Sea of Noise

Thu, 16 Dec 2004

John Perry Barlow Busted, Fights Back

John Perry Barlow got busted at the airport for ("allegedly") carrying a small quantity of drugs in the depths of his suitcase. He's fighting back. Good for you, man!

Now the more authoritarian among you might say that if these searches reveal other, non-terror-related, criminal activity, then so much the better. The 4th Amendment should provide no sanctuary for the guilty, whatever their crimes. But randomly searching people's homes against the possibility that someone might have a bio-warfare lab in his basement would reveal a lot of criminal activity. And it is certainly true that such searches would reduce the possibility of anthrax attacks and enhance public safety. Still, I doubt you're ready to go there. Yet. Given a few exotic outbreaks, you might be. Should that day come, would you still believe such searches should not be precisely limited? This may seem hyperbolic, and of course it is, but it's actually a fairly short conceptual distance away from what's going on in the nation's airports at present.

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