No Cell Phone Searches Without a Warrant

by Erica Intzekostas on June 25, 2014

In a 9-0 decision today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that absent objectively exigent circumstances, police cannot search data on cell phones without a warrant. The 4th amendment protects people against warrantless searches and seizures. However, an exception has long existed to allow for limited searches made during an arrest. Interpreting this exception to include searches of a cell phone would mean that a person’s entire digital life could be subject to a warrantless search. Smart phones have the capacity to contain or link to just about all of a person’s digital information, including emails, calendars, social media accounts, even bank accounts and online purchases. As Justice Roberts pointed out, cell phones have become “such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.” Here on Earth in the United States of America, information on a cell phone can now only be accessed by police after obtaining a search warrant.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: