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Fed. Appeals Court Says Police Need Warrant to Search Phone

timothy posted about a year ago | from the if-you-have-nothing-to-hide dept.

Communications 69

An anonymous reader writes "In a decision that's almost certainly going to result in this issue heading up to the Supreme Court, the Federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals [Friday] ruled that police can't search your phone when they arrest you without a warrant. That's contrary to most courts' previous findings in these kinds of cases where judges have allowed warrantless searches through cell phones." (But in line with the recently mentioned decision in Florida, and seemingly with common sense.)

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69 comments

Easy Fix. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43762685)

Just stop committing all those crimes, you wicked cellphone wielding people!

Re:Easy Fix. (5, Insightful)

Mitsoid (837831) | about a year ago | (#43762807)

Read the briefing...

They already had him on doing a drug sale, and the cell phone was searched after he was read his rights and his items were confiscated for booking.

It is kinda a grey area, but I'm happy this case is not about searching someone BEFORE any crime was committed & booked... rather, it was after he was arrested. There was also no password/encryption in use.

This does bring up a mixed feeling.... But i think the judge made the right call -- There was no immediate danger, or issue, that could justify bypassing the individuals rights. He was already in custody and being charged for a crime... His phone was safely in police custody and being processed to store. A judge should have reviewed the information and issued a warrant to search the phone.

If the crime was kidnapping, and the phone might have information on where to go to save someone's life.. I'd agree in a heartbeat that his phone should be searched immediately.. But this guy was being processed to go behind bars and nothing in the phone could have reasonably been useful to solve any immediate crises.

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43762977)

Yeah, it's not a huge deal for the police, they'll just have to change the process slightly. For the rest of us it's slightly more protection, but it's unlikely the judge will deny a warrant in very many cases.

I'm a feces farter. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763513)

So... word on the grapevine is that your fetid cock has taken quite a liking to my rancid asshole. I also know that you've been lusting after my feces-filled asshole for over two months. Come on... you can't deny it. Let me tell you this: My repugnant asshole is open to you! Rejoice!

Ah, and I'd also like to say that I'm rather fond of cum farting. After you stick your putrid cock into my disgusting asshole and let loose your tadpole buddies, I wonder what other sorts of miscellaneous goodies will shoot out of my asshole as I'm farting out your cum? What say you?

Re:Easy Fix. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763797)

ITs also unlikely the police will ask for a warrant until after they've looked at the phone and decided there was evidence they needed on it. There is a severe bifercation between the legal world and the real one.

Re:Easy Fix. (5, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#43763083)

So you are fine with the police violating the rights of its citizens in arbitrary situations.

Re: Easy Fix. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763241)

You are fine with the same thing in my head in to see the light at a very nice of her friends to see the light at a very good at all times during a game of golf and I am a big deal with the help and support of a new job in the world of you who are you going back home to a friend about the same as the best way for the best way for me to do with the help of my favorite part of my life.

Re: Easy Fix. (1, Troll)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763407)

Please don't post when drunk, M'kay?

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43763389)

I think post-search judgements will generally throw out any evidence obtained if the judge does not believe there was immediate cause.

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#43763441)

So you are fine to let the government run over the rights in the hopes that it will be thrown out latter. Good to know.

Re:Easy Fix. (1, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43763793)

This is so that under what the police deem extreme circumstances, they can perform a search without a warrant. Kidnapping is a good example. They're taking their chances, as where evidence would be valid if obtained with a warrant, it will not be in most cases. The other solution is to have on-call judges that can give a warrant over the phone. Both of these are open to abuse, but the former allows a bit more time for consideration of the circumstances.

Re:Easy Fix. (3, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#43764199)

And the former is a in clear violation of the US Constitution and open to even more abuse, where at the latter just costs extra.

Re: Easy Fix. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768327)

Its ALWAYS an 'exigent' or 'extreme' circumstance. Ever since 9/11 we've been in a constant state of war. This allows EVERYTHING to ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE be an 'emergency circumstance' with'immediate danger' to the public at large always being in force.

