The “third-party problem”: one reason telegrams were not constitutionally protected

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.

Facebook’s core problem: customers vs. users

Facebook’s massive growth came because they gave users what they wanted: connect with your friends, see what their doing, conveniently share with them, and so on — and do it for free. But now they’re publicly traded, and satisfying users has become secondary to profit growth.

Contract law in the antebellum 19th century

The so-called “contracts clause” appears in Article I, section 10, clause 1 of the United States Constitution: “No State shall … pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.” What did this mean before the Civil War?

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