U.S. Supreme Court to weigh cell phone searches by police


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Jan 29, 2013
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This is going to be very important. When the 4th Amendment says that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" it means exactly that.

I don't see any exclusions there.

Today's cell phones contain much more information than just who we have called and who has called us. Photos, documents, email, banking records, etc. All are kept on or accessed through our cell phones.

If you have any form of security on your phone that prevents information on it from being accessed simply by turning the phone on, then, IMHO, a warrant should be required to access it.

If we don't fight for all of our rights and liberties, even for those that the worse among us, then we will all lose them.

Yahoo News Canada - Latest News & Headlines

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether police can search an arrested criminal suspect's cell phone without a warrant in two cases that showcase how the courts are wrestling to keep up with rapid technological advances.

Taking up cases from California and Massachusetts arising from criminal prosecutions that used evidence obtained without a warrant, the high court will wade into how to apply older court precedent, which allows police to search items carried by a defendant at the time of arrest, to cell phones.

Cell phones have evolved from devices used exclusively to make calls into gadgets that now contain a bounty of personal information about the owner.

The legal question before the justices is whether a search for such information after a defendant is arrested violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans unreasonable searches. The outcome would determine whether prosecutors in such circumstances could submit evidence gleaned from cell phones in court.

Digital rights activists have sounded the alarm about the amount of personal data the government can now easily access, not just in the criminal context, but also in relation to national security surveillance programs.

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