The Road Gets Tougher For The Buckeyes

Ohio State pulverized Penn State tonight, 78-54.  The Nittany Lions were just overmatched, as Ohio State improved to 6-2 in the Big Ten and 18-3 overall.

It was a good victory for the Buckeyes, who have won their last three games resoundingly after a tough loss to Illinois.  Tonight, the Ohio State offense was clicking, and for the third game in a row the Buckeyes’ defense held an opponent to 20 points or less in the first half.  The Buckeyes pulled away early, led by 20 at halftime, and Penn State never made it close during the second half.  Jared Sullinger scored 20 points and was unstoppable inside, William Buford and Aaron Craft also hit double figures, Deshuan Thomas chipped in 9 and had some fine assists and rebounds, and the Ohio State bench got plenty of playing time as a total of 10 players scored.

The Buckeyes currently are tied for the Big Ten lead, but their challenges gets tougher starting now.  Six of their last 10 Big Ten games are against three ranked teams — no. 11 Michigan State, no. 22 Michigan, and no. 25 Wisconsin.  Those just happen to be the three teams vying with the Buckeyes for the Big Ten lead.  In that stretch Ohio State also plays Illinois, which knocked off the Buckeyes two weeks ago, as well as always tough Purdue.  This is the stretch of games that will determine whether the Buckeyes are contenders or pretenders.

The first big game is Sunday, when the Michigan Wolverines come to the Schott.  Playing the arch-rival Wolverines is motivation enough — but Michigan also just happens to be tied with the Buckeyes for the Big Ten lead.

Reasonable Expectations Of Privacy In A Digital Age

Earlier this week the Supreme Court decided an interesting case that begins what will be a long process of determining how the criminal justice protections of the Constitution apply to knotty issues raised by our increasingly linked-in, networked, mobile device-oriented age.

The case raised the question of whether prosecutors could attach a GPS device to a suspect’s car and track its movements for 28 days without getting a warrant.  The Court ruled, unanimously, that such conduct constituted an unreasonable search and seizure.  However, the Court split on the question of the nature and extent of the constitutional violation.  The majority opinion focused on the fact that prosecutors had physically attached the device to the suspect’s vehicle without consent.  The concurring opinions, however, raised broader questions of how the government may apply electronic surveillance to suspects in an age where people carry cell phones and send unencrypted text messages and cars broadcast their locations.  Do we have as much of a reasonable expectation of privacy in such information as we do in, for example, documents kept in a file folder in a locked desk drawer in our homes?

The Supreme Court’s latest decision is an example of how the law often has to follow, and respond to, technology.  The Fourth Amendment language on searches and seizures and warrants was written in the days of travel on horseback, flintlock pistols, and communication limited to face to face conversations and written letters.  The Supreme Court has had to revisit how the Fourth Amendment applies with the development of the telegraph, the telephone, and the automobile, and now it will need to do so again in our mobile information age.

I’m glad the Court came down, unanimously, against a warrantless attachment of a GPS device on a car — but that seems like a pretty extreme case.  The closer cases will tell the tale.  And one of the fundamental questions is likely to be:  does the prevalence of mobile devices, and the abundance of personal information we routinely carry and communicate to just about everybody, make it more or less reasonable for us to view that information as private?