Historic Surveillance

Government surveillance using technology is not a new problem. For decades, the Supreme Court has struggled to define the Fourth Amendment limits on new technology. In 1967, the Court decided Katz v. United States, overruled Olmstead v. United States and held that wiretapping constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and requires a warrant.

This map shows the complete 3-degree citation network linking Katz back to Olmstead. Katz marked a vindication of Justice Brandeis’ famous dissent in Olmstead in which presciently observed: “The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wire tapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home… Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?”

This network thus features cases that develop the "search" concept in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Please note that the embedded map shows the two-degree network using a Spaeth projection. Click the map to view other options.