Chief Justice Roberts: the Internet is kind of a big deal

Earlier this week, Chief Justice John Roberts, addressed students at the Brigham Young University. According to a press account of the event:

Emerging technologies can create new questions about old laws. For example, imaging technology exists that allows law enforcement officers to see through walls. "Is that an unlimited search and seizure?" Roberts asked.

"People tend to be focused on what are the hot issues right now," he added. "Those are not the issues I think 25 years from now will be the ones people will look back on and say were significant."

As Professor Orin Kerr reminds us, Justice Samuel Alito made "a somewhat similar comment" last year:

What constitutes a "search and seizure" online is a critical law debate and is constantly reshaping the Fourth Amendment, he said. "Now we're entering this new virtual world," Alito said, "and we have to translate the precedents and principles we have dealing with physical grounds to the world of electronic communication."

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