Download American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested by Frederick S. Lane PDF

By Frederick S. Lane

ISBN-10: 080700619X

ISBN-13: 9780807006191

ISBN-10: 0807044415

ISBN-13: 9780807044414

A sweeping tale of the precise to privateness because it sped alongside colonial postal routes, telegraph wires, and today’s fiber-optic cables on a collision direction with presidents and programmers, librarians and letter-writers.

''The heritage of the USA is the historical past of definitely the right to privacy,'' writes Frederick S. Lane during this brilliant and penetrating exploration of our so much hotly debated constitutional correct. From Governor William Bradford commencing colonists’ mail sure for England, to President George W. Bush’s expansive household wiretapping, the motivations at the back of executive surveillance have replaced little regardless of quick advances in communications know-how. but all too usually, americans were their very own worst enemies in terms of retaining privateness, compliantly forgoing civil liberties in severe occasions of conflict in addition to for daily patron conveniences. every one people now contributes to an ever-evolving digital file of on-line buying sprees, photograph albums, healthiness files, and political contributions, available to nearly an individual who cares to seem. In a digitized global the place facts lives endlessly, Lane urges us to think about even if privateness is even feasible. How did we arrive at this brink?

American Privacy strains the lineage of cultural norms and criminal mandates that experience swirled round the Fourth modification considering its adoption. In 1873, the advent of postcards cut up American opinion of public propriety. Over a century later, Twitter takes its position at the spectrum of human connection. among those nodes, Anthony Comstock waged an ethical campaign opposed to obscene literature, George Orwell penned 1984, Joseph McCarthy hunted Communists and ''perverts,'' President Richard Nixon surveilled himself correct out of place of work, and the ideally suited courtroom of the us issued its such a lot influential criminal critiques in regards to the correct to privateness up to now. Captured the following, those ancient snapshots upload as much as a full of life narration of privacy’s champions and challengers.

Legally, technologically, and traditionally grounded, American Privacy concludes with a choice for Congress to acknowledge how innovation and infringement pass hand-in-hand, and a problem to voters to guard privateness sooner than it truly is misplaced thoroughly.

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Extra resources for American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right

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The Seven Years’ War between Britain and France (which ran from 1756 to 1763) had spilled over to the American continent from Europe. In the New World, it became better known as the French and Indian War, due to the fact that Britain was fighting a fierce coalition of French soldiers and American Indian tribes, including the Algonquin, the Ojibwa, and the Shawnee, for control of North America. In general, colonial support for Britain’s military efforts was strong, in part because the mostly Protestant colonists feared the imposition of religious restrictions by the Catholic Church following a French victory, and in part because the colonists were eager for the economic opportunities offered by a British takeover of the French territories in the New World.

Postal Politics, Purity, and Privacy Sa c r i f i c i n g P e r s o n a l P r i va c y f o r Sp e e d Of the two inventions that Daguerre and Morse discussed in Paris, it was actually the humble telegram—notwithstanding its truncated syntax and flimsy feel—that had the most immediate impact on personal privacy. More than anything else, Morse’s telegraph convincingly illustrated that the average person was willing to trade the widely assumed and legally guaranteed privacy of personal communication by mail for speed and convenience.

Her confidence is unbounded in the integrity of postmen and bell-boys, while the latter may be seen any morning, sitting on the doorsteps of apartment houses, making merry over the post-card correspondence. The criticisms of epistolary curmudgeons notwithstanding, Americans demonstrated remarkable enthusiasm for the postcard. S. Post Office offered concrete evidence of just how popular postcards had become: for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, its postal carriers delivered 677,777,798 postcards—at a time when the entire population of the United States was less than 90 million.

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