I agree. I bought the last one to support the EFF (and get some interesting games of course) and without the EFF there, a significantly lower percentage of my money went to charity (I believe it was something like 75% vs 20%).
You're definitely right about the bad timing of removing EFF though.
From my understanding, it's money that is donated to help get that politician re-elected. Without those funds, they can't pay for campaign staff and effectively plaster TV/Newspapers/the Internet with messages that say 'vote for me for congress/senate'. Therefore if they get money and they don't vote a certain way, they may not get more of the money needed to get re-elected from that company, or worse (for them), the company may give that money to their opponent, causing them to lose their seat to someone else that would likely be more willing to support what the company wants (for fear of the same happening to them later).
They're supposedly unconnected, but just think of getting thousands of dollars of support from someone would affect how much you listen to them.
I think a fairly fair way to deal with this would be to only allow searching the device when it is disconnected from the network/cell service/etc. Anything that's on the phone would be accessible, anything that isn't on the phone won't be.
That way the data that's on the person is allowed to be searched (akin to papers/etc on the person) but stuff that is stored on another computer/network isn't allowed (ex: files at the office/home). Stuff on the network should be treated like someone calling up their office/home and requesting someone to give them confidential information on the phone: the person can get the info because it's theirs/they have permission to access it, the police would need a warrant.
However, I would still prefer no searching without warrant or at least good probable cause.