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SCOTUS To Weigh Smartphone Searches By Police

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the hey-it-clearly-says-papers-and-effects dept.

Cellphones 201

schwit1 writes "The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether police can search an arrested criminal suspect's cell phone without a warrant in two cases that showcase how the courts are wrestling to keep up with rapid technological advances. Taking up cases from California and Massachusetts arising from criminal prosecutions that used evidence obtained without a warrant, the high court will wade into how to apply older court precedent, which allows police to search items carried by a defendant at the time of arrest, to cell phones."

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201 comments

Can we hope (4, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 6 months ago | (#45995339)

Can we hope for the proper decision (that police need a warrant)?

Re:Can we hope (5, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 6 months ago | (#45995367)

We can hope for a proper decision of you can crack the encryption if you can after getting a warrant and the owner has no burden to help you nor can refusal be held against them.

Re:Can we hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995405)

Can we hope for the proper decision (that police need a warrant)?

We can hope, but considering some of the decisions coming out of SCOTUS recently I wouldn't hold my breath.

Lose all hope ! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 6 months ago | (#45995789)

Can we hope for the proper decision (that police need a warrant)?

The big brother can, ~ and has, ~ tapped into telephonic data without the need to take physical control of your phone.

Feds have been caught setting up fake cell towers to intercept wireless traffics.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/11/feds-fake-cell-phone-tower/ [wired.com]

http://www.scmagazine.com/tower-dump-of-consumer-mobile-data-a-popular-police-snooping-tactic/article/324789/ [scmagazine.com]

Re:Can we hope (5, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 6 months ago | (#45996265)

Just like most cops, they will just tell you "Give me your phone" and start looking through it. Since you didn't say "no", it is considered consent. I wish I was making this crap up

Scalia says the Constitution (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995345)

Doesn't mention phones, so there is no right to them.

In fact, he's pretty sure they're witchcraft.

Little will change (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995361)

After this passes officers will just have to upload a pic of weed to my phone before they can bust me.

They should allow it (0, Troll)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 6 months ago | (#45995373)

If there is enough evidence for arrest, there is enough evidence to see what recent contact information, phone calls and text messages are on a cell phone.

This is how crime is done these days.

Probably an unpopular opinion to some, but this is how drug deals, flash mobs, knockout games and preplanned crimes are done.

No judge cares about your grocery list or calls to grandma.

They do care if your phone has a map to victim's house in the recent history.

Re:They should allow it (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 months ago | (#45995469)

If there is enough evidence for arrest, then there is enough evidence TO GET A GODDAMN WARRANT. Does the Fourth Amendment mean nothing to ANYONE anymore?

Re:They should allow it (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 6 months ago | (#45995631)

I think it largely has to do with ignorance.

The poster holds a rather unsophisticated view that allows them to see the police's reasonable and justified need for access to that information as something correct and desirable.

The 4th doesn't mean anything to the poster since they don't understand the basics taught to people in Civic's class. That being, the ostensibly simple concept of having a member of the Judiciary act as a check and balance against the needs of the Executive.

Nobody is saying that the police should not have access to that data. They absolutely should and I can totally understand that it would be very useful to solving crimes. What the proponents completely miss is the understanding of what a warrant is .

That's the real problem. How many people understand what the heck a warrant even is anymore?

Re:They should allow it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995885)

How many people understand what the heck a warrant even is anymore?

Only like the greatest hairband EVAR! [wikipedia.org]

....oh.....I may have made your case for you.....

Re:They should allow it (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#45996813)

How are the police supposed to know that a crime was committed if they don't search every bedroom and tap every phone?

Fourth Amendment ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 6 months ago | (#45995849)

Does the Fourth Amendment mean nothing to ANYONE anymore?

Tell you a very sad truth ... if you ask 100 Americans about the "Bill of Rights" maybe 50 of them have heard about that.

But if you ask them to tell you how many amendments are inside the "Bill of Rights" and/or what they are ...
 
... not more than 10 of the 50 can successfully recite all the amendments.

And to answer user EDIII

I think it largely has to do with ignorance.

It's not only about ignorance but sheer apathy.

They (especially the younger generations) just do seems to not care anymore !

Younger Generations (5, Insightful)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 6 months ago | (#45996017)

Younger generations don't seem to care? It seems to me like younger generations are the ONLY ones that care. The older generations are the ones that got us here.

Don't put shit on the youth. They're active. They care. OUR apathy and ignorance got us here.

Re:Younger Generations (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 6 months ago | (#45996225)

Some day younger generations may learn why we care, but I hope not for their sake.

Re:Younger Generations (1, Flamebait)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 6 months ago | (#45996551)

I blame most, if not all, of our problems on baby boomers. Spoiled rotten little fuckin' brats. They had it great, and then they ruined it for the rest of us, trying to keep things great for themselves, because, of course, it's all about them. I wish they'd all just die already.

Re:Younger Generations (1)

dbraden (214956) | about 6 months ago | (#45996727)

Sorry, it's not that simple. It seems to me that most don't care, regardless of generation. And, there are those in all generations that do care.

Our apathy and ignorance got us here, just as the younger generations' apathy and ignorance will take us further. I truly hope I'll eventually be proven wrong.

Re: They should allow it (1)

VTBlue (600055) | about 6 months ago | (#45995965)

Agreed if the police want phone history just get a warrant for records from the cellular service provider, Skype, viber whoever.

The modern day smartphone should be treated like a safe, which requires a warrant to open. I believe the standard is that if there is a general expectation if privacy then you need a warrant. What is the difference between searching a smartphone or vehicle? Legally I see no difference.

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995471)

yeah, maybe if someone died and there is a reasonable suspicion

what if I failed to come to complete stop at a sign?

Re:They should allow it (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#45996241)

what if I failed to come to complete stop at a sign?

That would be a civil traffic offense, not even a petty criminal offense. Granted, you're still subject to the same conditions as any other Terry Stop...

Re:They should allow it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995483)

If there is enough evidence for arrest, there is enough evidence to see what recent contact information, phone calls and text messages are on a cell phone.

