Scalia: Dogs are not new technology
Seriously. The Supreme Court Justice is reported to have said, "This is not a new technology. This is a dog." More to the point, Justice O'Connor said, "A dog sniff is not a search." The question before them was whether the police can use a dog to sniff for drugs during a routine traffic stop. I myself am sympathetic to Justice Souter's point of view:
If the use of a sniffing dog is not a search, "why can't police go up to the front door of every house on the street?" asked Souter. When the homeowner comes to the door, the dog could sniff for drugs inside, he said.
I'm afraid that this has some scary implications for technological searching as well. If the court argues that a drug sniffing dog is not a search because dogs aren't people, then by extension computers aren't people either.
The full article is from last week's Los Angeles Times.