Re:Easy Fix. Arbitrarily stupid? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763777)

Are you arbitrarily stupid only when dealing with situations that actually mention imminent harm? Perhaps it is the mention of police that makes you arbitrarily stupid? Worst case is that stupid is is not your arbitrary state but is instead your default state.

Please read Mistoid's post carefully and tell everyone how you missed the obvious mention of imminent harm - you know the not so arbitrary situation where police don't have to have a warrant to conduct a search, but later have to justify their actions in front of a judge as specifically dealing with a situation that involved knowledge of or great concern of imminent harm. A simple "I thought someone was going to be harmed" is never good enough - you need specific reasons for a judge to rule a search under imminent harm to be legal, screw up the imminent harm explanation and the evidence collected is considered tainted and is thrown out.

Re:Easy Fix. (1, Funny)

Radtastic (671622) | about a year ago | (#43765299)

That's very insightful. +5 for you,kudos. Except the example posted where the op supported a warrantless search wasn't arbitrary.. it had a defined circumstance (timeliness of knowing the data might save a life.)

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#43767947)

Except the definition of arbitrary is not the only official definition there is:

From M-W.com

1: depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law

2

a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority

b : marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power

3

a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something any arbitrary positive number>

b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will

context it is experienced as being arbitrary — Nehemiah Jordan>

Re:Easy Fix. (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763397)

They already had him on doing a drug sale, and the cell phone was searched after he was read his rights and his items were confiscated for booking.

But in most jurisdictions, if they had taken his car while making the arrest, they would have had to get a search warrant before they started digging around in the car.
It seems only proper that they get a warrant for the phone. If it makes as much sense as you seem to imply, they would have no problem getting the warrant.

Unless they suspect there evidence in the car, they don't automatically have a valid reason to search it. Even if they believe there may be a trunk full of drugs, most police agencies will get the warrant just to be sure it stands up in court, because "suspecting there is evidence" has been found to be just too big of a loop-hole and has been so often abused that it is routinely thrown out. In fact in some jurisdictions, if they seize the car/phone, all emergency situations cease at that point and there is no longer exigent circumstance to search for drugs. Bombs, maybe, but drugs or cell phone data, not so much.

See: http://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/know-your-rights-what-do-if-you [aclu.org]

As for "having him on Drug sales", I fail to see why that makes a difference. They already had is phone too. He wasn't going to be given a chance to wipe it.

Re:Easy Fix. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763813)

There have been cases where a co-conspirator remotely wiped a phone. Police now have procedures to remove the battery, place the phone in a Faraday cage while working on it, etc. How many backwater police departments do you think actually follow the procedures though?

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43764377)

Powered off is all you need. You have plenty of time to obtain a warrant on a powered off phone.
Airplane mode is all you really need.
Also please cite even one case where a co-conspirator wiped a phone in police custody.

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43766935)

Pull battery upon receipt. Power buttons are software only, it's possible (though so unlikely as to be practically impossible) to have a custom firmware that makes it appear to be turned off when following the standard power-down. Also, assuming no custom anti-police firmware is loaded, pulling the SIM should be sufficient to prevent remote-wipe. With custom firmware, one could program the phone to wipe if powered on after battery removal with no SIM, but that would wipe a phone with a bad SIM connection, as pulling the battery is required in most phones to reseat the SIM, so I wouldn't see any but the most paranoid doing that.

But the police don't want to pull the battery, there's more chance of a password on boot, and it would be inconvenient. And no, I have never heard of any of this being done in practice, it's only theory, and nobody really cares that much about a phone.

Re:Easy Fix. (2)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#43767411)

only thing is, it's a damn iPhone w/sealed battery. Can't be pulled. Many other smart phones going to the same setup. Non-replaceable batteries and can't even be opened so tell me how a Police Dept is going to do more then turn the damn thing off. Only to discover that a Pin/PW is needed to unlock the damn thing.

