Thursday, February 26, 2004

Do We Need A Constitutional Amendment To Ensure Our Privacy?

I'm beginning to wonder if we should push a privacy amendment to the Constitution. Perhaps along with an open government/freedom of information amendment. Not that the two need to be bundled. But it would be a joyous day if we were celebrating the passage of these two great measures.

Let's focus on the privacy amendment in this post. I've been poking around the Internet, and am finding surprisingly little on any past history of proposed amendments of privacy. This seems odd to me because our right to privacy is largely an interpretation of existing amendments, aside from protection from unlawful search and seizure, and is clearly a popular issue. Who wouldn't want a right to privacy from government (except for those who want to regulate personal behavior that results in no harm to another, but even they probably want their own privacy)?

I'm committing myself to this issue. Here in California, we have a right to privacy enshrined in our state Constitution. I'd like to see a similar development on the federal level, and enshrined in an amendment to our great Constitution. So, with privacy on our minds, I encourage you to go visit Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center as a way of getting up to speed with the world of privacy advocacy, activism, and watchdogging.

And, if you want to pursue open government, transparency, and the freedom of information a little further, then Transparency International, Open Government Information Awareness, Access Reports,, and Open Society Justice Initiative can bring you up to speed.