If there is so much 'evidence' as you say, it seems obtaining a warrant would be trivial.

They do care if your phone has a map to victim's house in the recent history.

Right...seems like that would be good 'evidence' to get a warrant to other locations such as the suspects house, car, business...etc.

That would certainly make police work a lot easier.[/sarcasm]

Re:They should allow it (4, Informative)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#45996311)

If there is so much 'evidence' as you say, it seems obtaining a warrant would be trivial.

Unfortunately you are incorrect.

Several neighbors had their houses burglarized. One neighbor found their TV for sale on Craigslist. They called the police in the city that the burglary took place in, that city PD had him contact the seller, that was a mile and a half over just into an adjacent city, so it was set up with that adjacent city's PD to meet the seller. Unfortunately the seller came out of his apartment with the hot TV, not letting anyone inside to see all of the other stuff that he had listed on CL. Despite arresting him with stolen merchandise they could not get a warrant to search his apartment.

I do not think that this was right, but it does demonstrate that it is not always possible to get a warrant even when the circumstances should be blindingly obvious.

I think that a warrant should be necessary to search someone's cellphone at any time, not just at arrest. Traffic stops, border entry, "immigration checkpoints", any reason. Mind you, if someone has been arrested and the investigation and charges against them indicate either conspiracy (like the fence for the stolen TV) or multiple perpetrators then it probably should be shall-issue for warrants for communications devices, but if a crime doesn't meet that standard then it should be much harder to get a warrant.

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995497)

So you're saying there's enough evidence to get a warrant. This is no different than reading someone's mail in their house. Pen traps? Got it. Just like reading an envelope, and you *tell* the phone company where to send it. However, this is blatantly in the "Secure in their papers" part of the constitution. Get a warrant.

Re:They should allow it (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 6 months ago | (#45995557)

Seriously? How on earth does anything you just said magically erase the US Constitution?

That smartphone represents, just as you said, access to huge amounts of information about the suspect. As well as information about innocent third parties that quite possibly had nothing to do with the crime.

You're supporting the idea of fishing expeditions into a person's digital space.

Arrest does not imply guilt. A member of the Judiciary should always be consulted regarding, and allowed to limit, the scope of any search of a person's effects and papers.

So, NO. There is not always enough evidence to justify the full and complete invasion of privacy of a citizen that is innocent until being proved guilty. If there really is a justifiable reason to invade that privacy than the police can convince a judge to do it.

Don't be a douchenozzle that enables their asshattery please.

There is never an acceptable reason to violate due process and PERFORM ANY ACTION WITHOUT A WARRANT .

Warrant, warrant, warrant, W A R R A N T!

It's a well conceived check and balance against tyranny ever present in a law enforcement organization. Don't give up something so valuable to the citizens over such stupid reasons.

Re:They should allow it (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 6 months ago | (#45995775)

That is a lot of bold print. But in 2013, a suspect is going to be carrying a note saying "Drop off the drugs to Tim at 555 N. Street" it is going to be a text message on a cell phone.

The cell phone is the new notepad or scrap of paper that the criminal is carrying.

Re:They should allow it (2, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 months ago | (#45995833)

Ah, decided to go with "douchenozzle" anyway, I see.

Re:They should allow it (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45996001)

Again, if there is reason to believe someone is a drug courier (because, say, you find drugs on him) it should be fairly trivial to get a warrant for the phone. What's the problem with that?

Re:They should allow it (-1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 6 months ago | (#45996073)

You seem to agree with everything I said but want the hassle of the warrant in situations that you agree are nearly 100% likely to get one.

So why not skip all the bullcrud and use common sense and let cops do their job.

Sure traffic cops and beat cops catch a lot of flak, but no cop is looking to search your cellphone for speeding or littering. So I have to be a little curious to know what oddball corner case that you have in mind that would involve an arrest, but wouldn't be a serious crime and wouldn't be a situation where the police were likely to get a warrant --- and whatever creative corner-case you have in mind can't be more than a few percent of those types of arrests.

An arrest means enough evidence to be strongly considered to being charged with a crime, not just casually annoying some guy who a cop wrote a parking ticket.

Re:They should allow it (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 6 months ago | (#45996151)

You seem to agree with everything I said but want the hassle of the warrant in situations that you agree are nearly 100% likely to get one.

The key word there is "nearly." We have a name for the exceptions: they're called "civil rights violations!"

Re:They should allow it (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 6 months ago | (#45996251)

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html [miamiherald.com]

An arrest is supposed to mean an officer had probable cause. In practice it means nothing whatever.

Requiring judicial review preserves a little privacy for victims of DWB and harassment arrests.

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996257)

You seem to agree with everything I said but want the hassle of the warrant in situations that you agree are nearly 100% likely to get one.

Every law on the books, every rule of evidence followed by the courts, and every amendment in the Bill of Rights, is there because something went wrong 0.01% of the time.

Re:They should NOT allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996297)

Man arrested for warning drivers of speed trap
https://www.google.ca/search?q=texas+arrested+for+speed+trap+sign+on+public+property

Journalist Jailed for Civil Contempt
http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/01/15/alabama-journalist-jailed-civil-contempt-political-stench/

Arrested for joking about peanut butter at airport
http://jonathanturley.org/2013/02/12/hannibals-crossing-of-the-alps-tsa-arizona-man-sues-agency-after-arrest-for-airport-joke/

Nearly Half Of Black Males, 40 Percent Of White Males Are Arrested
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/06/half-of-blacks-arrested-23_n_4549620.html

Americans get arrested way too easily. Cops should be required to get a warrant before doing cell-phone searches. Has a judge ever declined to issue a warrant requested by a cop? If so, those are the "creative/oddball corner cases" I'd like to hear about.

Re:They should allow it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996375)

So why not skip all the bullcrud and use common sense and let cops do their job.

