T Nation

Cops Can Search Phones Without Warrants



"The next time you're in California, you might not want to bring your cell phone with you. The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can search the cell phone of a person who's been arrested -- including text messages -- without obtaining a warrant, and use that data as evidence.

The ruling opens up disturbing possibilities, such as broad, warrantless searches of e-mails, documents and contacts on smart phones, tablet computers, and perhaps even laptop computers, according to legal expert Mark Rasch."

And I was thinking about getting a smart phone...

Feels like more extension of the Patriot Act.


Just remember if you are innocent you have nothing to fear.

True you might be shot or killed with no serious consequences for anyone whatsoever and noone really is innocent given the sheer amount of laws there are, and RICO applies to over 1000 federal laws now instead of the original three or a district attorney might pile so many laws on you that you have no choice but to plead guilty whether you did something or not and that might also be repealed by a revision board which then sentences you to serve for all the accusations you plea bargained away, but other than that the US has the bestest juducial system EVA, USA, USA, home of the free, land of the brave, oh say can you see, and so further and so on.

Obligatory video:


i would just password protect the phone. actually mine is already password protected. it is difficult to compel a person to divulge a password that will eventually incriminate them. as a matter of fact, that might be a violation of the 5th amendment. Here in idaho a sick bastard pedophile that killed some kids did not divulge the password to his encrypted laptop. Consequently, the state could not use it in court.


Actually it is more like an extension of a precedent set by Janet Reno during the Clinton administration that the constitutional protection of being secure in our papers against unreasonable searches did not apply to information that was stored electronically.


I'm confused way this is strange to anyone, at all. It seems like this flows directly from like 80 years of precedent. It was on his person when he got arrested, why would the police need a warrant to search his phone. It's not like they got records from the company without a warrant.

this makes perfect sense.


Agreed. I am not surprised. I don't like it, but not surprised.

The logic is consistent.

This is why we need less dumb laws, and fewer cops to enforce them.

The only way to slow the infringements on our liberties is to defund the police state.


I totally agree , the war on drugs is how these cops turn America into a Police State.The cops can search anyone at any time unless you have the resources to combat city hall


War on drugs is probably the biggest problem but there are so many more.


I guess the difference for me is the phone, especially smart phones, extend the search area from the person to all the servers/websites/etc. that the phone is connected, or has been connected, to. There is a difference between searching the phone to see if there is traces of cocaine on it and looking at the search history on the browser. It expands the search area into information that may have previously only been gained by a warrant.


I see the point, say you have a differing political view, the LEO in the area want something to get you on. They arrest you for suspicion of distribution. Then they look through whatever is on your person for anything they can keep you for, say because you don't agree with the current political regime.

Tsk, this is America that could never happen.


I agree. If you have your house keys on you, they don't get to search your house without a warrant. The phone is a gateway to your digital world. They shouldn't be able to go beyond the physical part of the phone.


They aren't. They are just pushing buttons.


And using the electronics. "pushing buttons" to electronically take money out of an account is just as much robbery as pulling a gun in a bank.


I think that cops have been doing this for quite some time now. Just from tv shows like the first 48 you can see how a timeline of a crime can be put together using ingoing and outgoing calls from suspects and I have even heard of the cops answering the phone or calling someone from it while it is their possesion while someone is arrested.
It is a violation if you ask me but they would always have some excuse like someone irrelevant looked in it and used it and just told them about the information found.


On this I will agree as well. They (law enforcement) can also confiscate anything they want under the laws that govern the war on drugs. Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but I've always understood that all they have to do is say that the item was tied to "drug money" or some other such tie to the drug laws.

This actually happened to a friend of mine who was busted for growing his own weed in his house. Never sold it, or profited from it, just a biker hippie who liked to smoke and never hurt a soul. They kicked in his front door (literally) while he was having dinner with his wife, and they took all kinds of shit from his house that was never returned. Tossed his and his wife's ass on the floor while they rifled through every crevice in his house. All for home grown plants that have been growing up out of the ground since before any of us were ever around. Bullshit.


What does it matter?


That's a decent vid but he really repeats the same points the whole time.

"Don't talk to police; what you say can be used against you but not FOR you."