Cops’ cell phone searches still OK

October 12, 2011

California law enforcement agencies can continue to search the digital contents of cell phones taken from arrested persons after Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of a legislative attempt to require warrants for such actions. [SanFranciscoChronicle]

The torpedoed bill’s author, state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) told the San Francisco Chronicle today that he is free to re-introduce the bill in January. Leno’s bill would have nullified a state supreme court ruling upholding the warrant-less practice.

Brown said in his veto message that the courts are “better suited” to decide when a search is lawful. His veto surprised privacy-rights advocates and media organizations, which had supported it.

Law enforcement entities worked successfully to undermine it, contending that such cell phone searches often provide valuable evidence for subsequent prosecutions.

Leno first told reporters that he would have to skip a legislative session before he could introduce the bill again, because of house rules. But a vetoed bill is not subject to those sanctions, he said this week.


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16 Comments

  1. godislanguage says:

    This is actions by a paranoid government.

    In response to Willie’s claim the rich can only change this, I disagree. Change can happen if someone martrys themselves by standing up against the intrusion of a LEO from searching cell phone contents WITHOUT EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES.

    It’s bad enough the IRS TAX CODE requires a citizen to record all his business transaction and as a matter of necesity includes all personal transaction, it provides way too much PERSONAL and CONFIDENTIAL information to someone who’s driven to discover crime. It’s a witch hunt tool to look for the boogie man, and they don’t care who gets ruined because of it.

    There is way too much PRIVACY INTRUSION into this LEO practice, a clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which reads:

    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.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down

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