Because "all the bullcrud" is there to help keep the cops from abusing their power! By getting a warrant, they are (at least in theory) affirming that they have probable cause to conduct a search. If we were to let your "common sense" take over, then the cops could search people for whatever reason they felt like, probable cause be damned. Now, the vast majority of them may in fact be sane, rational, and fair with when they conduct searches without a warrant. However, there are plenty of crooked cops who will use it as an excuse to harass people. THIS is why we have the requirement for a warrant. Read the goddamn Bill of Rights sometimes. Half of the stuff in there should be common sense, but it's there because power can and WILL be abused without some safeguard!

Re:They should allow it (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | about 6 months ago | (#45996381)

So why not skip all the bullcrud and use common sense and let cops do their job.

That "bullcrud" is called Due Process and the Constitution of the United States of America.

"Nearly 100%" doesn't cut it. You're being a douchenozzle right now.

If it was your freedom at risk, why would you elect to remove the Judiciary oversight from your interaction with law enforcement?

Another question:

You may feel that way, but why would you deny me my Constitutional right to privacy in my effects and papers?

The position you hold is not reasonable, or rational, and basically amounts to "due process and oversight is so hard. I have to like convince a judge that my logic is correct".

In other words, you strongly disagree with the idea of peer review.

Those checks and balances were created by the founding fathers for a reason. Not just to fuck with law enforcement and make their lives harder.

Re:They should allow it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996465)

You seem to agree with everything I said but want the hassle of the warrant in situations that you agree are nearly 100% likely to get one.

...

An arrest means enough evidence to be strongly considered to being charged with a crime, not just casually annoying some guy who a cop wrote a parking ticket.

Because cops are never mistaken, of course, right?

Man who gave homeless man 75 cents gets pulled over by police [click2houston.com]

Of course he made the mistake of agreeing to them searching his car, but I can understand why, he probably thought they were "likely to do more than just cuff/detain him" if he refused. And obviously because they saw him give 'something' (75-cents) to a homeless guy, he "obviously" was a drug dealer - because nobody gives spare change to the homeless anymore, right?

So why not skip all the bullcrud and use common sense and let cops do their job.

See, that's funny... because, correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the cops job was to follow and enforce the laws of the land, of which, unless I am mistaken, the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the law of the land? Therefore, according to the 4th Amendment, which is the law, their job is to get a warrant in order to search my effects, papers, etc. I'm not sure why expecting them to follow the law they purport to uphold is "bullcrud", seems like common sense to me that they should be following the Amendments set down in law to regulate what they can and cannot do. Seems to me to be greatly lacking in common sense to allow them to violate the 4th Amendment, whether it be 100% certain, "nearly" so (whatever that is, is 90% "nearly"? 80%? 50%? Who decides what "nearly" is?), or whatever - that is a Judges job to decide whether the evidence they have is certain/sufficient enough to give them a warrant to search, not the police's.

Unless you want to make all the police into Judges, and maybe we can find some guy named "Dredd" to be the best of them? Is that really the picture of society you want in our country?

Re:They should allow it (3, Insightful)

Libertarian001 (453712) | about 6 months ago | (#45996479)

Yes, let's let the cops do their job. That includes GETTING A GOD-DAMNED WARRANT.

The rest of your commentary is so laughably idiotic that I hope no one wastes any time responding to it.

Re:They should allow it (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 6 months ago | (#45996599)

You seem to agree with everything I said but want the hassle of the warrant in situations that you agree are nearly 100% likely to get one. So why not skip all the bullcrud and use common sense and let cops do their job.

It's called 'Due Process' and is the only thing keeping you from arbitralily being swept up and jailed when they 'round up the usual suspects'.

Sure traffic cops and beat cops catch a lot of flak, but no cop is looking to search your cellphone for speeding or littering. So I have to be a little curious to know what oddball corner case that you have in mind that would involve an arrest, but wouldn't be a serious crime and wouldn't be a situation where the police were likely to get a warrant --- and whatever creative corner-case you have in mind can't be more than a few percent of those types of arrests. An arrest means enough evidence to be strongly considered to being charged with a crime, not just casually annoying some guy who a cop wrote a parking ticket.

You're assuming every cop is a Boy Scout and wouldn't think of tainting evidence. May I remind you of the most famous instance regarding manufactured/manipulated evidence, a double homicide in Brentwood? The jury was convinced that he did it, but since evidence was tainted to the point where they couldn't even prove what day it was, the jury was forced to aquit based on the remaining untainted inconclusive evidence, and since double jeopardy prohibited a retrail and there was insufficient untainted evidence to support a guilty verdict or present at a retrial if the trial was ruled a mistrial, it had to go to jury where they aquitted him. Did he do it or not? I have no clue, and now, neither will anybody else other than the suspect and the victims, and the victims ain't talking.

Re:They should allow it (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45996139)

Time constraints, for one. Judges sleep, while the contacts can schedule crimes any time they want.

Lost opportunity, for two. Criminals can easily just disperse and hide if a scheduled check-in is missed.

It's unnecessary, for three. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches, but if there's a "reason to believe [whatever]", it's reasonable by definition. That reason may be debated in court later, of course, such as if the "drugs" turn out to be something else, but working with the facts known at the time, the search would be allowed.

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996233)

You obviously don't know how the warrant system works. Nowadays, they CAN perform search and seizure when time is of an essence BUT they must get a warrant afterwords within a time-frame (I think 72 hours). Let me explain to you what a warrant is, it's a check against unreasonable searches. By having to get a warrant even after the fact, a police officer must first give a reason that is considered reasonable to perform a search. You seriously don't think all cops will be reasonable with their actions do you?

Most warrant are approved without any hassle but there are a very small percentage that are denied because they are unreasonable. Saying you want to bypass the warrant system is like saying you are ok with a cop searching your house because you was in the "wrong" part of town or because you are black or some other stupid reason that does crop up in real life because people's judgement are clouded by their own views.

Re:They should allow it (1, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45996481)

Try again [lawcomic.net] .

Let me explain to you what a warrant is, it's a check against unreasonable searches.

A search incident to a lawful arrest is not "unreasonable".

READ the 4th, will you? (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 6 months ago | (#45996617)

A search incident to a lawful arrest is not "unreasonable".

