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The Supreme Court is hearing 2 privacy cases this week!

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posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 04:44 AM
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For those who aren't into watching the American Supreme Court, this may be a time to start. It's going to get a bit interesting. Among the cases being heard this week are two Cell Phone search cases.


A drug dealer and a gang member want the court to rule that the searches of their cellphones after their arrest violated their right to privacy in the digital age.

The Obama administration and California, defending the searches, say cellphones are no different from anything else a person may be carrying when arrested. Police may search those items without a warrant under a line of high court cases reaching back 40 years


These are cases a wide variety are involved with, as it probably should be, given the profound implications. Sure.....cops have a long history of being able to search what people have on them. However, that has always, in the past, been a physical thing. Matters of Officer or prisoner safety could come into it. Concerns for substances which could likewise be a danger or other issue support that. However.....

A cell phone is intellectual property in the strictest sense, to my thinking. Nothing actually exists. There is nothing there, but the device...which is not what the cops want to search. If it were blank, would it be interesting? Of course not...so the physical device is secondary to the data, which can't pose a safety or other reasonable hazard. Hence...it doesn't compare to a wallet or purse, IMO. A critical distinction to cover more than JUST phones, either way I'm sure. Also....


Librarians, the news media, defense lawyers and civil liberties groups on the right and left are trying to convince the justices that they should take a broad view of the privacy issues raised when police have unimpeded access to increasingly powerful devices that may contain a wealth of personal data: emails and phone numbers, photographs, information about purchases and political affiliations, books and a gateway to even more material online.
Source

As I mentioned, there is quite a variety fighting the good fight on this one. Arguments come Tuesday and the cases are Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie.

This is the coverage of it on the Supreme Court's Blog: Police and Cellphone Privacy




posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Good post. The larger issue here is the total divorce of technological development and its ramifications from our elected policy-makers. This is a huge deal, and it lies behind the sense of a "rogue" NSA and other intel agencies: the laws haven't kept up with what's out there. The intel agencies have gone after what's out there, staying abreast, and necessarily leaving policy-makers somewhat behind.

At this point, a knee jerk reaction on privacy from policy-makers could be ineffective. The definitions of software which preserve privacy must be mathematical, and precise. They can be, and privacy CAN be protected, for all of us. It just takes some thought. But congress could be tempted to pass legislation which ignores technological realism in favor of thoughtless idealism, and thus offers an advantage to shadowy forces, an advantage the US government doesn't have. This would force the intelligence agencies to go even more "rogue" to follow what's going on. That's why its time for some changes. Policy-makers in congress need to realize that in the 21st century, experts are very important and sometimes must be relied on. They need to pull people in from MIT and the like to talk about technological frameworks that facilitate privacy, and they need to protect the same people from the pressures of less savory folks who would like so see the privacy of American citizens remain limited.

edit on 28-4-2014 by tridentblue because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 05:51 AM
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This is no different to data stored on a PC's HDD and they are are an invaluable source of intel for investigators of crimes. The cellphone is just a portable PC after all so I can't imagine that appeals for privacy related to data stored in them will ever be upheld. Crime has been going digital for decades now and data forensics is the future of detective work.

A possible change could be the requirement of a legal warrant being granted to search that data.
edit on 28/4/2014 by Pilgrum because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 06:21 AM
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Cops have a right to search through your wallet, or any papers on your possession,so why not your phone? Cell phones have become the replacement for written notes, address books, etc.



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 06:26 AM
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So if a person is carrying an address book/appointment calendar of the acoustic type (non-digital) it can be opened and read with no fuss.

I see no difference with a cell phone. TThey will eventually get the records of who you called. And if you put any damning information into a device that can be tracked by satellites and accessed by other digital devices remotely, thats on you.

I do have a problem with warrantless tracking and accessing information. That information should be inadmissible in court without a judges signature before gather it.



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 06:41 AM
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a reply to: Wrabbit2000

damn you, Mr. Bunny, sir......you beat me to it, lol

if they declare these kinds of searches legal though, it will be VERY bad for people...

record an officer beating the piss out of someone?..oh, well they'll just say they thought you had a joint, arrest you, grab your phone, erase the vid, and that's the end of that...

i can see a plethora of scenarios, where such authority could be SERIOUSLY abused.....it'll be a never ending fishing expedition..

if deemed legal, no good will come from this.



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 07:36 AM
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If you have a locked box on your person or in your car, can the police rifle through it without your consent if they have no warrant?
The cell phone is no different than a locked box containing personal information.
Even when information is subpoenaed for a trial, it is only the subpoenaed info that is used in a trial, not all info that a person has in their possession.
This is a very important decision coming up, IMO.



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 08:03 AM
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I doubt those who are doing naughty things would be silly enough to keep data on their phones, stupid them if they are!

Personally I dont think anyone should have the right to search anothers phone without very good cause, but lets face it, even if the law said they cant, they still would!

Dont keep sensitive data on your phone or pc!



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 08:13 AM
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a reply to: Pilgrum

Right now it does take a legal warrant to search a PC.
And it should take a legal warrant to search a cell phone...period.

Likewise it should take a search warrant to listen to private
phone calls.

