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Cellphones Crime Government Handhelds Privacy Your Rights Online

California Governor Vetoes Ban On Warrantless Phone Searches 462

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that-citizens dept.
kodiaktau writes "In probably the most important decision Gov. Brown of California will make this year, he has vetoed the bill that would require officers to get a search warrant before searching cellular phones of arrested citizens. This further enables the police to carry out warrantless searches of private property extending into contacts, email, photos, banking activity, GPS, and other functions that are controlled by modern phones. 'He cites a recent California Supreme Court decision upholding the warrantless searches of people incident to an arrest. In his brief message (PDF), he also doesn’t say whether it’s a good idea or not. Instead, he says the state Supreme Court’s decision is good enough, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court let stand last week.'"
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California Governor Vetoes Ban On Warrantless Phone Searches

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:24PM (#37673194)

    How many Californians are actually going to remember this when its time to vote?

    About 45 activists who know better. And if they do know better they know damn well that if they vote for the other party, that candidate will be much, much worse.

    This isn't something solved by voting. Not anymore.

  • Occupy Movement. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:28PM (#37673236) Homepage Journal
    Every other day we are seeing another example of how the ones who were supposed to exercise power on behalf of the people have become enemies of the people.

    Some people utter empty stuff like "vote em' out" and whatnot - but, if it has been possible, we wouldnt have been in this situation have we ? whomever you vote, result is the same. the machine has been usurped by those who serve the few. laws work differently for the rich and the poor.

    can you say with a rational mind that, things like occupy movement are unnecessary in such a world ?
  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:29PM (#37673254)
    Its becoming a race to the bottom, with all three branches of government at both the federal and state level pushing each other to invade privacy and erode rights further and further. Putting either a Democrat or Republican in office doesn't seem to be doing anything at all. What exactly does that leave? Who do we replace them with (when voting them out is even an option). Several members of the Supreme Court have indicated they sit on the bench to further corporate interests at the expense of individual rights. What recourse do we have?
  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:33PM (#37673276) Homepage

    And vote in who? That's the problem, there is no candidate or major party right now that could come close to winning a stamp of approval from folks who care about civil liberties.

  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:33PM (#37673280) Homepage

    If they want to be this way, vote 'em out. Bastards.

    All well and good in theory, but in practice it only helps if the alternative isn't even worse. And in the contemporary US, the alternative to a lousy Democrat is usually a much lousier Republican.

    (Yes, I know about third party candidates. Unfortunately, our elections are set up in such a way that the only real effect third party candidates can have is to siphon support away from the mainstream candidate they most resemble... which means that voting third party makes it less likely that the third party's policy goals will be realized. Sad, but true.)

  • Re:Override? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RobinEggs (1453925) on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:35PM (#37673292)
    Yes, and he knows it will be. This is just some weird way of making a position statement, I assume.

    It takes two-thirds in each chamber to override in California, just as with the federal legislature. Brown must know his veto is useless, so ergo he's bluffing or posturing somehow.
  • by redshirt (95023) on Monday October 10, 2011 @07:52PM (#37673460)

    That's right. The officer doesn't. Those records are actually best and easily obtained from the wireless carrier with a warrant. The evidence (in your example) won't change state if the investigators follow the constitution.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:23PM (#37673760) Homepage
    Don't confuse Democrats with Liberals or Republicans with Conservatives. Neither are either.
  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:27PM (#37673786)

    Ron Paul was 'predicting' the current situation since well into 90-s. So no, it doesn't count. And during the crisis he's been constantly mis-predicting, well, everything (runaway inflation, hellllo?).

    Then he has inconsistent views, basically have religious freedom is OK, unless you're not a Christian.

    And last, but not least - his recipes to help the economy are disastrous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:36PM (#37673884)

    Do you really need your whole life on your phone? Isn't a contact list and a calendar/alarm (as well as the ability to talk/text) more than enough?

