Courts: Search A Cell Phone? No Problem. Touch A Mouse? Violate 4th Amendment.
from the 4th-amendment-law-is-confusing dept
The details of the case involve someone who posted a threat to Craigslist about bringing a gun to a mall. Police tracked the guy down at his house, and while there, one of them touched his mousepad, changing the screen from the blank screensaver mode to fully on, displaying some information that was used to arrest the guy. Since stuff seen in plain sight is not considered a search, the question is whether or not this uncovered things that were not in plain sight, and thus constituted a search. I can understand why the court ruled the way it did in this case (though I'm a bit surprised). I'm just struggling to understand how that's not a legal search, but something like scanning the entire contents of a mobile phone during a traffic stop is a legal search.