Unlike postal mail or, later, the telephone, telegrams never received constitutional protection. Yet they were the quintessential nineteenth-century technology of communication, used extensively for business, government, and personal communication, much of which both senders and receivers would have wished to keep to themselves.
Misunderstanding the different balances required in private vs. public spheres was one of the fundamental misunderstandings of the recent Universities UK guidance, which argued that speakers’ freedom of religion and speech could trump anti-discrimination laws at on-campus debates — meaning that audiences might be segregated by sex.
I’ve been working on my dissertation for a few months now (it looks at American privacy law over some 150 years, and investigates how technology interacts with that law). Some of that work will emerge here in draft form eventually, but for now I’ve been thinking about the theoretical/critical framework for my work. Much of this framework will be implicit — since I’m writing a dissertation in history — but it will guide me nonetheless. It will develop throughout the writing process, but here are some initial thoughts.
I’ve been noticing a trend to call the activities of the NSA — as revealed by Edward Snowden — “clearly unconstitutional.” I disagree.
“Liberty of contract” had originally been envisioned as a means of protecting individual rights from government interference, but decisions implementing it ended up justifying federal government intervention.
Does this rape defense sound familiar to anyone else? “Man is susceptible to the inclinations of the female sex.”
A prosecutor has to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt — and if they don’t, then a jury is expected to acquit.