Actually, the 4th defines what is reasonable WRT search and seizure, and that is: probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, describing the place(s) to be searched and the thing(s) to be searched for, which stipulations, when met, are the minimum standard for issuance of a warrant, and the WARRANT is what says, finally, that it's ok to search and/or sieze, and what, and where. Until that warrant is issued pursuant to the above conditions, you don't have a "reasonable" search, what you have is government out of control.

Here's the thing to internalize: The 4th defines what is reasonable. It's not about what you or I or a cop thinks is reasonable; there's a clear standard, and THAT is what is reasonable until or unless an amendment changes the 4th. No sane or sustainable argument can be made for the presence of the detailed requirements in the 4th if they are to be ignored. And clearly, they are not to be ignored.

Re:They should allow it (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 6 months ago | (#45996625)

Try again [lawcomic.net] .

Let me explain to you what a warrant is, it's a check against unreasonable searches.

A search incident to a lawful arrest is not "unreasonable".

A 'fishing expedition' and search prior to an arrest, without warrant, IS unreasonable.

Re:They should allow it (3, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about 6 months ago | (#45996415)

Judges can be woken up, and if we have so much crime that we need to start hiring and paying judges to work grave yard shifts we have much bigger problems.

At that point let's just put society to rest and create Judge Dredd.

All of your examples pale in comparison to the protections afforded by judicial oversight. It's my RIGHT to have that judge woken up and asked if the logic and reasoning behind the violation of my privacy is warranted.

Interesting how that word is used. An action can be "warranted". That's what a warrant means. Somebody designated by the citizens and trained to be impartial evaluated the situation and said the invasion of my privacy was warranted and in the best interests of society.

With respect, I FUCKING WANT THAT.

Don't take away my right to have a judge involved before the cops can even attempt to violate my rights, haul my ass off to jail for forced enemas, colonoscopies, beatings, jail rapes, etc.

Let's keep due process dude. It's a really good idea.

Re:They should allow it (1, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45996527)

Don't take away my right to have a judge involved before the cops can even attempt to violate my rights

That's why there's arrest warrants. The judge is involved beforehand.

Of course, you can be detained or arrested without a warrant, if the police officer has probable cause to believe you committed a crime. In that case, you can challenge the arrest right off the bat. Then a judge is involved, and if the judge disagrees with the police, everything they have is excluded and the police department is ripe for a wrongful arrest lawsuit. that's real due process. You get a chance to defend yourself against accusations. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. You do not get absolute freedom until judgement.

It's nice that you want 24-hour immediate access to a judge before every police action, but I want a pony. With respect, what makes you so important that your due process must be immediate, rather than speedy? If the on-call judge is busy with another call, then what? Does a burglar caught red-handed get to run away because the police have no warrant to arrest him?

Re:They should allow it (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 6 months ago | (#45996635)

The police can detain you if they believe they have enough evidence to do so. However, the 4th requires that to search you, or seize your property, they need a warrant. So, if required, you, and they, should wait for one while they supply said evidence to the judge.

Yes, I know they just do whatever the fuck they want, but they are wrong, and the 4th spells out exactly how they are wrong.

Until or unless the 4th is amended, we're talking about government out of control.

Re:They should allow it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996603)

Judges can be woken up, and if we have so much crime that we need to start hiring and paying judges to work grave yard shifts we have much bigger problems.

At that point let's just put society to rest and create Judge Dredd.

All of your examples pale in comparison to the protections afforded by judicial oversight. It's my RIGHT to have that judge woken up and asked if the logic and reasoning behind the violation of my privacy is warranted.

Interesting how that word is used. An action can be "warranted". That's what a warrant means. Somebody designated by the citizens and trained to be impartial evaluated the situation and said the invasion of my privacy was warranted and in the best interests of society.

With respect, I FUCKING WANT THAT.

Don't take away my right to have a judge involved before the cops can even attempt to violate my rights, haul my ass off to jail for forced enemas, colonoscopies, beatings, jail rapes, etc.

Let's keep due process dude. It's a really good idea.

Interesting you should mention some of that last part... a great example of why Judicial oversight is 'warranted' and a search warrant should be REQUIRED:

Woman sues over vaginal, anal exams in El Paso drug search [elpasotimes.com]

As her passport was swiped, a CBP officer told her she was "randomly" picked for a secondary inspection, where Portillo and Herrera frisked her through her clothing.
"One of the agents ran her finger over Ms. Doe's genital area during the frisk," the lawsuit said.

Then the woman was told to squat as one of the officers "inserted her finger in the crevice of Ms. Doe's buttocks." The frisk did not show any evidence of contraband or drugs, the lawsuit said.

Then the woman was told to stand in a line with other people as a drug-sniffing dog walked by.

The officer with the dog "hit the ground by her feet, but did not hit the ground by any of the others in the line," the lawsuit said. "The dog responded by lunging onto Ms. Doe and landing its front paws on her torso."

Ives said she does not believe this was a proper signal to indicate a drugs were present, but officers used it to continue the search.

The woman was taken to another room and asked to take off her pants and crouch as her anus and vagina were examined with a flashlight, the lawsuit said.

The woman, now crying, was taken to University Medical Center after the strip search did not find anything.

"During the car ride to the Medical Center, Ms. Doe asked if the agents had a warrant," the lawsuit said. "One of them responded that they did not need a warrant."

While handcuffed to an examination table, the woman was searched again by both officers and Cabanillas and Parsa. She was given a laxative and had a bowel movement in a portable toilet in front of both officers, the lawsuit said.

Then the woman's abdomen was X-rayed, but there were no signs of drugs or any other contraband in the woman's body. A speculum was used to probe her vagina and Parsa's fingers were used to inspect both her vagina and rectum while the door to the examining room was left open, the lawsuit said.

At this point the lawsuit claims, "Ms. Doe felt that she was being treated less than human, like an animal."
The last test was a CT scan of the woman's abdomen and pelvis, which resulted in no evidence of illegal activity being found.

The lawsuit said after the CT scan one of the officers told the woman she could sign the medical consent form and CBP would pay for the exams, but if she did not sign, she would be charged. The woman refused to sign and eventually she was charged more than $5,000 for the examinations.

