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Calif. Appeals Court Approves Cell Phone Searches 367

Local ID10T writes with this excerpt from The Blaze: "In a case explicitly decided to set a precedent, the California Appellate court has determined police officers can rifle through your cellphone during a traffic violation stop. ... Florida and Georgia are among the states that give no protection to a phone during a search. In particular, Florida law treats a smartphone as a 'container' for the purposes of a search, similar to say a cardboard box open on the passenger seat, despite the thousands of personal emails, contacts, and photos a phone can carry stretching back years. But after initially striking down cell phone snooping, California has now joined the list of states that allow cops to go through your phone without a warrant." Interesting additional commentary, too, from UCSD law professor Shaun Martin.
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Calif. Appeals Court Approves Cell Phone Searches

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  • Re:Passcode (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06, 2011 @08:59AM (#37624624)

    They buy special devices that plug in to the manufacturer specific port and rip the data that way. They don't always use the screen and keypad but rather swipe all the data at once and review it in the privacy of their office while laughing at your photos.

    Better idea would be to hollow out part of the phone without stopping it from working and rewire the port to discharge a capacitor that hopefully ruins their machine.

  • Re:Passcode (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:00AM (#37624642) Journal

    Florida law treats a smartphone as a 'container' for the purposes of a search, similar to say a cardboard box open on the passenger seat

    I don't know Floridian law, but does the box have to be open? If that's the case, a pass-coded cellphone is technically a sealed box.

  • Hardware Duress Mode (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:00AM (#37624646) Homepage

    They get a very sanitized version of the phone, you get to keep your privacy - all while complying with their order.

  • Re:Easy solution... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:23AM (#37624870) Journal

    Now, you should still not give permission to search, that's absolutely true. But especially if you're not a straight clean-cut educated white guy, don't be all that surprised if they trample on your rights.

    Or if you have a Ron Paul bumper sticker [] on your car.

  • Re:Easy solution... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:43AM (#37625070)
    Apparently, in the situation of this case, they did not need permission to search his car. They searched his car under the guise of doing an inventory of what was in it before they towed it so that they would know if anything was stolen at the impound yard. In this case, if he had given them permission to search his car, I would accept them searching his phone when they found it. Basically, one they started searching his car, each step along the way they found something that gave them probable cause to look more closely at other things they found. They found a gun positioned to be easily drawn and fired by the driver (I know several people who carry guns for self-defense, they rarely position the gun for "quick" draw, they generally expect that if they need the gun they will be in a situation that escalates slowly enough for them to access the gun from some place that is less than the optimal place to draw and fire). They then found drug paraphanalia. When they looked at the phone they found a wallpaper picture on the phone of a masked person resembling the driver brandishing two assault weapons.
    However, I have a problem with their justification for searching the car in the first place.
  • Re:Easy solution... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:50AM (#37626748)

    What we need is a websight where individuals can log every time a cop dog false alerts.

    Then the land sharks can get the dogs disqualified as unreliable.

    Those dogs cost $, once the cops have something to lose they will protect their dogs as police assets.

User hostile.