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43768813)

Someone tell the police. I bet suddenly the government would be interested in defending our right to upgrade, if it helps block remote-wipe.

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43766919)

They search the car throughly on impound for "inventory" purposes. You may fight it, but you'll likely lose. They aren't "looking" for anything, but they can use anything they find against you.

Re:Easy Fix. Inventory, standard location search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768129)

Inventory searches are allowed for open areas and known spaces of storage for inventory purposes, they can't rip you car apart or examine it beyond simple visual checks for evidence of hidden storage compartments. So anything out in the open and compartments that are listed in the vehicle manual are acceptable locations for an inventory search, that means spare wheel storage, door pockets, trunks, etc are ok. A poorly designed hidden compartment is also considered acceptable if it is easily visually identifiable and unlocked or easy to unlock because they have the key in hand or an identifiable switch to unlock the hidden compartment.

A warrent is needed for searches beyod those locations. Inventory searches that go beyond that are overzealous and will likely result in inadmissable evidence .....unless there is a situation involving imminent harm.

 

Re:Easy Fix. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43766909)

They don't need a warrant to search your car after an arrest either, but they claim that's for "inventory" purposes, "1 cell phone" is sufficient for that, no need to count your 1s and 0s.

Re: Easy Fix. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768241)

Here in Michigan, cops are demanding to plug your cell phone in to their box when they pull you over for traffic stops. They like smart phones, because they'll give up where you've been, all your calls and texts, and your phonebook. Older dumb phones don't cooperate so much.

It's just so sad that the practice (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43762691)

Seems like it will continue - despite any ruling. Look at the overall indicators and trend, not just one specific ruling or data point.

Those cool, adventurous science-fiction dystopias in Bladerunner and the like. Well, they aren't so cool for most people to live in. They certainly aren't cool for the people who witness the transitions - from the 70s to post 2001...

It's a long way from the top, now. And we didn't tie a rope to climbe back.

Re:It's just so sad that the practice (3, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43763411)

Seems like it will continue - despite any ruling. Look at the overall indicators and trend, not just one specific ruling or data point.

But if it happens, a lawyer can now point to this ruling, which states that searching the contents of a mobile phone without warrant during an arrest is almost always illegal, and that any evidence coming from the phone is inadmissable. Which means that evidence that the police _might_ have found in another way is now inadmissable.

Re:It's just so sad that the practice (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year ago | (#43765123)

AIUI, cops tend to follow this type of ruling very, very carefully and do their best not to violate any new guidelines handed down. This isn't because they have such a great respect for the law (although many individual cops probably do) but because they don't want to have their evidence declared inadmissible, with the chance that the entire case might be thrown out. After all, they don't have to agree with the rules of evidence, they just have to make sure they follow them.

Slowing the End Run around rights (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year ago | (#43762765)

Really, for once the court seems to have a backbone. (Only once?)

It of course makes no sense that you can have a pile of papers and "edible looking items" in your car, and those are protected, but then there's your phone over there in the corner, "yay, it's electronic so the consitution doesn't apply!"

Common sense (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43762779)

From a casual reading (by a non-lawyer) of the constitution, this makes perfect sense.

This thing about "we can go through all your possessions if we somehow get our hands on it" is ludicrous, and the "if we can pick the lock or break it open we can rummage around inside" thing is stupider still. If I lock my data but the police manage to break the encryption method they can rummage around in the data? Does this work for the locks on my house? The dial on my safe?

The simple search looking for weapons thing "to protect the officer" was an exception, but they've taken it beyond extreme rights violations [npr.org] .

If you see someone committing a crime, arrest them. If you can't convict them without the data on their cell phone, you shouldn't have arrested them in the first place.

Oh, and if someone parrots "how can we do our jobs if we don't have the tools" nonsense, remind them that we're currently enjoying the lowest crime rate in several decades.

Re:Common sense (3, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43762857)

Yep well done America, you've partisaned the English back into power, whether republican or democrat.

