US Supreme Court Judges show ignorance of technology

The robed but unwigged ones who rule on US law are showing themselves surprisingly out of touch when comes to technology.

The Supreme Court justices are set to rule on some fairly important technology cases soon, but are showing that they are so out of touch with the issues that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

Take, for example, the City of Ontario versus Quon where it has to be decided if a California police department violated the constitutional rights of an employee when it inspected personal text messages sent and received by a pager owned by the city.

M’ Luds asked some questions of the lawyers which were right up there with “who are the Beatles?”.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked what the difference was “between email and a pager?”

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.

Justice Antonin Scalia had difficulty with the concept of an ISP.

“You mean (the text) doesn’t go right to me?” and then asked if SMSes could be printed out and sent to mates.

Well, it amuses the Wall Street Journal but it does cause problems for the law as these guys are ruling on cases were a micron of technology knowledge is vital.