Monday, January 20, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court to hear case on police cellphone searches

      The Supreme Court will take the next step in applying traditional notions of privacy to emerging advances in technology, announcing it will consider whether police need a warrant to search the contents of a cellphone they seize when making an arrest, reported the Washington Post.
      Government officials contend cellphones are no different than other items that the court over the years has said police may search when they find them on the individuals they arrest.
      But defendants and privacy groups say modern cellphones contain a wealth of information that traditionally has been off-limits. In one of the cases the court accepted, a federal appeals judge said they contain a vast array of information that traditionally has been kept in the home: “photographs, videos, written and audio messages (text, email and voicemail), contacts, calendar appointments, web search and browsing history, purchases and financial and medical records.”
      In trying to apply Supreme Court precedents about the constitutional protection from unreasonable searches to modern technology, lower courts are deeply split.

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