Fourth Amendment And Social Media Research Paper


Legal Issues in Criminal Justice This case addresses an incident in which a supervising Sheriff learns that Officer Narcissus has accessed pornographic images of children via the department's computer that is located in his office. The Sheriff seized the computer, the Officer protested vigorously and was arrested by the Sheriff. The following legal cases apply: U.S. v. Ziegler, 474 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2007): An employer can give consent to official searches of an organization's computers despite any expectation of privacy in work computers that employees may have. Although an explicit policy regarding use of departmental computers, its absence does not preclude a warrantless search of the computer when misconduct is suspected. U.S. v. Barrows, 481 F.3d 1246 (10th Cir. 2007): If a personal computer may be searched if two conditions apply: 1) the personal computer was connected to the employer's network, and 2) the employee takes no steps to shield its contents...


The Barrows standard is higher than what is needed in this case since the Sheriff's Department owns the computer in question. O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. At 723 (1986): The Fourth Amendment will be satisfied when a government employer conducts a search in the process of investigating work-related misconduct, presuming the inception and scope of the search is reasonable. Complaints from the community and other employees provide sufficient basis for the investigation of misconduct by Officer Narcissus by the Sheriff.

The Fourth Amendment was originally focused on preserving the integrity of an individual's home and personal belongings that were kept in the home. Popularly, the principles behind the Fourth Amendment are associated with property and privacy that predate the electronic world that citizens inhabit today. The fundamentals of the Fourth Amendment still apply in the original…

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