Supreme Court Rules Cops Need Warrants To Search Cell Phone Data

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court gave the NSA monopoly rights to electronic data, communication and exchange after it decided that Police must obtain a warrant before searching mobile devices after arresting someone, stating "privacy interest outweigh police convenience". So... Americans still have privacy rights despite all the Snowden revelations - amusing.  According to the WSJ, "the court, in a unanimous ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, said both the quantity and quality of information contained in modern handheld hand-held is constitutionally protected."

Chief Justice Roberts rejected law-enforcement arguments that cellphones fell under a longstandlong-standingn to the warrant requirement that allows police to search the contents of suspects' pockets to make sure they don't carry weapons or destroy evidence.

 

"Modern cellphones are not jaren'tther technological convenience," Chief Justice Roberts wrote. "With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans 'the privacies of life,'" he wrote.

 

"Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple—get a warrant," the chief justice added.

 

Lower courts had been split on the question, and the justices themselves have been grappling with the bounds of privacy in the digital age, sometimes tilting toward government, other times toward the individual.

Of course, the Police can simply use back channels to get all the data they need from Fort Meade.

One wonders how much impact big corporations, pardon, "people" had in this decision, one which will only give Americans a greater sense of comfort about sharing all their private details with anyone and everyone, even as all the data is still intercepted and collected by "non-Police" entities.

Finally, and since the Supreme Court is on this wave of protecting "constitutional rights", maybe it is time for SCOTUS to opine on how it really feels about the NSA following the endless revelations about the agency's relentless intrusiveness in the private lives of Americans, both domestically and around the globe?