New law review article: "The Fourth Amendment and the Brave New World of Online Social Networking"

The Fourth Amendment and the Brave New World of Online Social Networking by Nathan Petrashek, 93 Marq. L. Rev. 1495 (2010): No phenomenon is more demonstrative of the brave new technological world than online social networking. Each day, millions of Americans log on to social networking web sites, whose astonishingly rapid user growth has turned many into multi-billion-dollar marketing machines. But wholly aside from their business impact, these web services perform important social functions by allowing users to meet or remain in touch with others, share ideas, start organizations, and generally contribute to a vibrant and open society. Left unstated by Justice Thomas is his notion of how the thorny legal issues surrounding this new communicative forum should be resolved. Existing Fourth Amendment doctrine is ill-equipped to handle the convergence of the public and the private; generally, one loses all privacy expectations in what is shared with the world. Though this tension between constitutional doctrine and social practice has yet to play out in the courts, it may soon do so.

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