This is 2014, where we now march on City Hall with wearable computers, augmented reality eyeware, and flying cameras for an aerial live stream. And phones, of course. Our digital selves – extensions of our eyes, ears, and voices – are in the public square along with our bodies.
My human rights and civil liberties don’t stop at my body. My devices, my digital prosthetics, are as much a part of me as my contact lenses or an insulin pump.
My rights – to assemble with others, to move freely, to keep private things private, to free political speech, to be free of unwarranted search or seizure, among others – apply to my devices and their contents as much as to my person.
At least I want them to.
When, exactly, may police look at your phone’s contents? Crack or bypass your login? Demand you surrender the code to your phone? The keys to your apps?
When did my right to fly a model airplane become limited? Balloons, drones, UAVs, and other flying robots are being banned by cities and states, with exceptions for law enforcement.
I’m not liking those bans. Governments and corporations (large markets ban on-premise photography) are silencing my senses, stifling my speech.
Oakland has been charged about government surveillance since DHS funded our Domain Awareness Center, a creepy digital spy office downtown. It feels like the local office of the NSA. Our concerns go back before that, I guess, to police inspecting the mobile phones of Occupy Oaklanders taken into custody. Do you think Oaklanders talk about police surveillance more than the rest of the Bay Area? Yep.
It’s still early days. Personal drones are still large with short flying times. Soon they’ll be insect-sized, cheap, nearly disposable, controlled from your iBans and your body network. How much access should anyone but you have to your feeds? How much control over those devices? Under who’s authority?
Constitutional drone law. Coming to a court near you.