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California Allows Warrantless Cell Phone Searches

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Saw this on dailytech:

 

http://www.dailytech.com/California+Allows...rticle20565.htm

 

Basically this is complete bullshit. The california supreme court decided that anything you have on your person is allowed to be searched including data on a cell phone. Ok, so what happens when I get arrested with a laptop/netbook on me? I'm suppose to allow my emails to be read?

 

I've never seen such complete technological idiocy and a seriously stupid precedent. Cell phones are very rapidly becoming computers in their own right (if they aren't already) and this opens doors to places I don't want to think. The worst part of this, is that I'm sure some people will be ok with this. They'll think "hey, I'll never be arrested so why should I care, it will help us stop drug dealers and put people who deserve it behind bars" Not realizing the possibly foothold police and prosecutors will use to eventually allow far more than this.

 

There seems to be a common trend happening everywhere. And you can call me unrealistic for suggesting this, but maybe we should start looking at our personal liberties a bit more closely, and which liberties we seem to be losing or just giving away.

 

 

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin

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I have a problem with the way it is worded. Warrentless. From wikipedia: ""A search warrant is a court order issued by a judge or magistrate judge that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found."" Like the article said the U.S. Supreme Court already has a precedent that states police can search property found on suspects when they are arrested. This has nothing to do with warrents. The word "warrentlesss" conjures up all the NSA warrantless wiretap controversy from a few years ago.

 

I would agree that I'm concerned about the possible slippery slope it represents. Want to search someone's phone but can't get a warrant? Arrest for dangerous driving because they drove 5mph over the limit one day and before the charges are dismissed, search the cell phone. When traffic charges fall through, bring the criminal case based on the cell phone data up.

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Your second point is correct. Also I would agree on the poor choice of words, a warrant like you brought up is used to allow officers to search, specified locations or for very specific evidence. The issue I have is what you brought out, why not arrest someone on something frivolous and then you can confiscate their cell phone. Do i now have to lock my cell phone in my glove box every time a cop pulls me over?

 

People seem to think that it's acceptable to have no rights regarding data privacy or other technology related issues. I hope as our generation gets older more people realize that laws need to be in place to protect their digital privacy and certain rights should extend to that. A police officer has the right to stop you and even frisk you, but they can't just rummage through a backpack/purse or your car without consent/warrant. However there seems to be very little in the way of rights for your digital belongings like your cell phone/computer.

 

There are many issues I have tangential to this, but to put it simply. Police have plenty of ways to catch/prove you have commuted a crime I don't believe they need to have any more power than they currently have. It sickens me that I see many of the first world countries heading in the direction of the UK and turning into glorified police states, where personal rights are trampled over by the fear that few people may pose a risk to our safety.

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