The thesis will conclude by identifying issues that courts and legislatures will have to address in the coming years to adequately deliver justice in a dynamic society that is prone to powerful technological change.; Though the Internet and social media are fairly recent developments, the legal principles and issues embodied in them are well-represented in the Constitution. Take, for example, the freedom of expression enumerated in the First Amendment. Though traditionally in print, pamphlets, and film, recent developments in technology such as Facebook and blogs have become the new standard forms of communication. Like the physical mediums that arose before them, issues arise of what limits, if any, should be placed on the speech. Given the guise of anonymity, people on the Internet have less accountability in the comments they make, which has led to things ranging from passionate political speech to what is known as cyber-bullying, which is online harassment that has led people to suicide. This thesis, however, will primarily focus on the Fourth Amendment's reasonable expectation of privacy. Because the information involved with the Internet and social media is digital, it is more difficult to identify when privacy has been breached. With a paper envelope, for example, one can tell if the seal was broken and the contents were potentially disclosed to an unwanted party. Electronically, however, no such seal exists to notify the sender or recipient of a communication. Furthermore, the Government has found itself under stricter scrutiny for searches with these new developments in technology; the lack of physical intrusion poses difficult questions for courts that must decide how far a reasonable expectation of privacy goes in the social media age. The thesis will also address how private companies obtain and use individuals' information through the services they provide and the issues that arise from them. Private companies have fewer restrictions than the Government, and both perspectives are important to keep in mind when trying to understand the policy implications rapid technological growth has brought about.


If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Thesis Completion





Wood, Robert


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Legal Studies


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Legal Studies Commons