    Fun fact: you could use a dumbphone and then do all your email/games/etc from an Ipod touch or some such. Just chuck your touch under your car seat when you see the cop drive up. Then let 'em search your phone...there's nothing there.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:47PM (#37673988) Homepage

    See, the thing is, California in its present state is more or less ungovernable. I and others who voted for Jerry Brown did so, at least to some extent, because as a former governor he was uniquely situated to be honest about this, and was prepared to work within the limitations of his office. Becoming governor was hardly going to be a feather in his cap when he'd already served two terms. He's also campaigned both for the Senate and the Presidency in the past; both campaigns failed. His last executive position was as Mayor of Oakland, where opinion about him was pretty mixed. So in a way, he has more to prove than any other candidate if he still harbors further political ambitions. People know him too well. I believe he's content to be what he is: a career California politician who just wants to make a difference. I, for one, certainly don't envy him the position of governor.

    Would I vote for him again? That depends on many things. Remember, last time he ran against Meg Whitman.

  • by SilentChasm (998689) on Monday October 10, 2011 @08:53PM (#37674044)

    The SCOTUS didn't strike down a similar bill, they just didn't disagree with the California Supreme Court in their assessment that lets police search cell phones of people they arrest. It's entirely in the legislature's rights to then say, 'oh that's not how it should be' and pass more protections against searches. I don't really see anything unconstitutional about law makers passing restrictions on what police, a part of the government, can do against citizens. If it was the other way around, for example allowing searches when there should be protections, then yes it should be struck down.

  • Re:Override? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10, 2011 @09:23PM (#37674330)

    I think you only have open carry activists to blame for the ban on carrying unloaded handguns.

    So you're saying, we can have all the liberty we want, so long as we don't use it? Blame the victim much?

    They are clearly outside of the mainstream, but they went out of their way to force themselves on the mainstream.

    Oh, they "forced themselves on the mainstream" -- so did they strap a piece on you and make you walk around with it? Or do you mean a minority made themselves highly visible to promote awareness?

    I have an idea, why don't we just ban being gay, and blame it on those Gay Pride Parade people -- they're clearly outside the mainstream (what, something like 10%?), they went out of their way to "force themselves on" (i.e. "make themselves visible to", not "forcibly rape" -- isn't it confusing when we redefine phrases?) the mainstream, and if they'd stayed in the damn closet where they belong, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Seems like you'd agree?

    Is the ban a good thing? I'm not sure, but I know that I will feel safer if the guy next to me doesn't have a handgun on his hip.

    Maybe he will feel safer if he does have one -- that's no more a justification for permitting it (if it would otherwise be banned) than your feeling is to forbid it (if it would otherwise be permitted). Kudos for at least realizing that doesn't constitute a reason to declare tha ban a good thing, but in that case I'm not sure why you mention it...

  • by SilentStaid (1474575) on Monday October 10, 2011 @10:20PM (#37674770)
    Best yet: How about we as a people take a stand against unreasonable search and seizure like our founding fathers intended with that little thing called the fourth amendment?

    Am I the only one who is indignant that we're already trying to come up with ways to circumvent this rather than to fix it properly? Let's stop trying to use band-aids to patch up these "little inconveniences" to the Bill of Rights.

    Damn, call me an idealist but I'm getting sick of this. And not that I'm a gun nut - but isn't Gov. Brown the same guy who just said that it's illegal to publicly display a firearm in his state? [latimes.com] Who the hell does this guy think he is? Why are you standing for this, Cali? /rant
  • by t2t10 (1909766) on Monday October 10, 2011 @10:57PM (#37675050)

    The courts interpreted current law and came to the conclusion that these kinds of warrantless searches were legal.

    That is why the law is being changed: it doesn't reflect what we the people want.

    In effect the governor's justification for the veto is: "you can't pass this new law because it would change existing law". Well, that's the whole point of passing a new law!

  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Z8 (1602647) on Monday October 10, 2011 @11:51PM (#37675368)

    Oh, but I forgot... food is no longer part of the official government Consumer Price Index. How insane is that? The fact is that the "inflation" figures being fed to you by the government don't even remotely reflect reality.

    Actually, food, energy, and medical expenses are all part of the CPI. (Food is 17% of it according to wikipedia [wikipedia.org].) Somehow the government gets blamed for substituting hamburger for steak AND for not including food at all.

