The Supreme Court has dealt privacy advocates a huge setback. By a 5-3 majority, the court ruled that people who sue the government for invading their privacy can only recover out-of-pocket damages. And whistle-blower lawyers say that leaves victims who suffer emotional trouble and smeared reputations with few if any options.
Justice Samuel Alito and all four of his conservative colleagues turned back a challenge from a pilot named Stan Cooper. (Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case.)
"I'm very sorry about Tyler," Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student convicted of a crime for spying on his roommate, tells The New Jersey Star-Ledger this morning. "I have parents and a little brother, and I can only try to imagine how they feel. But I want the Clementis to know I had no problem with their son. I didn't hate Tyler and I knew he was okay with me. I wanted to talk to his parents, but I was afraid. I didn't know what to say."
How would it feel if you were in a job interview and the prospective employer asked for your username and password to see your Facebook profile? Robert Collins says he felt "violated."
"I felt disrespected. I felt that my privacy was invaded," he tells All Things Considered host Robert Siegel, "but not only my privacy, the privacy of my friends and that of my family that didn't ask for that."