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Thread: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    You know, I have always been quite an advocate against government spying on people, but he was texting his messages on a phone that the government, HIS EMPLOYER, provided. I think his right to privacy ended with that. Now, if it was his own phone, it would be a different story, but don't you think that, if his employer is paying for the phone, then they have a right to monitor what he does with it? After all, it's not his property. It's his employer's property. This is how I think SCOTUS will rule.

    Discussion?

    Article is here.
    I would assume no right to privacy on my employer's equipment. Most employers monitor internet usage and actively block sites they don't want their employees to visit.

    Knowing that the contents of texts might be saved at the wireless service provider, I wouldn't send messages with private information or that would embarrass me.

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    Having worked for the government a bit, I can assure you that he was notified that everything he did on work equipment (which included that phone) was monitored. Many people choose to ignore that notification, though, and assume that they're not REALLY reading everything you type.
    The city's policy seems pretty clear and Quon signed an agreement:
    (from the article in the OP)
    Quon signed a statement acknowledging that "use of these tools for personal benefit is a significant violation of City of Ontario Policy" and that "users should have no expectation of privacy or confidentiality when using these resources."
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Hmm, it's a tricky case I think. On one hand, it wasn't his phone and the owner of the phone may be able to look through the messages. On the other hand, there is clearly the 4th amendment. I think it's probably best to err on the side of the 4th amendment though.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    In my opinion if you accept a service from your job you are at your boss' mercy.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    I would assume no right to privacy on my employer's equipment. Most employers monitor internet usage and actively block sites they don't want their employees to visit.

    Knowing that the contents of texts might be saved at the wireless service provider, I wouldn't send messages with private information or that would embarrass me.



    The city's policy seems pretty clear and Quon signed an agreement:
    (from the article in the OP)
    Exactly. I've signed many of those myself. And believe me, I never took for granted that everything I did was monitored. I watched numerous people escorted out by guards who DID take that for granted though. LOL

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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Hmm, it's a tricky case I think. On one hand, it wasn't his phone and the owner of the phone may be able to look through the messages. On the other hand, there is clearly the 4th amendment. I think it's probably best to err on the side of the 4th amendment though.
    I respectfully disagree with you here. Any right is a right as long as it does not infringe on the rights of someone else. The way I see it, the phone was his employer's property, and he was notified in advance that he could be monitored. You can't argue 4th amendment here because the claim to a 4th amendment right would violate the employer's right of ownership of their own property.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Does the 4th Amendment even apply in this case at all though? The officer is not being charged with any crime, from what I read. It seems like they were just going to punish him for it, either through disciplinary actions or firing. From what I've read and the cases that have gone to the Supreme Court over the 4th Amendment since MURRAY'S LESSEE V. HOBOKEN LAND & IMPROVEMENT CO., 59 U. S. 272 (1856), the 4th Amendment only applies to criminal cases, not civil cases.

    And, besides, as far as I see it, he signed an agreement that said that he understood that the device was subject to monitoring. Whether it actually was being monitored or not, before this instance, doesn't nullify the agreement he signed.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    I respectfully disagree with you here. Any right is a right as long as it does not infringe on the rights of someone else. The way I see it, the phone was his employer's property, and he was notified in advance that he could be monitored. You can't argue 4th amendment here because the claim to a 4th amendment right would violate the employer's right of ownership of their own property.
    No I get you argument fully. You are pretty much right. My only concern about it is how far would the government take this. Would they understand a "property rights" sort of argument, or would they see the doors flung open sort of case. I don't trust the government, in which case I'd side with more 4th amendment. But you are right and if this were private business I'd be right there with you. I just don't think government is terribly reasonable when it comes to power.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    That idiot of a cop used a device owned by his employer to send messages he knew could and would be monitored. I wish the Supreme Court would stop bothering with such petty issues and deal with issues which are actually divisive like gay marriage.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    No I get you argument fully. You are pretty much right. My only concern about it is how far would the government take this. Would they understand a "property rights" sort of argument, or would they see the doors flung open sort of case. I don't trust the government, in which case I'd side with more 4th amendment. But you are right and if this were private business I'd be right there with you. I just don't think government is terribly reasonable when it comes to power.
    I think I can agree with your sentiments here. After all, the government does not have a very good record at protecting the privacy of it's citizens.
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    Re: Supreme Court to hear texting privacy case

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Does the 4th Amendment even apply in this case at all though? The officer is not being charged with any crime, from what I read. It seems like they were just going to punish him for it, either through disciplinary actions or firing. From what I've read and the cases that have gone to the Supreme Court over the 4th Amendment since MURRAY'S LESSEE V. HOBOKEN LAND & IMPROVEMENT CO., 59 U. S. 272 (1856), the 4th Amendment only applies to criminal cases, not civil cases.
    I think the only reason the 4th is involved is the employer is the government. A big stretch.

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