Supreme Court: Police need warrant to search cell phones
News from CNN:

  • The cases reviewed involved searches without a warrant following an arrest
  • The unanimous decision was a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights
  • Most people in the United States own a cellphone

Washington (CNN) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that police may not search the cell phones of criminal suspects upon arrest without a warrant — a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights.

By a 9-0 vote, the justices said smart phones and other electronic devices were not in the same category as wallets, briefcases, and vehicles — all currently subject to limited initial examination by law enforcement.

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Related News:
Tim Skubick: ACLU, Oakland County sheriff butt heads over tracing cell phone
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Modern-day technology has certainly impacted the criminal justice system. DNA testing has freed some who were wrongly sent to the slammer and convicted others who should have been there in the first place.

The tech wizards have now dreamed up a portable cell phone tower that cop shops all
over the land are scarfing up. It allows them to trace the location of bad guys based on phone usage. It’s called Stingray or Hailstorm. Take your pick.

But the Michigan chapter of the ACLU doesn’t like either as it bumps heads with the Oakland County Sheriff’s office, the only agency in the state to own one of these handy-dandy gadgets.

“We are using it to arrest wanted fugitives; people who rape and rob,” asserts Undersheriff Mike McCabe.

What are they really doing? wonders the lobbyist for the ACLU, Shelli Weisberg. She figures once you mine all this data on everyone’s phone usage, “you can figure out” lots of stuff.

A national group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, calls this “an unconstitutional all-you-can-eat data buffet.”

Note that the equipment does not monitor individual phone calls; it collects all of the calls and then authorities cull the info to track somebody down.

Just to make sure that is all they are doing, the civil liberties group is drafting a Freedom of Information Act request for more data on the data.

…………… continues on

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