Re:Common sense (2)

crovira (10242) | about a year ago | (#43763243)

Does this work for the locks on my house? The dial on my safe?

You're asking this of guys who'll kick down your door if you don't open it fast enough and run in with weapons blazing?

Seriously?

Re:Common sense (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763443)

Does this work for the locks on my house? The dial on my safe?

You're asking this of guys who'll kick down your door if you don't open it fast enough and run in with weapons blazing?

Seriously?

Unless they are in hot pursuit, they will not kick down your door without a warrant.

With a warrant, they will use the City Key to open your door, especially if the warrant specifies flushable drugs.

Re:Common sense (2)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#43763489)

Perhaps they are legally required to have a warrant, but there's no punishment to them if they just ignore that restriction. At least not locally. (OTOH, the local police have been awarded a federal oversight manager with power to fire the chief of police unless he cleans up the department, so perhaps that's not common.)

Re:Common sense (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763527)

You must live in Seattle.

Re:Common sense (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43767547)

Perhaps they are legally required to have a warrant, but there's no punishment to them if they just ignore that restriction.

There is, once something goes to court and someone gets set free because evidence is not admissable due to an illegal search.

Re:Common sense (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43763923)

Re:Common sense (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43764445)

The officers were investigating a domestic disturbance, which qualifies as an exigent circumstance under California law..

Had they merely walks out an met the officers on their porch nothing would have happened.

Yet the prevented the officers from doing what the law required them to do.

Don't like that law, then get the law changed, and watch more monsters beat their wives while forbidding the police to enter.

The people you elected voted for that law, principally to protect women. If a vote were held today on that issue
it would pass again, easily, because women voters outnumber men, and Ariel Castro has taught us all a lesson
of what an unrestricted right to privacy in your home can bring.

Re:Common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43767291)

and Anne Frank has taught us all a lesson of what an unrestricted right to privacy in your home can bring.

FYP after all you would not want someone hiding untermensch from the reich. You're a good little facist

Re:Common sense (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43769055)

Nice try, Godwin, but you forgot that no one had any right to privacy in the Third Reich.

That's if they even have the right address... (1)

crovira (10242) | about a year ago | (#43765003)

There have been incidents here of NYCs finast shooting some poor schmucks who were guilty of just answering the front door "while being mexican or of driving a car "while being tipsy and black" and getting themselves shot dead.

"Quis custodiet ipso custodes" indeed.

It makes Sense (1, Insightful)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about a year ago | (#43762819)

That might be the most worrying thing, it actually makes sense! Sure to be overturned on appeal! We are now living in The Age of Government Overreach and Security at any price! Nothing must limit the power of the Gesta---, (Cough Cough) Department of Homeland Security to do it job! Which they will define as they go along!

Re:It makes Sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43762873)

Take your meds, and stop slamming the exclamation point key so hard. You'll live longer.

Seriously, though, do you really think resorting to such hysterics does any good? I mean, I'm sure it makes you feel better, but do you think it does anything other than that? Do you think your little hissy fit actually contributed anything to the convo, or changed anyones mind?

Re:It makes Sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764757)

Maybe! he! is! the! guy! from! The! Register! co! uk! who! writes! all! of! those! articles! about! Yahoo! dot! com! did! you! ever! stop! to! think! of! that!

Re:It makes Sense (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43763427)

That might be the most worrying thing, it actually makes sense! Sure to be overturned on appeal!

Have a look who made that ruling. Then come back and tell us who would overturn this.

Re:It makes Sense (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763461)

That might be the most worrying thing, it actually makes sense! Sure to be overturned on appeal!

Almost certain to be ultimately upheld on appeal.

Re: It makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764559)

Why do you say it will be upheld?

Re: It makes Sense (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43764603)

Because that is the trend. Courts are fighting back against creeping totalitarianism.

And obtaining a warrant is not that big of a deal.

