This is a disturbing case out of Idaho. Because a developer has stated on his website that he likes “hacking” a judge has ruled that his 4th amendment rights are null and void.
The US District Court for the State of Idaho ruled that an ICS product developer’s computer could be seized without him being notified or even heard from in court primarily because he states on his web site “we like hacking things and don’t want to stop”.
Now, there is some controversy over the meaning of the word “hacker.” Those in the tech world claim that it is the media that has given the word “hacker” or “hacking” a negative connotation and that its original meaning referred to someone who is a computer programmer. They also claim that those that break into a computer or computer software illegally are referred to as “crackers.”
Here’s a reminder of exactly what the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution says,
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Whether or not this man is a hacker, cracker, or both, his 4th Amendment rights need to be upheld. There is no exception given in the amendment or the Constitution. Just because he claims to be a hacker, which may or may not be illegal, doesn’t mean he is one or that he’s ever committed a crime. Still, there is no excuse to strip him of his rights.
This could have far-reaching implications for Americans. Our courts cannot begin to come up with excuses to take our rights away. It is true that this has been a practice for decades and that our rights are slowly being taken away, but we must wake up, be vigilant, and fight this. One day it might be you, and then it will suddenly be very important to you and your family.
Should the members of the band “The Killers” be hauled in, arrested, and under search and seizure without due process because they have labeled themselves as killers? Should anyone that gives themselves a colorful name or description with an illegal connotation have their 4th amendment rights revoked because they label themselves as law breakers?
I believe that this is exactly what the 4th amendment is trying to avoid. Our government must have a valid reason and go through the proper steps to arrest us, search us and our property, and seize it. We must be secure and feel safe knowing that we are not going to be held and our property searched based on rumors or words someone uses that are misunderstood or exaggerated.
As home educators, we can teach our children the U.S. Constitution, teach them their rights, teach them to be involved in politics, and teach them to stand up for their rights. Our greatest hope for America is that one day informed homeschoolers who love America and understand its Constitution will become legislators, lawyers, and judges.
By Lori Camper