According to the lawsuit, she repeatedly refused to consent to any of the searches./p>

University Medical Center's search of patients policy states, "Associates, members of Medical Staff, Residents or Allied Health Professionals may search a patient only when necessary to comply with a search warrant." Under the subhead procedure, the policy states, "...unless a patient consents, an invasion of the patient's body to obtain evidence requires a search warrant."

A warrant was not obtained, the lawsuit said.

I wonder, at what part of all that should a warrant have been obtained? Or was one just not needed because the police had 'reasonable suspicion'... and, well, after an anal & vaginal strip search found nothing, was it still 'reasonable' to take her to a hospital for further invasive searching? At what point might that have been considered "unreasonable"? At what point should maybe the officers in question have gotten a search warrant to proceed further?

Do we really want to give the police that kind of power? If we start giving them that kind of power, when does it start creeping in to everything as being 'reasonable'?

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996577)

Time constraints, for one. Judges sleep, while the contacts can schedule crimes any time they want.

Lost opportunity, for two. Criminals can easily just disperse and hide if a scheduled check-in is missed.

It's unnecessary, for three. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches, but if there's a "reason to believe [whatever]", it's reasonable by definition. That reason may be debated in court later, of course, such as if the "drugs" turn out to be something else, but working with the facts known at the time, the search would be allowed.

Seems to me like you're just trying to get around human fallibility and normal limitations that have been around as long as crime has.
The fact that criminals have the upper hand most of the time by breaking social convention... does not mean you must break the law to catch up to them. Because then, by opening the door for warrantless searching, some the NSA sociopaths grinning widely. They're going to be pointing to your cause as an excuse for your wholesale warrantless surveillance, of something more than just those fast-acting thieves.

Problem is, you never hear "this thief brought to you by ... NSA surveilance!" They don't worry about local crime and small fries. And your third point opens the door for parallel construction: debate in court whatever story we can make up for that future date, because right now we reeeaaaally wanna catch you for this other secret reason that is unacceptable for the court to know about. If there's 1 criminal per 100 people, malfeasance and other problems normally limited to that one thief via due process now potentially target all 100. See wholesale surveillance, and the principle I keep hearing here that "everyone breaks many laws every day, so you better hope not to caught a cop's bad side TODAY!"

Re:They should allow it (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 6 months ago | (#45996621)

Time constraints, for one. Judges sleep, while the contacts can schedule crimes any time they want.

Lost opportunity, for two. Criminals can easily just disperse and hide if a scheduled check-in is missed.

It's unnecessary, for three. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches, but if there's a "reason to believe [whatever]", it's reasonable by definition. That reason may be debated in court later, of course, such as if the "drugs" turn out to be something else, but working with the facts known at the time, the search would be allowed.

No. No. NO. An arrest after a search without a warrant can be overturned by any defense attorney worth their salt. If following due process inconveniences the cops and the legal establishment TOO FUCKING BAD, it's not there for them, it's there for the common citizen.

Re:They should allow it (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about 6 months ago | (#45996463)

The cell phone is the new notepad or scrap of paper that the criminal is carrying.

Maybe so. However, it also represents scraps of paper that are held in numerous other locations, and information that has nothing to do with the crime at hand.

Nothing you said even for a microsecond excuses your desire to eliminate due process. Remember, I'm not arguing that you can't get it. Only that I want a judge to say that the getting of my data is warranted.

You have the same back asswards logic that the NSA uses to justify mass surveillance. We *could* be ohh that much safer if we just got rid of due process and violated everyone's privacy in real time forever. All of the criminal text messages would be seen instantly!! We could even create a "precog" division for rapid response and be at the drug drop *before* the criminals get there.

No dude. The risks and dangers to our society from such invasions of privacy are so much more dangerous than whatever security you think you gained with it.

Once again, for the 2nd time in this post, if you really think you need it, just ask for a WARRANT.

A WARRANT allows you get that information you want because the logic and reasoning you have for getting it is determined to be WARRANTED.

You have not presented any logical reason whatsoever for getting rid of my due process rights.

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996253)

Seriously? How on earth does anything you just said magically erase the US Constitution?

The founding father could never have conceived of smartphones. That's why the fourth amendment specifies that it only applies to things that existed in the 18th century like houses and wagons.

Re:They should allow it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995753)

If there is enough evidence for arrest, there is enough evidence to see what recent contact information, phone calls and text messages are on a cell phone.
 

People are routinely arrested when they have committed no crimes.

The mere fact that someone has been arrested doesn't in ANY way justify
a warrantless search of their phone.

You are either a cop or an idiot. Of course you could be both, that is a common
occurrence.

Re:They should allow it (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#45995935)

If there is enough evidence for arrest, there is enough evidence to see what recent contact information, phone calls and text messages are on a cell phone.

No...... because no evidence is required to arrest or detain someone, only suspicion of "substantial chance" or "fair probability" that there might be a specific criminal activity, the person is involved with. The phone might contain personal information, or information that could be incriminating in a manner unrelated to the basis for searching it: Illegal fishing expedition.

Since there was no warrant documenting the police officer's hunch, or reason for the search or suspected criminal activity, the suspicion can be modified, to whatever the phone suggests!

A search requires obtaining a warrant which shall not issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation describing the particular thing to be searched for.

A warrant is the proper standard, for breaking an encryption lock box and rummaging around in someone else's effects, without their cooperation.

Even a warrant should be insufficient to compel the suspect to disclose passwords or decryption keys, or penalize the suspect for refusing, however.

Constitutionality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995937)

But where is their warrant? The Constitution says you have implicit privacy in your affairs and your papers, electronic devices are merely storage devices for electronic papers. Thus, the Supremes should rule on the side of caution and require a warrant.

Re:They should allow it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45995981)

If you have cause to arrest me, it should be fairly trivial to get a warrant to search my phone, shouldn't it? Or are we learning from the Stalinist times of "arrest him, then keep poking through his private life 'til we find a reason for it"?

