25FEB11 Social Media and Jury Duty

Something tells me I won't be serving on a jury anytime soon, or maybe I won't be selected for a jury anytime soon in spite of being in the pool. Why you might ask? Well, I'm blogging and I'm all over Facebook as well... And cartooning... So, my opinions are out there, and with my views on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Rule of Law I know some District Attorney (or even Public Defender/Defense Attorney) will likely seek to disqualify me from selection. From what I've read here in Network World News and the link to the Wall Street Journal its apparently the latest trend. Not only has the jury become rigged with Jury Consultants running around town looking at where potential jurors work, live, and even shop; now they go further by using the hacking technique called 'social engineering' (one of the oldest tricks in the book, predating computers by being around since the beginning of time).

You really can't hammer these lawyers too badly, as some people (myself included, namely because I have a public blog where I post my opinions quite openly) don't give a darn about privacy at all. Their Facebook and MySpace pages are open to the world. Lawyers, jury consultants, and even judges tend to exploit this in various ways (do read the articles...). I can't say I'm too terribly depressed about not being hit with jury duty, and likely never going to get selected due to my views... But I'm also angry because of the manner in which these attorneys have found a loophole around the Constitution and the manner specified for jury selection that has been used for centuries. But then, they are attorneys, and folks post without thinking on Facebook (or they just don't know about privacy settings and carefully picking their friends). I still find the idea of jury consultants disgusting, this doesn't even allow for a truly random jury pool from the start in my opinion. Get rid of the consultants, let the attorneys dig on the Internet when they question the jurors in the courtroom!

Then we have states like Maryland (east coast Liberals, what else do you expect?!) which allowed their Department of Corrections to demand user names and passwords in order to keep a job?! While I don't believe the ACLU really to have American Liberty at the heart of their organization, sometimes they do get things right in some cases (even a blind squirrel gets the nut sometimes...); especially in the case this case. Its one thing for an agency to have specific guidelines for social media (perhaps restricting access to it on State or Federal computer systems...), but its absolutely another to require that personnel turn over PRIVATE user names and passwords over for months at a time. Thats just pure exploitation. Thats just Big Brother Big Government right there for you (no matter the party name!).

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