Right now the government is out of control with unlawful surveillance
and wire-tapping. Wire-tapping laws are in place--the problem is
that they are only being enforced on the general population.

We have a Constitution that expressly prohibits this type of
blanket government surveillance...lets hope we have a
SCOTUS that CAN READ!



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 08:29 AM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
If you have a locked box on your person or in your car, can the police rifle through it without your consent if they have no warrant?
The cell phone is no different than a locked box containing personal information.
Even when information is subpoenaed for a trial, it is only the subpoenaed info that is used in a trial, not all info that a person has in their possession.
This is a very important decision coming up, IMO.


That one is iffy. The whole probable cause thing is so wide open to interpretation with a locked box and reason for detainment. If the LEOs were smart, they would hold the suspect and get a warrant.
But if the person detained had already been found with contraband in a large enough amount, the lock on that box is inconsequential in the eyes of most judges. Unless the person involved is a millionaire or better
the best courts in the world you can buy.

Eta: This reminds me of random locker searches in schools. If a locked box was found in one, it would be fair game. Fair? No. But what is anymore?
edit on 28-4-2014 by the owlbear because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 08:42 AM
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originally posted by: rival
a reply to: Pilgrum

Right now it does take a legal warrant to search a PC.
And it should take a legal warrant to search a cell phone...period.

Likewise it should take a search warrant to listen to private
phone calls.

Right now the government is out of control with unlawful surveillance
and wire-tapping. Wire-tapping laws are in place--the problem is
that they are only being enforced on the general population.

We have a Constitution that expressly prohibits this type of
blanket government surveillance...lets hope we have a
SCOTUS that CAN READ!


Okay...I realized in my first post I contradicted myself. It's a strange line now that we are in the digital information age.
I'm sold now that a warrant should be necessary since a cell phone is essentially a PC in a pocket. The Supreme Court will probably side with law enforcement, but make it a close vote in order to not seem too biased. I'm sure those who had to either issue or seek warrants remember the slight hassle and will try to ease the "workload" for their less powerful peers.



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 09:01 AM
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originally posted by: VoidHawk
I doubt those who are doing naughty things would be silly enough to keep data on their phones, stupid them if they are!

Personally I dont think anyone should have the right to search anothers phone without very good cause, but lets face it, even if the law said they cant, they still would!

Dont keep sensitive data on your phone or pc!

Smart phones contain data that can implicate a person in all kinds of things, to include speeding in your car, if they look at GPS data. I know they can get that from the phone company, but you know what I mean.
And you are right, the cops do what they want anyway. Hell they beat innocent people to death and get away with it, even when it is videotaped.



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 02:12 PM
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This deserves much more attention than it's getting. When you consider what is stored on the average smartphone, it's far more than "an address book."

Contacts
Call logs
Texts
E-mail, and if you're like me multiple email accounts
Web viewing history & cookies
Pictures
Video and Voice recordings
Downloaded documents, e-books, music, etc

There's potentially GPS/location data to be harvested including the EXIF data from pictures taken with the device's camaera.

Email in particular can provide a wealth of information about not just the recipient but the sender. Not to mention that the phone will continue to receive data once in police custody.

Smartphones should be given the same treatment proscribed to dwellings and their curtilages and should in fact require a warrant. I don't have a lot of respect for or faith in the current SCOTUS but I'm hoping they'll prove me wrong and do the right thing.
edit on 2014-4-28 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 07:41 PM
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originally posted by: VoidHawk
I doubt those who are doing naughty things would be silly enough to keep data on their phones, stupid them if they are!

Personally I dont think anyone should have the right to search anothers phone without very good cause, but lets face it, even if the law said they cant, they still would!


That's exactly what I'm saying. So long as the technological CAPACITY is there for a single program to harvest this vast amount of information, SOME ONE will be doing it. It doesn't matter if they US declares it itself can't do it, criminal groups, foreign intelligence groups, etc, WILL do it.

So in a lot of ways, this is actually an engineering problem. The government can get out this spying-on-every-one business - and I think it should - but it can only responsibly do so once it can assure that that information is safe not just from their prying eyes, but from ALL prying eyes. That's going to take talking with some experts and some time, but its absolutely worth doing and needs to be done.

edit on 28-4-2014 by tridentblue because: (no reason given)
edit on 28-4-2014 by tridentblue because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2014 @ 06:13 AM
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a reply to: rival

I think that the legal aspects vary from state to state and country to country with the law trying to play catch-up with the available technology. It should absolutely require a warrant and a proviso that evidence gathered without a warrant is inadmissable. The LEOs would then have to confiscate the item containing supposed evidence and not search it until a warrant is granted but I doubt they'd have any problems getting such warrant.



posted on Apr, 29 2014 @ 07:37 AM
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The 4th Amendment guarantees privacy for a persons 'papers and effects'. The cell phone is the modern equivalent of that.



posted on Apr, 29 2014 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

i'll do you one better:



effects

ef·fects [ih-fekts]

plural noun

goods; movables; personal property.


a cell phone, a tablet, a PDA, etc, are all personal property...they're all effects....they're all protected.

there's not even a NEED to site them as being "equivalent" to papers, because in this case, their technological equal is irrelevant...it's personal possessions, therefore, it's protected.






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