Re:They should allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996119)

No judge cares about your grocery list or calls to grandma.

I'm almost convinced that you are correct, and that such information is so unimportant that its unsanctioned disclosure to third parties does no harm.

To prove your point, please reply to this message with all your email messages and text messages to/from your grandmother(s) for the past year. Also post your grocery lists for the past year.

Re:They should allow it (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 6 months ago | (#45996219)

Your phone may include passwords to online or home storage that contains evidence of crimes unrelated to the one for which you were stopped. It may also contain information on activity that is legal but highly embarrassing. The police do sometimes release personal information to the press on people who have not been convicted of a crime.

The phone may also contain information on legal political or religious beliefs that would be prejudicial to someones trial.

Re:They should allow it (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 6 months ago | (#45996667)

Your phone may include passwords to online or home storage that contains evidence of crimes unrelated to the one for which you were stopped. It may also contain information on activity that is legal but highly embarrassing. The police do sometimes release personal information to the press on people who have not been convicted of a crime.

The phone may also contain information on legal political or religious beliefs that would be prejudicial to someones trial.

So what? GET A WARRANT. Following chains of 'evidence' obtained without said warrant can take you anywhere. A buddy of mine was interrogated by the FBI because, once upon a time, he was Timothy McVie's landlord, years before McVie moved out and blew up the Federal Building. Haddn't seen him in years since he moved out of town, before that, saw him once a month on Rent Day to get the check, and the rest of the time, didn't let his name cross his mind.

Seems obvious... (2)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about 6 months ago | (#45995381)

But with this bunch of idiots on SCOTUS you never know.

Police should be free to search the physical device, for example, remove the battery cover, take it out of the case, etc, but not able to search the data contained within the device or its memory cards without a warrant.

Re:Seems obvious... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#45995563)

Actually even searching the physical device should require a warrant - beyond a "Terry Pat" that's (supposed to be) targeted *exclusively* at detecting weapons, US police are required to get a warrant or your permission before searching you or your home/car/etc, though of course a little intimidation and/or selective hearing can usually get them that permission pretty easily. Well, plus the fact that a while back the rules were changed such that *suspicion* of drug possession was almost as good as a warrant.

Re:Seems obvious... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about 6 months ago | (#45995717)

Well that's just it, they are already allowed to search you if they have the suspicion of finding drugs. The question then becomes, can they then turn on your phone and look thru the contact list or call logs? Search the physical phone, yes. Search the data on the phone, no. If they take possession of the phone (which they most likely will if they believe something of value is on it) it's not like the phone is going to self-destruct, so they can wait for warrant if their case is strong enough. And if their case isn't strong enough to get a warrant then they have no business browsing thru the personal data on your phone.

Re:Seems obvious... (1)

adolf (21054) | about 6 months ago | (#45996069)

Well that's just it, they are already allowed to search you if they have the suspicion of finding drugs.

Incorrect. They need probable cause, not mere suspicion.

If they take possession of the phone (which they most likely will if they believe something of value is on it) it's not like the phone is going to self-destruct, so they can wait for warrant if their case is strong enough.

Mine can self-destruct. (I haven't actually -installed- a dead man's switch on it, but it's pretty trivial to do, just as it is on any other general-purpose programmable computer.)

And if their case isn't strong enough to get a warrant then they have no business browsing thru the personal data on your phone.

"through."

Re:Seems obvious... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#45996589)

>Incorrect. They need probable cause, not mere suspicion.
Can you cite a source for that claim? Because I'm fairly certain I've heard "suspicion of possession" as the magic words from several sources. Probable cause is what you need for a warrant.

As for a kill switch, it doesn't do you much good if their first action was to clone the drive, which I've heard is the standard process for PCs at least for exactly that reason. If some other computer is analyzing the data it doesn't much matter what self-destruct software would have been running if they had bothered to turn on your computer. Though admittedly soldered-on flash is slightly more difficult to swap into another machine than a SATA or IDE drive.

Re:Seems obvious... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about 6 months ago | (#45996725)

Congratulations! You've won the Pedantic asshole of the Day award! Please call 1-800-EAT-SHIT and ask for someone who cares! Have your credit card ready!

Re:Seems obvious... (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#45996405)

Actually even searching the physical device should require a warrant - beyond a "Terry Pat" that's (supposed to be) targeted *exclusively* at detecting weapons,

The problem is that many judges don't seem to have a grasp of simple logic. In the situation you describe, some judges would think: "In order to search for weapons, cops can search closed containers. Because cops can search closed containers, they can search anything else that might be closed, like a cellphone". Of course, this type of thinking completely ignores the rationale for the search of closed containers and the fact that such rationale doesn't apply to cellphones (the data contained within could not contain a weapon). But that's judicial logic for you.

Re:Seems obvious... (3, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#45996675)

Actually the rationale doesn't apply to closed containers either, or open ones for that matter, unless they happen to be on your person and capable of hiding a weapon - the Terry Pat is only to ensure you don't present an imminent threat to the officers during questioning, nothing else. If they even want you to empty your pockets they need either a warrant or your consent, or to actually arrest you, which changes the rules somewhat. Sadly they are unlikely to face any repercussions for ordering you to do things they are not actually authorized to require, and by complying with their orders the judge is likely to decide that you voluntarily consented. And of course unless you know the law well enough to be certain which orders you are required to comply with and which ones are "requests" you're likely to get yourself in trouble by refusing to obey.

I bet (2)

db10 (740174) | about 6 months ago | (#45995383)

the only thing they will "wrestle with" is reading the script

Lock code.. (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 6 months ago | (#45995415)

If the phone is locked up with a PIN they can't force you to divulge that information without a warrant, correct? A pattern/gesture lock might be the wiser choice though.

Re:Lock code.. (2)

crutchy (1949900) | about 6 months ago | (#45995537)

If the phone is locked up with a PIN they can't force you to divulge that information without a warrant, correct?

the world has changed in the last 12 years that you've had your head buried in the sand... nowadays police don't need warrants for anything (at most they might follow up the paperwork later with back dated warrants etc).

possession is now 100% of the law, so if the police sieze your phone, they can do whatever they want with it and there is nothing you can do about that. if the phone is locked, they either get what they want directly from the carrier or they threaten you with the thought of enjoying cuban cuisine for the rest of your life.

