Using “Ultra-Broadband” Wireless Internet to track criminals
Upon hearing this idea, some people will decry the federal invasion of privacy as a violation of first amendment rights. But such an argument is a double-edged sword. Individual citizens also have the first amendment right to publish information about convicted criminals living in their own neighborhoods. Since all criminal proceedings are public records, there is nothing to stop individuals from creating maps of where released and paroled and criminals are living. Individual initiative is going to be used to track criminal offenders on the Internet. In fact, a national database on convicted sex offenders is already available.
The availability and speed of wireless broadband is going to soon expand to a speed that will allow any individual to use real-time video rendering of 3-D maps depicting every square foot of the earth on all types of portable devices.
A simple background check is all that is needed to set up such a nation-wide network. It in fact, such a system already exists. Anyone can pay for a background check for any individual. Websites exist which compile information about individuals and will sell you a complete background check for as little as $9.95. However, the information is free. If you know where to look for each record, you can compile most of this information without any legal regulations.
As a public school teacher in the state of Florida, I am often surprised at how little privacy I have under the law. Some states have laws that prohibit employers from asking applicants to disclose their arrest records unless they were convicted of felonies. Only when hired, are employees subject to a background check. However, in my school district each applicant is asked to disclose not only their conviction record, both felonies and misdemeanors, but also all arrests and even non-criminal traffic tickets. I am also required by law to report any arrest – even a criminal traffic violation – to my school district within 48 hours of the event. I was somewhat shocked that this is allowable, but Florida’s laws don’t protect the so-called “right to privacy” to the same extent as other states.
People are tired of those who prey on young people, so the public’s desire to see criminal offenders ferreted out before any damage can be done overrides any “right to privacy.” I would be surprised if most churches won’t soon require this level of scrutiny for all ministers ordained within their denominations.
While I agree that there is not a “right to privacy” in the constitution (as pro-abortion advocates argued in Roe v. Wade) I am just as concerned as anyone about government intrusion into my private life. Even though I don’t have a God-given “right to privacy,” it is not the civil government’s role to monitor the lives of its citizens on a minute level.
But we live in a changing world. All information on criminal arrests, court proceedings and convictions has long been public record. Those with the time and money to research could always investigate and find out a lot of information about anyone. However, now the Internet makes this information available to anyone at a low cost and at a high rate of convenience.
Soon it will become obvious that having a national database of all criminal records is the way to help put a stop to crime. Currently, a person may hide his past record from friends and neighbors and is only required to divulge his criminal record to employers. But when each person is exposed to public scrutiny, the public embarrassment of being known as a criminal offender will be enough to deter many crimes from happening in the first place.