end of the story and work backward. In much of the criticism of Bennett, liberals and libertarians have referred to what they call "the Bennett rules," which, they say, dictate that a person's private activities are the public's concern.
April 10, 2011
So, let's say this truly fine individual is standing across the room and you'd like his or her name, number, and e-mail address but don't want the hassle of walking over and risking rejection. There's an app for that. Well, not yet, but eventually there will be. CNN has reported that Google is at work on a facial-recognition application that would allow you to snap a portrait of somebody with your cell phone and receive that person's name and contact information. The function would be added to Goggles, an application that allows users to snap a picture of an object or building and have it identified.
June 14, 2012 |
Question: How much privacy should a married couple, of 20-plus years, have from each other? Do you believe a spouse should have private passwords to computer, e-mail, phone, Facebook, etc., and private conversations on the phone? This is a very big bone of contention between my spouse and me, and I would really like your unbiased opinion. Answer: I think the details of passwords, etc., matter less than what you do with them and how trustworthy each of you thinks the other is. Four examples: 1. Couples can have private conversations and passwords they don't share, just because they believe in privacy and individuality, even if they have nothing to hide.
August 4, 2001
FBI agents who burgled and bugged a computer at the North Jersey business of the son of jailed mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo took government's snooping powers to scary, new heights. As the two-year-old case heads to trial in a Newark courtroom, a federal judge reviewing the electronic surveillance could scale back such law-enforcement tactics. If the judge agrees with a defense request to quash the evidence gathered from the bugged PC, that might mean Nicodemo S. Scarfo Jr. takes a walk on charges he ran a bookmaking and loan-sharking operation for the Gambino crime family.
September 21, 1999 |
The gigantic computer files on the personal lives of Americans - as buyers, patients, children, students, workers, citizens and taxpayers - continue to grow. The right of privacy, which is constitutionally protected, receives much lip service but little organized defense. Yet survey after survey shows people are worried and upset over repeated disclosures of violating that right. The invasion of the personal self is big business. Every hour of the day and night, such personal information is being moved around the country and the world between companies and employers and governments.
September 14, 1990 |
Supreme Court nominee David H. Souter said yesterday that the Constitution contains a right of privacy, but he repeatedly refused to say whether that right protected a woman's decision to have an abortion. Testifying on the first day of confirmation hearings on his nomination as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Souter said it would be "inappropriate" for him to comment on "the wisdom or the future" of "the one case which has been on everyone's lips since the moment of my nomination.
September 14, 1987 |
Gary Hart emerged from four months of seclusion to tell the nation that he wants to start a "constructive debate" about the private lives of public figures. With his declaration of non-candidacy, that debate may well be the principal legacy of Gary Hart's public life. So let's try a few propositions - sorry about that turn of phrase, senator - on for size. Is the press eager to pry behind the closed doors of the rich and famous? Absolutely. One of the inevitable consequences of being well-known is that people want to know more, even when it is none of their business.
February 3, 1998 |
While President Clinton was busy yesterday selling his new budget, the public opinion polls were serving up numbers that would appear - at first glance - to make no sense. Consider the latest sampling by CNN, USA Today, and Gallup: Is he hiding something in the Monica Lewinsky case? 62 percent say yes. Did he have sex with her? 55 percent say yes. Did he have sex with others? 62 percent say yes. Is he honest? 53 percent say no. A good role model? Only 39 percent say yes. But at the same time, 69 percent say he's doing a good job, a nine-point rise after 10 days of withering bombardment - and better than Ronald Reagan ever did. And when people were asked about independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's investigaton, 55 percent declared it unfair - and 58 percent wanted it shut down.