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Commerce and Fourth Amendment Freedoms - article

by Ed Dolan from Nouriel Roubini's Economonitor site.

Among other things gets into the Founder's economic
reasons for opposing general warrants (the NSA snooping
amounts to general warrants on steroids), the economic
fallout for big US tech companies and the coming balkanization
of the Internet.

"...in addition to political theory and personal experience, commercial considerations also appear to have played a role in framing the fourth amendment. Many of the founders, such as Bill of Rights backers John Adams and Elbridge Gerry, were active in commerce or came from commercial families. In 1761, a group of 50 Boston merchants petitioned a court for relief from abusive general warrants and writs of assistance. A young John Adams, who listened in on the proceedings, is said to have regarded this as “the spark which originated the American Revolution.”

Fourth amendment rights today: The case of e-commerce

Violation of an inherent right is wrong in itself, whether or not the victim can prove actual damages. Still, as the founders knew, exposure to unreasonable searches and seizures can do real economic harm. That remains true today, as we can see from the case of e-commerce..."

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