In this lecture, Owen M. Fiss, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, examines the state of the constitutional rules protecting the privacy of telephone conversations. These rules were first announced by the Supreme Court in 1967, and then extended in 1972, but they are now greatly weakened. This turn of events is in part attributable to the general retrenchment of privacy rights that began in the mid-1970s and continues to this day. It is also linked to the events of September 11, 2001, which turned the fight against international terrorism into an urgent public issue and, Fiss argues, led to the compromise of fundamental principles of our constitutional order.
This talk is part of Lectures on Public Policy, an annual series at the Institute that addresses issues of broad import relevant to contemporary politics, social conditions, and scientific matters.