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May 06, 2002
Dr. Volohk's Ammendment Challenge

Eugene Volokh has an interesting challenge to come up with an amendment to the Constitution. My submission is the Technology Freedom Amendment

In furtherance of Amendments I and II of the U.S. Constitution, Congress and the States shall make no law restricting the right of the people to own and utilize Technology. Technology shall not be limited to and shall include firearms, software in source and object code, and scientific processes. Nothing in this amendment shall limit the right of Congress or the States to pass laws regulating the use of Technology in commission of violent crimes, property crimes, and intellectual property crimes. However, all laws regulating the subsequent use of Technology shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

The current debates about many of the most annoying freedom issue in the US really boil down to a desire to limit the access and ownership of certain tools so as to possibly increase the social welfare. This line begins to blur as the definition to "tool" and "speech" cross at computer source code. By stating the inalienable right of humans to own and use tools in a presumptive libertarian way and thus subjecting the use regulations to strict scrutiny it becomes clear that punishing bad behavior instead of potential bad behavior at the cost of innovation and the natural benefits of tool use to the human is what is acceptable in a truly free society. Owning burglars tools and using them to open your own door is fine. Using them in the commission of a burglary can be punished. Same for Guns in a murder or decryption source code in a piracy ring.

Ah the sanity this could bring!

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