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Thread: CA: New law bans warrantless cell phone searches

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    CA: New law bans warrantless cell phone searches

    (CNN) -- If you get arrested in California for any reason, the photos, e-mails and other personal data on your cell phone are now a bit safer from prying police eyes. A new law now requires law-enforcement officers in that state to obtain a warrant before searching the cell phone of a person placed under arrest.

    This law overrides a January ruling by the California Supreme Court. According to California Sen. Mark Leno, who sponsored the legislation, this ruling had "legalized the warrantless search of cell phones during an arrest, regardless of whether the information on the phone is relevant to the arrest or if criminal charges are ever filed."

    The new California law unanimously passed in the state Assembly. Today the office of Gov. Jerry Brown confirmed that since the governor did not make a specific decision on this legislation, it became automatically enrolled as a law this week.

    Under this legislation, California law enforcement officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect's portable electronic device contains evidence of a crime.

    The Peace Officers Research Association of California, which opposed the law, argued: "Restricting the authority of a peace officer to search an arrestee unduly restricts their ability to apply the law, fight crime, discover evidence valuable to an investigation and protect the citizens of California."
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/20/te...ne-search-law/
    "IF GOD DIDN'T WANT TO HELP AMERICA, THEN WE WOULD HAVE Hillary Clinton"!!
    "let them search you,touch you,violate your Rights,just don't be a dick!"~ cdc482
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    The governor continues to sit on this legislation, and it's rumored he agreed to veto it prior.

    "...

    Despite petitions and a variety of editorials urging him to sign it, he's still sitting on it (he has until October 9th). Wired is reporting a rumor that Brown has agreed to veto the legislation in an effort to please the "law enforcement lobby."

    As the Wired article notes, the law itself is already pretty weak, allowing law enforcement to ignore the warrant requirement under vaguely defined emergency circumstances. It also doesn't require any official reporting of such uses where the warrant requirement is ignored, meaning that such an exception might be abused. But it certainly takes things a big step in the right direction concerning an individual's right to privacy. Hopefully Governor Brown recognizes this and signs the bill."

    Full article with comments @ http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireles...-warrant.shtml



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