Rights of the People: Individual Freedom and the Bill of Rights
An excellent article on the history and evolution of the the right of privacy in the United States. And it is from our Department of State! There are links to a whole set of articles on other Rights.
I think that the three references they start the article with neatly summarize why we think today that every indivuidual has the right to be free from governmental review of their activities and property without a court warrant.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated…
— Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The enumeration in the Constitution,
of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or
disparage others retained by the people.
— Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge
the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law.
— Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
(I wonder how much longer they will leave this page online?)
Some books that are referenced
For further reading:
Ellen Alderman and Carolyn Kennedy, The Right to Privacy (New York: Knopf, 1995).
David H. Flaherty, Protecting Privacy in Surveillance Societies (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989).
Richard F. Hixson, Privacy in a Public Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).
Philippa Strum, Privacy: The Debate in the United States since 1945 (Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1998).
Alan F. Westin, Privacy and Freedom (New York: Athenaeum, 1968).