White House asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches
“Seems like this guy likes to take selfies. And can you believe he took Peyton in the first round?”
It’s bad enough when your girlfriend goes through your cellphone without asking, but now the White House wants to let Police do it too. The Obama administration filed a petition earlier this month asking the Supreme Court to hear a case that would allow Cops to go through your cell phone without a warrant.
The case centers around a man who was arrested for slinging drugs. Cops went through his phone, found his MY HOUSE contact, used that info to locate his house where they found a crap-load of drugs, cash and guns. The man’s conviction was overturned on appeal when the Court said cellphones are too personal and carry too much personal information that render any warrant-less search too invasive.
The government argues that a phone is just like any other evidence (notebooks, pagers, planners) they could search post-arrest and shouldn’t deserve any special treatment. Interestingly, the drug-dealer’s cellphone was an old-school flip-phone with limited memory, so if the Supreme Court does decide to hear the case, it might come down to just how primitive or smart your phone is.
This could have huge ramifications. Not only could a warrant-less search uncover other shadiness in your phone that could hurt you in the eyes of Johnny Law, but it stands to reason that it might soon be acceptable/reasonable for Cops to go through your phone prior to arrest like during Stop & Frisks or if they smell that roach burning in your car. Time to rethink that home-screen password.
Read: Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches | The Switch.