STONY BROOK, N.Y., June 20, 2007—Mitchell Fourman of Stony Brook, a student at Stony Brook University, is the recipient of the Benjamin and David Scharpes Award, given to the winner of a SUNY-wide essay competition open to all juniors and seniors. Fourman’s essay on the legal topic Individual Privacy vs. National Security was the only one cited in the competition.
Fourman, a double major in political science and history who will be a senior next Fall, argued that “America was founded on the idea of community defense preserving individual freedom. Plainly spoken, without security or freedom from fear, one can barely…enjoy the ‘rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Those who wish complete privacy can do so in the wilds of Idaho or Montana without phones, computers, credit cards, or airplanes.”
Regarding the right to privacy, Fourman went on to write: “Change in society, especially with respect to technology, forced out courts to slowly modify…protections. Yet, this right is not absolute and laws limiting the privacy of one’s home or person are commonly accepted….”