Re:It makes Sense (2)

cavreader (1903280) | about a year ago | (#43764661)

Gestapo? You can bitch all you want but at least have the intelligence to realize comparisons of this type undermine the true horrors and injustices perpetrated by the Gestapo. If you really think the US government is acting like the Gestapo then most people think life was really not all that bad in Germany during WW2. If Home Land Security or any other law enforcement agencies acted like the Gestapo you would most likely be dead or in prison for publishing your opinion on the matter. Totalitarian systems have a way of silencing all criticism of the government without the need for a justice or court system at all. If a state keeps killing their citizens out of hand sooner or later the citizenry will stop complaining about their government becuase of fear. Look to N. Korea as a fine example. Problems in the US government are on the front page of every news outlet in the US and the world for all to see. Even all the hyperventilating over the Patriot act is idiotic since no US citizen has been convicted of violating any of the Patriot Act dictates. Courts routinely dismiss charges against people due to violations of there civil rights. Every time the government has arrested someone for Patriot Act violations the court has ruled against the Patriot Act and dismissed all charges. Look it up. Not a single item in the Bill of Rights has been taking away from anyone. Anyone charged with a crime gets the chance to argue civil rights abuse during their arrest. The executive and legislative branches of government can propose and create laws but the judicial branch has the power to judge whether or not the law infringes on someones rights.

Re:It makes Sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764877)

Oh fuck off, The whole "It's worse somewhere else" argument doesn't apply. Let's just keep watching the obvious increasing police state here in the USA until we all get herded off to camps or whatever the new thing will be.

It's SO. FUCKING. OBVIOUS. It's here, it's growing, it's real. Open your eyes! FFS

Re:It makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43765343)

Let's just keep watching the obvious increasing police state here in the USA until we all get herded off to camps or whatever the new thing will be.

Strawman arguments are lies.

This is good (4, Insightful)

nebular (76369) | about a year ago | (#43762887)

Courts are seeing that the cell phone contains far more private info than would normally be found in someones pockets. On the surface a cell phone would be open season without a pin code, but if you delve deeper it's more like you're carrying your filing cabinet with you at all times and should be treated as such.

In the meantime (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43762985)

They will keep your phone until they get their ribber stamp warrant. Make sure to have a backup.. I guess... And record all videos live to the internet

Re:In the meantime (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43763001)

When you're seeing double, an 'i' can look a lot like a 'u'.

Re:In the meantime (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763193)

mind... blown

Doesn't matter anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763075)

The Justice Dept will take your phone records without your knowledge anyway. Just ask the Associated Press.

Re:Doesn't matter anyway (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763471)

Records are one thing, (and the Justice Department had a warrant), but your secret stuff in your phone is quite another.
You expect your phone records to be less protected, because you entrust them to a phone company.

The real enemy is the war on drugs (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43763087)

All these exemptions to the constitution were instituted as exceptions to aid the war on drugs. The real enemy is the war on drugs and prohibition 2.0 should be abolished.

Re:The real enemy is the war on drugs (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43763493)

Were they? Or was the "War on Drugs" instituted (or at least leveraged) as an excuse to get the exceptions? As a rule I avoid wearing a tinfoil hat, but I've never heard any non-tinfoil explanations that make sense. Certainly there were a *lot* of competing interests that banded together to to demonize cannabis, and after that... A few of the extremely addictive or damaging substances perhaps you could make a case for on public heath or national security grounds - China for example has a history of using foreign opium addiction for political leverage, but the rest?

Re:The real enemy is the war on drugs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43764403)

There is some contention that the War on Drugs started to protect William Randolph Hearst's profits. Hemp had been used for both paper and fiber (both for rope and for fabric -- the original Levi Strauss jeans were made from hemp fabric) for centuries. However, for most of that time, hemp could only be used for one or the other -- cleaning the pulp from the fiber destroyed the pulp, and chopping the stems up to process the pulp destroyed the fiber. The invention of the hemp decorticator created a mechanical method of separating pulp from fiber while leaving both, and the development by the Department of Agriculture of a new method to process the pulp into paper was much cheaper than the chemical processes previously used.

