Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New At Say Anything: California Supreme Court Neuters The Fourth Amendment

California's Supreme Court has ruled that police may search cell phones of suspected criminals without a warrant. The court's decision allows police to listen to recorded messages and read texts on the cell phones of people under arrest.
The ruling handed down by California's top court involves the 2007 arrest of Gregory Diaz, who purchased drugs from a police informant. Investigators later looked through Diaz's phone and found text messages that implicated him in a drug deal. Diaz appealed his conviction, saying the evidence was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. The court disagreed, comparing Diaz cell phone to personal effects like clothing, which can be searched by arresting officers.

"The cell phone was an item (of personal property) on (Diaz's) person at the time of his arrest and during the administrative processing at the police station," the justices wrote. "Because the cell phone was immediately associated with defendant’s person, (police were) entitled to inspect its contents without a warrant."
That last sentence should ring alarm bells for anyone who cares even a modicum for privacy in this country.

Click here to read the rest of this post as Say Anything.

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