State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Privacy & Text Messages

There is a growing debate over whether or not the information sent via text message should be protected under the 4th amendment... a specific case involves a police officer who answered a beeping cell phone and saw a text message strongly implacating the owner of the phone in the beating death of a 6 yr old. Had that message been exchanged verbally it wouldve been considered private, or had it been written and in the persons house, a warrant would be needed to recieve the information. The ethics dilemma arises when one tries to place a label on what content is private and what is not. Police are not lalowed to place a tap on a persons phone to listen in to their private conversations without the proper warrant, is a text message really any less private? I think any information exchanged over a cell phone is explicitly private unless it is posted in a public forumn where privacy rights are waved and the person has a chance to accept or decline their rights.

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