Stupid Things We Learn From Cop ShowsSubmitted by go213mph on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 08:15
NCIS. It’s one of the top shows on TV, and why not? Likeable, complex characters with real problems in semi-believable situations, catching the bad guys by the end of every episode. OK, sometimes it takes two episodes. But they always catch them. And you know why? Because they have endless resources at their disposal. For instance, they know some bad guys have been staying in a house, so they ‘send in a team’ and within a few hours they’ve processed and identified every fingerprint anywhere in the house. That Abby, she’s a genius. Need to run some DNA? No prob. Give her a Caf-Pow and she can have the results for you in no time, even though regular law enforcement labs are backed up for months or even years. And then you know what? With Timmy’s help she can run facial recognition on that blurry photo against every database in the nation. And the same goes for driver’s licenses, bank accounts, credit cards, vehicle records, phone records, you name it. Any digital information stored about any person, and NCIS can get it in a matter of seconds because Tim is such an amazing hacker.
Wait, what? Why does Tim have to be a hacker? Shouldn’t the government have access to all that data legally? Yeah, that’s what they want you to think. So many shows out there portray government & law enforcement as our infallible, benevolent protectors. They go where the evidence leads, they follow their gut and they never, NEVER get the wrong man. These shows do so much to make you trust your government. They want you to believe that law enforcement should have access to all information about everyone, all the time. But not you personally, of course. Only the bad people; only the ones they are trying to catch.
The truth is, by constitutional law personal information is strictly protected. The text of the Fourth Amendment reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”