[bct] Re: Noisy neighbors

  • From: The Scarlet Wombat <coconut@xxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:50:35 -0500

Hi Mike, remember that I am not an attorney, just married to a soon to be one and have studied along with her in law school for the past 3 years.

Privacy rights are ticklish things as they are not enumerated in the Constitution. The first Supreme Court case delineating privacy rights was the famous Roe versus Wade. While I agree with the substance of the case, they had to truly torture the constitution in order to generate a privacy right that is not written in so many words.

This privacy issue goes to the heart of your question about security and surveillance. As I recall, there is a supreme court case that says it is legitimate if used for those purposes. In public places, there is generally no assumed right of privacy. The issue for recording a person from your apartment in their apartment lies mainely in the fact that it is not a public place. In many states, it would be legal to record a person's speech if they were standing next to you and talking on a cell phone, for example, as long as they could see the recorder. Some states do not even require seeing the recorder. Surveillance cameras are supposed to be visible, which is a very vague and ill defined term and covers a host of sins.

So, the very clear answer to your question is a solid maybe. But, when you begin to study the law, you soon find more issues are covered by maybe than by a definite yes or no.


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