A local school district remotely activates laptop web cameras that allegedly record the activities of students, even in their bedrooms.1 The President authorizes the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor the telephone calls and electronic communications of individuals within the United States on an unprecedented scale in the interest of national security.2 Even a cursory examination of the news suggests that the activities and communications of Americans are increasingly subject to government surveillance from every level of government. Whatever we may think about the necessity for this surveillance, we should question how such programs come into being; in other words, who made the decision to use web cameras or wiretap international communications and how was that decision made and how did the government decide when to turn on a particular web camera or to monitor a particular telephone call or e-mail? And, for the purposes of this discussion, what does the United States Constitution have to say about both of these processes?


Constitutional Law, Civil/Individual Rights covering U.S., E.E.O.C., Privacy

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Widener Law Journal

Publication Information

19 Widener Law Journal 873 (2010)


COinS Raymond Shih Ray Ku Faculty Bio