Supreme Court doesn’t know the importance of a Skypager
I’ll leave our Kashmir Hill to discuss the complex issues going on in today’s Supreme Court case City of Ontario v. Quon, in which a SWAT officer, Jeff Quon, claimed his privacy had been invaded after his police department audited his pager and discovered he’d been sexting with some lovely ladies.
What I’m more interested is how clueless apparently our Supreme Court of the United States, especially its right-ward members, are when it comes to the mobile technologies involved in the case. From Ashby Jones in the Wall Street Journal, quoting the blog DC Dicta:
According to the story, the first sign of trouble came was about midway through the argument, when Chief Justice John Roberts asked what the difference was “between email and a pager?” (Cue sound of hard slap against forehead.)
At another point, Justice Anthony Kennedy asked what would happen if a text message was sent to an officer at the same time he was sending one to someone else.
“Does it say: ‘Your call is important to us, and we will get back to you?’” Kennedy asked. (Cue sound of louder slap against forehead.)
Justice Antonin Scalia stumbled getting his arms around with the idea of a service provider.
“You mean (the text) doesn’t go right to me?” he asked.
Then he asked whether they can be printed out in hard copy.
“Could Quon print these spicy little conversations and send them to his buddies?” Scalia asked.
As a solution to the Court’s techno-illiteracy, may I recommend they have a listen to A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Skypager’?
After we’re done with that, we can then move on up to bagphones, and finally, the Motorola StarTAC that may dad carried around for way too many years past its prime. Then we can start talking about iPhones and Bluetooths and so on, alright?