Re:Lock code.. (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 6 months ago | (#45995777)

Again we have that lovely "you have no right to privacy for information information in possession of a third party", in this case the third party being your carrier.

Re:Lock code.. (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 6 months ago | (#45996271)

the world has changed in the last 12 years that you've had your head buried in the sand... nowadays police don't need warrants for anything

They do indeed still need a warrant. It's the law. If you keep everything encrypted you are protected from any law officer under the delusion that they don't need a warrant.

Let's face it, law officers aren't the brightest people. In fact you are automatically disqualified from being in law enforecement if your IQ is high enough.

tldr; use encryption, protect yourself from dumbfucks.

Re:Lock code.. (2)

vlueboy (1799360) | about 6 months ago | (#45996649)

the world has changed in the last 12 years that you've had your head buried in the sand... nowadays police don't need warrants for anything

I thought GP was going to cite what I was thinking about in that quote.

They do indeed still need a warrant. It's the law. If you keep everything encrypted you are protected from any law officer under the delusion that they don't need a warrant.

Let's face it, law officers aren't the brightest people. In fact you are automatically disqualified from being in law enforecement if your IQ is high enough.

tldr; use encryption, protect yourself from dumbfucks.

You didn't either. What I was looking for is what I've heard about forensic tools that are now available to any cop, if I recall correctly, where they just plug in your phone and sluuuuurp! Done!
So you don't even need to unlock it, regardless of whether it's iOS or Android based. Since the US government has agreements with all those companies and there are backdoors in everything, the war is lost if the device leaves your hands, being it the good guys, or the bad guys.

http://www.androidauthority.com/xry-software-crack-ios-android-70132/ [androidauthority.com] (plus some irony in the comment section given those were made in pre-Snowden days of 2012)
http://www.hotforsecurity.com/blog/us-police-forensic-tools-can-collect-suspects-smartphone-data-without-warrant-aclu-says-5574.html [hotforsecurity.com]

Because given misunderstandings, the only good guy when it comes to your personal data is your own self. Nothing will stop "parallel construction" from creating a probable cause to view your data in some new light.

Re:Lock code.. (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 6 months ago | (#45996783)

You didn't either. What I was looking for is what I've heard about forensic tools that are now available to any cop, if I recall correctly, where they just plug in your phone and sluuuuurp! Done!

What you heard is wrong. There is a reason Edward Snowden publicly disclosed his data cache encrypted with AES-256; the NSA can't touch it. You can "slurp" up as much encrypted data as you want but if it takes you until the heat death of the universe to decrypt it, it's not of much use.

Because given misunderstandings, the only good guy when it comes to your personal data is your own self.

Which is why you take the responsibility and encrypt it yourself.

Need good aftermarket encryption (4, Insightful)

johngaunt (414543) | about 6 months ago | (#45995475)

A pin or pattern / gesture lock is useless if the cops have the phone. They DO have tools to render such trivial things useless. They DO use those tools. I have seen the little box with the multitude of connectors being attached to a phone, and then the phone is unlocked, data dumped, and sorted through. Encryption, strong, non manufacturer based encryption, is the only thing close to safe.

Re:Need good aftermarket encryption (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 months ago | (#45995597)

A pin or pattern / gesture lock is useless if the cops have the phone. They DO have tools to render such trivial things useless. They DO use those tools. I have seen the little box with the multitude of connectors being attached to a phone, and then the phone is unlocked, data dumped, and sorted through. Encryption, strong, non manufacturer based encryption, is the only thing close to safe.

Without hardware support you're screwed anyway because absolutely nobody wants to input a 128+ bit passphrase on their cell phone, you need some kind of trusted, tamper proof chip that'll nuke the encryption key if you enter the wrong PIN more than say 4-10 times.

Re:Need good aftermarket encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996061)

It's called iphone 5s, no?

Re: Need good aftermarket encryption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996535)

Huh? If you are referring to the fingerprint reader, it has already been defeated. Your fingerprints can be lifted and copied.

Re:Need good aftermarket encryption (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 6 months ago | (#45995929)

I'm actually in the process of learning how modern Android phones operate. Do you recall the names of any such software? It would be mighty helpful in fixing bricked phones I would think.

Re:Need good aftermarket encryption (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#45996027)

They DO use those tools. I have seen the little box with the multitude of connectors being attached to a phone

What do you think of a plug that fits into the lightning port, locks into place using a magnetic lock, and prevents any other cable from being inserted?

Attempt to force removal, should trigger release of corrosive materials sufficient to immediately destroy the connector, and possibly leak into the phone, and render the unit inoperable

Papers and EFFECTS (3, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#45995553)

It's not that complicated, damn it.

Re:Papers and EFFECTS (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#45996255)

Not to mention that any honest reading of the Constitution would acknowledge that the data on a smartphone (or other computer) is the modern equivalent of one's "papers".

The Law (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 6 months ago | (#45995607)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

-- Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

re: The Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995953)

Great idea. Problem is, it's not honored anymore.

Re:The Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995983)

While I totally agree that this is a case where they definitely should be using a warrant, I have a quick question for those of you that might have studied law.

What, exactly, was intended by "effects" when the constitution was originally penned, and what does it (or should it) mean today? What is considered an effect and what is not? I ask because we all know how the government likes to weasel its way around definitions for things that should be simple... such as the word "search" in regard to the NSA.

Re:The Law (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45996399)

That's an excellent question. No matter what answer you get, it won't be right in everybody's eyes. It's controversial.

As I understand it from my studies, "effects" was intended originally to mean physical belongings. Considering that persons, houses, and papers were already covered specifically, "effects" was a sort of "everything else". One decent example I've been told was "everything you'd take with you moving to a new home". In the 18th century, there was no general expectation of day-to-day privacy. Walls weren't soundproof, gossip was the primary entertainment, and world news was remote and unimportant compared to the neighbors' sins.

