Skip to comments.U.S. Supreme Court to weigh cell phone searches by police
Posted on 01/18/2014 2:36:24 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at ca.news.yahoo.com ...
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Good luck with that, my phone nukes itself if you enter the code wrong enough times.
Why is it that everyone forgot this about a warrant?
“particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In other words, EXACTLY the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
That’s what the Constitution says.
And everyone needs to see your own relevant state constitutions for the exact wording.
Hint dint use an iPhone. Cops can easily pull info off of it.
With an iPhone you don’t need a code.
I’m with you. Since the police can and do confiscate, inventory, and securely store all personal effects of an arrested person, to remove weapons and anything that might be used for escape, there are rarely (other than with the ticking bomb found in fiction and in big government fantasies) exigent circumstances which create a compelling need for immediate action to search the phone. If law enforcement wants to do a lawful search, they can get a warrant. Otherwise, government agents have no business searching “persons, houses, papers, and effects” when the phone clearly qualifies as “effects” and is the modern equivalent of “papers”.
I have nothing sensitive on my phone, but I am sensitive to protecting what’s left of our Constitution. If we’re going to throw out evidence based on Miranda violations, we should certainly throw out evidence based on unlawful searches.
More fine tuning to “expectation of privacy”?
Oh, wait, we already know it is not private, the NSA has it all, already.
The school in which I teach is embroiled in a rape case that made international headlines. One of the issues was those who took pics on their iPhones. BCI could not retrieve that data after it was deleted, but only if the owner had not forwarded the pictures.
They are worried about someone initiating a remote wipe before they can get a warrant according to the article.
I read the article and saw nothing about that possibility, nor did I see any indication in either case under consideration that such a possibility was a consideration. One of the phones in question was not even a smart phone. Perhaps I missed it, but even so a remote wipe strikes me more as an excuse than a valid justification. In the rare event that they have a sophisticated criminal, worthy of "24", the police can shield the phone or remove the battery (least intrusive means to preserve evidence, comparable to stationing police outside the private residence of a detained suspect while awaiting a warrant) while waiting for a warrant.
My phone memory is encrypted so there isn’t much they are going to do.
Uh, yes. If the guy was arrested for a crime, why not? If they arrest somebody, can’t they search his car without a warrant?
Oops. Must of been in one of the other linked articles. I agree with your conclusion.
The courts and the police and their respective operations are anachronisms. They are buggy-whip manufacturers who happen to have the force of law behind them.
Like the 19th Century tax code they often enforce, their structures and staffing are meant to protect jobs.
This is why constitutional principles should trump any particulars of contemporary technology. Searching one’s phone without a warrant is the same as searching a home or a vehicle. When courts get tangled up in the minutiae of a case they have unquestionably abandoned their mission.
All formerly "American" institutions are now "Imperial" ones. America died a long time ago. We worker bees just haven't received the memo to stand down.
My cell phone needs a pin number to access it. Let’s say I was arrested and the police wanted to search my phone without a warrant. They ask for the pin number, I refuse. They then obtain a warrant and again ask for the pin number. Do I have to give it to them or can I cite the 5th Amendment protection against self incrimination?
Unless the phone manufacturer build a back door at the direction of the NSA.
I’d like to see a 48 hour GPS trail that Trayvon used up until his death. I’ll bet it placed him inside of some neighborhood homes. But we’ll never know because Attorney Crump had it erased.
IIRC, Trayvon Martin’s cell phone was double encrypted. It took 6 months to break the encryption on it...but they did. And then the judge ruled it couldn’t be used due to authentication issues.
The right to privacy applies only to the murder of the unborn, apparently.
You have the right to remain SILENT! Never, ever forget that.
Sometime after that, someone at the states attorneys office shipped Trayvon’s phone to a law enforcement agency in California for analysis. The agency was “seemingly able” to access the internal memory. The state refuses to give the defense any information as to who at the states attorneys office decided to do this, the name of the agency it was sent to, the identity of the analyst who obtained the data, or the results obtained.
After the unnamed agency returned the phone, during the first week of January, 2013, the state sent it to Cellebrite in New Jersey for analysis. Cellebrite also was able to access the internal memory, and the state provided the defense with the results on January 18. The defense says Cellebrite obtained an “enormous” amount of information from the internal memory. But, guess what's missing? All data for Feburary 26, the day/evening of the shooting.
That's an excerpt from the Talk Left blog. So, it was even more cunning than Crump’s shenanigans.
Not true. A hacker retrieved it and got a worse sentence than the actual rapist.
Probably. I don't know why they bother. That particular phrase has pretty much destroyed the 4th amendment already.
You must be thinking of a different case. In this case no hackers retrieved anything; therefore, nobody was prosecuted except the two rapists. Five others have recently been indicted by the grand jury regarding an elleged cover-up though.
If this is the Steubenville rape then its the right one...if not then its a different one.
Yes, the Steubenville case. No hackers hacked anything. Some tech savvy activists pulled youtube vids that the kids posted then deleted, but there is nothing illegal about that. When you put something on the Internet it’s always there. Our tech administrator is alleged to have tried to delete info off of our school computers and will go to trial soon for that.
See Arizona v. Gant (2009).
The court limited the regularly abused “search incident to arrest” which was originally carved out as an exception to the warrant requirement to prevent the destruction of evidence or officer safety.
But the cops were arresting people for minor traffic violations or outstanding warrants for failure to pay tickets, etc. then searching everything in the car while the person is handcuffed in the back seat of the police car.
Scalia griped about the abuse of search incident (since the cops expanded it to situations where the rationale for the rule wasn’t implicated) since the late 80s. He was exactly right, and finally got a 5-4 majority in the above referenced case.
Now the facts must implicate the original basis for search incident to arrest, or the search must be an offense related search.
So, if one is arrested for running a stop sign and placed in the back of the patrol car, the cops can’t search everything in the car pursuant to the arrest.
It’s hard to imagine many stops where the contents of the phone should be subject to a warrantless search.
Either way, if I thought they might confiscate my phone I would probably go to settings and reset (erase) my phone.
I could always restore it later at home- that is if they gave me the phone back.
I would take this article with a grain of salt. First, the rapists have not had 1/3 of their sentences reduced. Richmond was just released, which is exactly one year. Mays has another year left, and if anything could serve more time. So that part of the article is incorrect. Second, Steubenville considers these two martyrs for going to jail. As far as the community is concerned, it is the victim’s fault and they were just boys being boys. In fact, after the verdict two additional students were arrested for using social media to harass and threaten the victim. If somebody had been arrested for releasing this info, it would have been celebrated throughout the city. It was not. We’ve never heard of this guy. Third, BCI admitted that nothing was hacked and that the released info was already posted by those involved and then taken down. You know Twitchy’s slogan: The Internet is forever.
Again, the only info released to the public was info posted on the Internet and then deleted or texts made public by those involved before arrests and warrants. None of this is illegal.
I would like to add that I will ask the detectives about this guy at church today. I’d like more info because if it’s true that he was arrested it’s very creepy we’ve never heard of it.
Thanks. My question may be moot. My wife works with internet security and she told me there is software that can crack a 4 digit pin in under a minute.