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Thread: California Supreme Court Rules Your Cellphone is Subject to Warrantless Searches

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    #1

    California Supreme Court Rules Your Cellphone is Subject to Warrantless Searches


    According to a California Supreme Court ruling filed just yesterday, it is now perfectly legal for California police to search your cell phone without a warrant if it is present on you during your arrest. Looks like digital information privacy just got a lot less private, at least in California anyway. Interestingly, after I did some digging, I found out that earlier in February 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled just the opposite, stating that it violates a suspects 4th Amendment Constitutional Rights to search through your cell phone without a warrant. Hmmm... they can't both be right? It's interesting to see what new 'legal' problems new technologies like smartphones create. What do you wanna bet that in the next 5-10 years we'll see this stuff argued at the Federal Supreme Court level? For now, if your going to get arrested with naughty pictures of your girlfriend on your cellphone, make sure it's in Ohio, and not California.

    Source: Arstechnica.com via Gizmodo
    by dgstorm
    Last edited by dgstorm; 01-04-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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    #2
    Just a good reason to have a burn app...
    A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Backnblack View Post
    Just a good reason to have a burn app...
    Or a really good password

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    #4
    Hmm looks like I'll be putting my pattern lock on before doing anything devious from now on.
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    #5
    I live in Ohio and get nudies all the time. Wooo!....actually I don't it's pretty depressing. At least I'm the sexiest man on the planet .
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    #6
    I live in Ohio, and was unaware of the Ohio SC decision you're referring to. Good to know that *some* good can come from the OSC, who as a group I am not overly thrilled with.

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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Backnblack View Post
    Just a good reason to have a burn app...
    What is a burn app?
    Thanks
    Cara

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    #8
    Woohoo... great to hear about Ohio (altho maybe this'll force it to be looked at again.) Usually CA is a bit more liberal than Ohio.
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    #9
    There's actually some other case law on this from other states and its all pretty contradictory and opinions go back and forth case to case. There won't be a definitive answer until a case gets appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court. Whoever said 5-10 years I think you're way off. Probably more like 1-3 years if not already on the docket.

    And keep thinking that passwords and pattern lock will keep the police from searching your phone. Lol.

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    #10
    I wonder what they would say if you don't unlock it?

    Please have a right to search your car, I think, if they see contraband in plain sight. But a cellphone is not contraband.

    My guess is this is to see if you were texting while driving, although I wonder what the law is on texting while stopped at a red light? One might argue it's the same concept as a field sobriety test if you are driving irradically.

    The fact the OH ruled differently suggest this is one for the higher courts to decide.

    Simple advice if a cop asks for your cellphone (and you have something to hide) is "thank you, officer, but I respectfully refuse to answer any questions without a lawyer present"
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