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Kyllo against the United States

            One of the most important additions to the United States Constitution is that of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights contains our civil liberties, which guarantees citizens individual rights against intrusions by the federal and state government. The perception that human beings have inalienable rights and liberties that cannot be violated is not new. Philosophers like Socrates and Locke all preached about the importance of individual rights. This belief still holds some truth in our society today. In an age of modernization, the advancement of technology has posed some threat to our civil liberties. The development of technology has especially affected our right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment secures the right to privacy in the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects "the privacy and security of people's house's, papers and against unreasonable searches and seizures" (Barton pg. 2). If a search shall be conducted, a warrant shall be issued with probable cause. The court case Kyllo v. United States is the quintessential exemplar on how technology is affecting our civil liberties. .
             With the suspicion that marijuana was being grown in a house, and in particular a garage, federal agent William Elliot, used a thermal imaging device to scan the home of Danny Kyllo. When cultivating marijuana, high intensity heat lamps are generally used. Federal agent Elliot wanted to use the thermal imaging device to determine "if the amount of heat emanating from Kyllos home was consistent with that of high intensity lamps" (United States pg.1). While sitting in is vehicle, Elliot aimed the thermal imager at Kyllos house. "The scan showed that the roof of Kyllos garage and one side of the wall of the garage were hot compared to the rest of Kyllos home and in comparison to the rest of his neighbors" (United States pg.2). Using the information federal agent Elliot obtained in the scan, he was issued a warrant to search Kyllos home.

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