An acre of land planted in pulp timber produces four times the paper pulp of an acre of pulp timber. The already widespread cultivation of hemp for cordage, able to produce paper pulp as well, threatened the value and profits of Hearst's vast holdings of pulp timberland. Hearst took advantage of the fact that most people didn't know that marijuana and hemp were the same plant and conducted a smear campaign, claiming that the “drug” marijuana was a ]tool used by “Negroes, Hispanics, and Entertainers” and that consuming it forced them into a bloodcraze in which it would be perfectly normal for a black man to rape a white woman and kill her whole family without thinking twice. Seeking additional backing for his campaign, he turned to a chemical manufacturer who was trying to bring a synthetic fiber to market -- DuPont -- and together conducted a campaign to demonize marijuana that resulted in it being outlawed.

Re:The real enemy is the war on drugs (1, Flamebait)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43763519)

Oh, don't worry, there are a plenty of other reasons that will be pushed to the front even if every drug on the planet were legalized.

We have the war on terror (where mere possession of a piece of wire makes you guilty of possession of bomb making materials)
We have the war on child porn (where picks of your kids first bath makes you a child pornoghrapher)
We have the war on sex crimes (where taking a wiz in an alley after too many beers makes you a sexual predator)

Police were busting down doors without warrants long before there was a drug trade.

Re:The real enemy is the war on drugs (2)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43764425)

re: the war on child porn : have you noticed how lately a lot of the child pornography arrests state that the DHS was involved in the arrest? What is the Department of Homeland Security doing involved in child pornography cases? Is that a weird extension of their range of authority, or was that always part of their function?

re: the war on drugs : have you noticed all of the weird highways stops, oh 50 to 100 miles inland away from the actual border, manned by the border patrol? There's one near the San Onofre plant north of San Diego at about the level of Camp Pendleton on your drive up from San Diego to Los Angeles on the 5.

re: the war on sex crimes: there've been cases in san diego of teenagers being charged with sex crimes and child pornography for "sexting" or taking nude pictures of themselves on their cell phones. Current idiots actually believe that "snapchat" is ephemeral and that the pictures disappear! Such silliness.

Anyway, all of these wars just seem like convenient excuses for power grabs by the authorities. Like notice how policemen can run around in masks thesedays for warrant busts, and that undercover police hide their facial features in court cases so that they don't get identified. Somehow, even though the excuse of "but their identification would ruin their further use/utility in the police department" almost seems sensible, it sure seems wrong to not be able to have your accusers openly testify in open court...

Abuse of power? And people put up with it, sadly.

Re:The real enemy is the war on drugs (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43766687)

All these exemptions to the constitution were instituted as exceptions to aid the war on drugs.

That is not even close to true. Many of them were instituted as exceptions to aid the war on terror. The problem is deeper than the war on drugs; as terrible as that is, it is actually a symptom.

My state did something right? (1)

dicobalt (1536225) | about a year ago | (#43763393)

Horray!

YUO FAiL IT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43763955)

most people into a handy, you are free effort to address w4at provides the new core is going [theos.com] on his and committees Engineering project shit-filled, personal rivalries

This is 'old' news. (1)

Paxtez (948813) | about a year ago | (#43764279)

If you notice ruling was from an event in 2007. This was probably one of the incidents that let to police departments having to get warrants for phones. While this is interesting because it shows that law enforcement can't do it without a warrant, I would be surprised if any of them did it anyways.

Our local police department hasn't been able to for at least 4 years, they aren't even supposed to open/look through your wallet.

This sounds like (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year ago | (#43764683)

a sudden outbreak of common sense.

There will soon be bipartisan proposals to counter it.

LK

In the ASS (1)

nauseous (2239684) | about a year ago | (#43766717)

That's like giving the police rights to screw us in the asses. I don't trust the police and usually the police are crack pots.
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