Under a Watchful Eye

Privacy Rights and Criminal Justice

by William P. Bloss
Foreword by Rolando V. del Carmen


The right to privacy is a fundamental civil liberty, deeply rooted in American law and culture. Yet, with recent changes in the political and legal landscape, almost anyone can become the focus of criminal investigation during which justice officials can violate the privacy of a person's body, place, expression, communication, identity, or property.

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Cover image for Under a Watchful Eye

June 2009


Pages 275
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Crime/General

Throwing light on a timely and controversial subject, this volume considers the privacy rights of alleged criminals, convicted criminals, crime victims, and justice personnel—and the violation of those rights—in light of post-9/11 privacy policy changes.

This revealing book answers many crucial questions. What legal surveillance, search, and seizure authority do criminal justice officials have when investigating crimes, monitoring criminals, or regulating justice personnel? What factors have contributed to changing guidelines and practices? What protections do persons have when they interact with the criminal justice system? What are the privacy implications of surveillance and search practices in public places, such as schools, workplaces, or public areas? What methods and technologies are used in surveillance, search, or seizure? How do we balance individual privacy rights against public safety?

Using real-life stories, Under a Watchful Eye: Privacy Rights and Criminal Justice reveals the threats to personal privacy when individuals come under investigation—whether warranted or not. Covering privacy of the home, workplace, computer, personal records and communications, and other areas of personal concern, this book is an important reminder that, when it comes to invasion of privacy, we are all vulnerable.


  • Shows how the criminal justice system can and does invade personal privacy
  • Includes real-life stories and anecdotes to illustrate points
  • Reviews key privacy rights and expectations for people in all areas of their private lives
Author Info

William P. Bloss is professor of criminal justice and director of the International Criminal Justice Studies Program at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He has numerous academic and government publications on law and criminal justice topics including his latest book, Transnational Crime and Terrorism in a Global Context. Professor Bloss is actively involved in teaching, research, and consulting with government agencies. He is an advisor to international and U.S. academic publications and has been nationally recognized for teaching excellence. He regularly acts as a print and broadcast media source and public speaker on crime and criminal justice issues; both nationally and internationally.



"Bloss (criminal justice, The Citadel) explores recent changes in the US legal system that affect the right to privacy and uses real-life stories to illustrate these vulnerabilities in a post 9/11 world. Written for both students of criminal justice and general readers, this book analyzes the increased investigative authority resulting from new policies of public safety and shows how citizens are more vulnerable in terms of surveillance, search and seizure practices. The methods and technologies used to monitor homes, schools, workplaces, communications, computers and personal documents are also revealed."—Reference & Research Book News

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