by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 13th 2009 4:54pm
A year ago, we had a lively discussion around here concerning the legal question of whether or not police could search your mobile phone if you are stopped for a traffic violation. It seems that the question is far from settled. Declan McCullagh details two separate lawsuits in which judges came to opposite conclusions about the rights of police to search mobile phones or other devices on persons being arrested. It's clearly allowed to search through physical belongings -- but when it comes down to digital belongings, it's not at all clear. It comes down to the same issue being debated concerning laptop searches at the border. Traditional law concerning such searches assumes that what you have on you is stuff you purposely chose to bring on that trip. However, in a digital age, where your devices "keep everything" the opposite is true. You automatically bring everything and only exclude that which you purposely choose to leave out. Thus, the old laws don't really make much sense and could lead to some dangerous and highly questionable scenarios. Hopefully, the courts will recognize this before too long.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- California Legislators Pushing Warrant Requirement For All Access To Electronic Information, Including That Obtained By Stingrays
- Portland Police Bravely Defend Public From Homeless Woman Looking To Charge Her Cell Phone
- Judge John Facciola On Today's Law Enforcement: I'd Go Weeks Without Seeing A Warrant For Anything 'Tactile'
- Gemalto: Ok, Yes, We Were Hacked, And Yes Some SIM Cards May Be Compromised, But Not Because Of Us
- Google Blasts DOJ's Request For Expanded Search Powers; Calls Proposal A Threat To The Fourth Amendment