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American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Records - Guide to Selected Case Files: Privacy and Technology

The ACLU of Georgia's records are housed at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. This guide provides further description about the cases litigated by the ACLU of Georgia which are best documented in the records.

Description

The U.S. Constitution neither makes mention of nor explicitly protects an individual’s right to privacy. However, the concept of a right to privacy in varying contexts has developed through the courts. Courts have held that other constitutional provisions, like the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure, the Ninth Amendment’s recognition that rights exist outside of those listed in the Constitution, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause, implicitly guarantee a right to privacy. Thus, individuals now generally have a right to privacy in several contexts, including their home, marital relationships, and communications.


As technology advances and more of our information is susceptible to data breach or review by private and public entities, lawmakers constantly work to ensure the law advances to protect the right to privacy. The ACLU of Georgia believes in an individual’s right to privacy and works to ensure that this right is upheld in the face of technological and societal changes.

Cases

ACLU v. Miller, 1996-1999

General Description: Internet Privacy

Summary of the Issues Involved: Georgia law made it a crime to knowingly engage in internet transmissions that falsely identify the user or used logos, trademarks, or other copyrighted symbols that falsely imply the user is authorized to use them. Plaintiffs challenged that law on the grounds that it placed unconstitutional restrictions on their internet usage. After granting the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia permanently enjoined enforcement of the law.

 

Gwinnett County Internet Blocking

General Description: Internet Use

Summary of the Issues Involved: The ACLU of Georgia conducted an investigation on the alleged blocking of websites deemed to be obscene or related to hate speech on public computers at the Gwinnett County Public Library.