It's important to understand that the real coverage for information was supposed to come from the protection of "papers". Finance records, communication, and bills of sale all relied on paper. It was so easy to steal someone's horse and flee to the next town that someone's papers were effectively a record of their entire life and wealth. If one's papers were to be taken for legal examination, their livelihood would be extremely vulnerable, even if the person weren't actually arrested.

Let's not forget that our founding fathers were really rebels turned paranoid by the oppression of life in a British colony.

The British would, under the guise of "searching", ransack the home or business of anyone who offended the local rulers (governors, commanders, and so forth). The physical belongings of the victim would be seized, and the all-important papers affirming ownership would be taken for examination. Consider a farmer losing his tools and livestock right before a planting... his family would be dead within the year. It's the perfect tool for an oppressive government agent, keeping up the appearances of serving society while really just eliminating political opponents.

Of course, as the US matured and our police didn't end up exterminating families on a whim (often), the extreme fear that inspired the Fourth Amendment has subsided. The original meaning of "effects" is really rather unrelated to modern life.

Instead, SCOTUS has examined what the modern equivalent would be. Today, our lives are based less around the physical goods we own, but more what information we know. "Effects" is now held to include current information, while "papers" is more applicable to permanent records. Just as one may have given away belongings in the 1700s, one can now give away information easily. On the other hand, if someone wants to keep belongings or information, it is reasonable that they must make a basic effort to protect them. Belongings shouldn't be left abandoned far from someone's own home, and private information shouldn't be revealed publicly to still be considered private.

This is where the NSA gets its wiggle-room from. The information they're gathering is spread through publicly-accessible networks, so it's public, so they're not doing any Fourth-Amendment-Applicable searching. Of course, this "public" information isn't really available en masse to anybody else, but since that's just a matter of price, it still counts as public, right? SCOTUS hasn't decided yet, so that question is still up in the air.

Re:The Law (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45996023)

Oh if they only made those politicians swear that they have to uphold that piece of paper...

Arrested criminal suspects.... (1)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | about 6 months ago | (#45995609)

Here we go again....we have to protect ourselves from the "criminals" even before they are deemed so by a court of law. We have to "get the criminals", well in my country now, Canada, it is now criminal to rip a dvd to your computer without the content owners permission. And going off topic a bit, how long before almost everyone can be arrested for carrying on normal-day activities?

Continuing to refer to it as a phone is a mistake (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995633)

Unwarranted access to a phone doesn't sound like that big a deal.

The phone component has become a minor feature of today's Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5. The device is computer as powerful if not more than your desktop or laptop 10 years ago. More memory, faster processor, camera, video/audio recorder, movie and song player, ability to run applications, etc.

In 10 years who knows what they will be able to do and what more will be stored on them.

Secure in your papers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995693)

AHAH! A phone isn't a paper.

If you had paper, you would be protected, for we have rocks.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45995741)

Can't wait to see the 5-4 decision for this.

Am I the only one...? (2, Interesting)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 6 months ago | (#45995811)

Am I the only one who sees the word SCROTUM every time /. uses SCOTUS?

Re:Am I the only one...? (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 6 months ago | (#45995845)

Yes. Have you been tea-bagging Scalia again?

(sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

Re:Am I the only one...? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45996043)

Well, they are wedged between a dick and an asshole, but then again, I doubt they have balls.

Re:Am I the only one...? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 6 months ago | (#45996509)

Am I the only one who sees the word SCROTUM every time /. uses SCOTUS?

The acronym should be based on:

SupremeCouRtOfTheUnitedstatesofaMerica.

I got a hint for the USSC (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about 6 months ago | (#45996005)

It's called the 4th Amendment! You know, Secure in your person, papers, things and places. That smart phone counts as thing that is PROTECTED from unwarranted search and seizure.

That it actually got all the way up to the USSC is appalling. It should have been vigorously quashed at the district level and affirmed by the appellate and that be the end of it.

Sure, allow it (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 6 months ago | (#45996067)

Allow the police the right to search the phone, but don't make it a law that the accused has to unlock or unencrypt the data on the phone. I have no problem wiht the police looking through my phone, but if you want to get inside any of my data then be prepared to crack it.

Re:Sure, allow it (3, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 months ago | (#45996081)

If you want to allow the police to look through your phone without a warrant, you're more than welcome to. I would appreciate it if you'd leave the rest of us out it.

Re:Sure, allow it (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#45996263)

Some people don't encrypt their phones, but the police should still need a warrant to search them. The police don't get to search your house just because you forgot to lock your doors.

Re:Sure, allow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996701)

Allow the police the right to search the phone, but don't make it a law that the accused has to unlock or unencrypt the data on the phone. I have no problem wiht the police looking through my phone, but if you want to get inside any of my data then be prepared to crack it.

Easy. http://www.androidauthority.com/xry-software-crack-ios-android-70132/ [androidauthority.com]
This is automated these days. You should be more careful.

The Feds put backdoors into everything modern, so the apis are already there to not even need to crack. You may be trading your cheap (but clean) low-encryption device for one that offers OVAR 9,000-bit encryption... with the catch that some hardware signal triggers its yield-to-cops() function so it's laughably less work to penetrate your data and unlock, than your ancient device's real implementation (backed by more honesty) would present to them.

Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996431)

What good is this when the NSA is already searching everything with no warrant? Sure it's good but how about worrying about the bigger issue first?

Should smartphone content really be "evidence?" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45996777)

In the days of landlines, *everyone* had multiple people using the same phone. I still do that to this day with my smartphone. Friends, siblings, etc. use my phone all the time, and why shouldn't they? You can't assume anything on my smartphone was done by me alone. Same with my PC. Back before cell phones, if someone ran out of gas and walked to the nearest house to borrow their phone, it wasn't unusual at all. I was also always happy to show off my Commodore 64 and Amiga to all my friends or relatives. Why are we assumed not to have this privilege anymore? At what point did we *become* our phone or PC? I'm not a phone number or IP address, I'm a human being. Don't I have the right to be courteous enough to let others use my equipment anymore?

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  • ecode

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<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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