    Some of the confusion is because there is another index called core inflation [wikipedia.org] which doesn't include food or gas. This is useful for some purposes, but the CPI is more important because it is intended to reflect actual spending, and because inflation-adjusted payments (such as Social Security checks and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities coupons) are generally keyed off the CPI.

  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:12AM (#37675566)

    So, to summarize: he has proven himself to be honest, he has been dedicated to changing government in a good way, even when that view was unpopular, and he is popular. What more do you want?

    I'd like him not to be Libertarian so his ideas could be more like sound policy and less idealistic drivel that would drive the country back to the days of the Robber Barons. Seriously, there's a reason so many of his most vocal supporters are 20-something single men.

  • Re:Vote 'em out (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:33AM (#37675722)
    Haha! Did you really swallow this tripe? Everything there is a deliberately architectured sound-bite intended to give a distorted impression. I quote:

    "But Ron Paul is much, much more than that. He's the anti-Civil-Rights-Act Republican. He's an anti-reproductive-rights Republican. He's a gay-demonizing Republican. He's an anti-public education Republican and an anti-Social Security Republican. He's the John Birch Society's favorite congressman. And he's a booster of the Constitution Party, which has a Christian Reconstructionist platform. So, if you're a member of the anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality, anti-education, pro-communist-witch-hunt wing of the progressive movement, I can see how he'd be your guy."

    Point by point: (1) Paul stated that he would vote against the Civil Rights Act, not because it was not well-intended, but because it is unconsitutional! And it is. He takes pride in the fact that he votes on principle, and for the Constitution, every time, no exceptions. The fact that the Civil Rights Act was well-intended is irrelevant; it is in fact unconstitutional. His position is that if somebody wants to pass something like the Civil Rights act, fine! You just have to amend the constitution first to make it legal. It has absolutely nothing to do with race or racism. Sorry, but playing the race card here won't work, for the simple reason that it's BS. His statements are on the record and there is no trace of racism anywhere in them.

    (2) He is not an "anti-reproductive-rights Republican". That is simply a lie. Does he personally believe in abortion? No. He has repeatedly, and honestly, stated that he is personally against abortion. However, you can't leave out the rest without lying by omission: he has also repeatedly refused to back Federal abortion legislation. He believes (quite properly) that is unconstitutional and is to be left up to the individual states. The fact that he opposes Federal abortion laws, on principle and in the face of his own personal beliefs, says much for Paul's integrity. This is a point in his favor, not against him.

    (3) "He's a gay-demonizing Republican". Now, you simply can't get more BS than this. Again, his personal beliefs aside (yes, he has stated that he personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman), again Paul has opposed Federal legislation in that regard, because marriage is simply none of the Federal government's business. He has fought attempts by the Federal government to "define" what marriage ought to be. If you happen to be gay, you should be thankful for this, rather than "demonizing" Paul himself for imaginary harms.

    (4) It is true he is opposed to Federal involvement in public education and also Social Security. (But not against public education! That's not the same thing!) For the simple reason that Federal involvement in either of those is unconstitutional. So what? You should be against them too. If you're not, it is you who has a problem. A government that ignores the constitution is no government worthy of the name.

    (5) "He's the John Birch Society's favorite congressman." I don't know if that is true or false, but so what? What is he trying to say here? That because one group of people likes him, other people should not? Talk about guilt by association... what a nasty, unethical thing to do to somebody. Paul has no control over who says they like him and who doesn't. This is so far the most BS argument of them all.

    (5) He is not a "booster" of the Constitution Party, for the simple reason that the Constitution Party, despite its name, supports too many UN-constitutional things. Paul does support, to a certain degree, the Libertarian party, but the Libertarian party actually tends to alienate right-wing Christians. Rather, it probably contains more atheists.

    (6) "So, if you're a member of the anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality, anti-education, pro-comm

  • by m50d (797211) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @07:56AM (#37677968) Homepage Journal

    Do you really need your whole life on your phone? Isn't a contact list and a calendar/alarm (as well as the ability to talk/text) more than enough?

    No, I don't need to. But I want to, and it's supposed to be a free country.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

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