Would James Madison, for example, agree with some current interpretations of the Fourth Amendment, which hold that old-fashioned letters stored in a dresser drawer enjoy stronger legal protection against search and seizure than an e-mail stored on the Web or a private post left for a friend on Facebook?
In a world where every computer is connected, where it doesn’t matter whether your e-mail is on the hard drive in your bedroom or a server half a world away, where your critical company documents can be viewed from anywhere, where would the Founding Fathers draw the line for law enforcement? The “cloud,” already well formed with Hotmail and Google docs, is a potential treasure trove for police investigators. But how can we make sure the cloud doesn’t rain all over Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights to avoid unfair searches?
Graham identifies four forces: 1. The Internet’s open platform fosters innovation at hacker speeds instead of big company speeds. 2. Moore’s Law worked its magic on Internet bandwidth. 3. Piracy taught a new generation of users it’s more convenient to watch shows on a computer screen. 4. Social applications made everybody from grandmas to 14-year-old girls want computers — in a three-word-nutshell, Facebook killed TV.