US Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor warns Americans about drones
Sotomayor: Americans Should be Alarmed by Spread of Drones
Wall Street Journal | September 12, 2014
Americans should be more concerned about their privacy being invaded by the spread of drones, Justice Sonia Sotomayor told an Oklahoma City audience on Thursday.
Speaking before a group of faculty members and students at Oklahoma City University’s law school on Sept. 11, Justice Sotomayor said “frightening” changes in surveillance technology should encourage citizens to take a more active role in the privacy debate. She said she’s particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.
Said Justice Sotomayor:
There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don’t like the fact that someone I don’t know…can pick up, if they’re a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property.
Technological advances make it possible for devices to “listen to your conversations from miles away and through your walls,” Justice Sotomayor said. “We are in that brave new world, and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too.”
Justice Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice, also talked about diversity on the high court bench, saying there was still room for improvement in areas beyond race, ethnicity and gender.
“We don’t have one criminal defense lawyer on our court,” she said, saying the high court also lacked justices with big law experience or who come from solo practices. “There’s something not good about that.”
“The president should be paying attention to that broader diversity question,” she said, according to a report in the Oklahoman.
Justice Sotomayor, whose visit to the school coincided with 9/11 ceremonies, also spoke about lessons that Americans could draw from the 2001 terror attacks.
“I learned what being a united America was like,” the native New Yorker said, according to the Oklahoman. “I watched people see past their differences and find their commonality.”