Silverman v. United States 365 U.S. 505 (1961)

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SILVERMAN v. UNITED STATES 365 U.S. 505 (1961)

To investigate gambling, district of columbia police officers inserted a microphone into a wall. The device touched a heating duct, enabling the police to overhear conversations throughout the house.

In Goldman v. United States (1942) the Court had afforded no constitutional protection against a microphone placed against a wall. By 1961 the Court, concerned about new methods of electronic surveillance, ruled that because there was a physical penetration, albeit only a few inches, the overhearing was subject to the fourth amendment with no need to reconsider Goldman or earlier cases; that reconsideration occurred in katz v. united states (1967).

Herman Schwartz

(see also: Electronic Eavesdropping.)

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Silverman v. United States 365 U.S. 505 (1961)

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