Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
I 184
Software/privacy protection/Zittrain: ((s) This is about the maintaining of privay as software beco0mes service): The use of our PCs is shrinking to that of mere workstations, with private data stored remotely in the hands of third parties.
I 185
The latest version of Google Desktop is a PC application that offers a “search across computers” feature. It is advertised as allowing users with multiple computers to use one computer to find documents that are stored on another. (1) The application accomplishes this by sending an index of the contents of users’ documents to Google itself. (2) ((s) Written in 2008).
The movement of data from the PC means that warrants
I 186
served upon personal computers and their hard drives will yield less and less information as the data migrates onto the Web, driving law enforcement to the networked third parties now hosting that information. When our diaries, e-mail, and documents are no longer stored at home but instead are business records held by a dot-com, nearly all formerly transient communication ends up permanently and accessibly stored in the hands of third parties, and subject to comparatively weak statutory and constitutional protections against surveillance. (3) A warrant is generally required for the government to access data on one’s own PC, and warrants require law enforcement to show probable cause that evidence of a crime will be yielded by the search. (4) In other words, the government must surmount a higher hurdle to search one’s PC than to eavesdrop on one’s data communications, and it has the fewest barriers when obtaining data stored elsewhere. (5)


1. See Google, Google Desktop—Features, http://desktop.google.eom/features.html# searchremote (last visited May 15, 2007).
2. Matthew Fordahl, How Google’s Desktop Search Works, MSNBC.com, Oct. 14, 2004, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6251128/.
3. See, e.g., Declan McCullagh, Police Blotter: Judge Orders Gmail Disclosure, CNET NEWS.COM, Mar. 17, 2006, http://news.com.com/Police+blotter+Judge+orders+Gmail+disclosure/2100-1047_3-6050295.html (reporting on a hearing that contested a court subpoena ordering the disclosure of all e-mail messages, including deleted ones, from a Gmail account).
4. Orin Kerr, Search and Seizure: Past, Present, and Future, OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LEGAL HISTORY (2006).
5. Cf. Orin S. Kerr, Searches and Seizures in a Digital World, 119 HARV. L. REV. 531, 557 (2005) (“Under Arizona v. Hicks (480 U.S. 321 (1987)), merely copying information does not seize anything.” (footnote omitted)).


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Zittrain I
Jonathan Zittrain
The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It New Haven 2009


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-07-22
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