Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia got an incredibly astute question from a law student Friday night that could have huge implications for the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs.
Scalia made it clear the issue would likely come before the high court, and he hinted he would rule that “conversations” (i.e., the conversations the government might listen to) aren’t protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment, Scalia pointed out, prohibits the government from searching your “persons, houses, papers, and effects” without a warrant — not “conversations.”
However, one student asked the justice whether data in a computer might be considered “effects” under the Fourth Amendment, an interpretation that would prohibit the NSA’s capture of communications over the Internet.
Scalia, who’s remarkably avuncular in person, was visibly pleased by the question but said he “better not answer that.”
“That is something that may well come up [before the Supreme Court],” Scalia added.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.