3 posts categorized "H2H: Not a Suicide Pact"

September 22, 2006

"Not a Suicide Pact": Round Two

Debate Series: Stone Offers A Proposal

I don’t agree that the public “has already surrendered much of its communicative privacy by its profligate use” of modern means of technology that “create essentially indelible records” of our communications, purchases, etc. Certainly, it’s true that most people have embraced cells phones, email, and the internet without paying much, if any, attention to the extraordinary invasions of privacy they make possible. But this will change once people come to understand how vulnerable they are. It’s a bit like electronic bugging and wiretapping in the first half of the twentieth century. It took fifty years for courts and legislatures to begin regulating such conduct, but once people realized the danger, government electronic surveillance was declared unconstitutional and private electronic surveillance was declared unlawful. The same will happen with respect to the modern means of communication. Once people recognize the danger, they will insist on regulation. So, I wouldn’t leap to the conclusion that the public has “surrendered” its privacy. We are merely in transition.

(again, rest of Stone and response from Posner after the jump)

Continue reading ""Not a Suicide Pact": Round Two" »

September 21, 2006

"Not a Suicide Pact": Round One

Stone Seeks Common Ground

Over the past year, Judge Posner and I have had many opportunities, both public and private, to debate the nation's response to the war on terrorism. In simple terms, I consider myself a "civil libertarian," whereas he describes yourself as a "pragmatist." Not surprisingly, we disagree on many issues. I usually argue that restrictions of civil liberties should be a last resort, considered only after we are satisfied that the government has taken all other reasonable steps to keep us safe. He usually argues that restrictions of civil liberties are warranted whenever the benefit to be derived from those restrictions in terms of increased security "outweigh" the cost to society of limiting the rights. Despite our disagreements, we have increasingly found common ground. I think it will be useful to explore our similarities, rather than our differences, to see if we can agree on some recommendations.

(after the jump, see the rest of Stone's argument, followed by Posner's)

Continue reading ""Not a Suicide Pact": Round One" »

H2H: Not A Suicide Pact

Another entry in our continuing series of "Head to Head" debates. Over on the American Constitution Society Blog, Judge Richard Posner and Professor Geoffrey Stone are having a debate

in recognition of the publication of Judge Richard Posner's latest book, Not A Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency. This debate continues their long-running discussion about civil liberties in wartime. We'll be posting the content here, although you are more than welcome to check it out at the ACSBlog as well.