Major Ruling Shields Privacy of Cellphones - US Supreme Court Says Phones Can't Be Searched Without a Warrant

Posted in: Surveillance & Privacy at 26/06/2014 15:42

In a sweeping victory for privacy rights in the digital age, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest.

While the decision will offer protection to the 12 million people arrested every year, many for minor crimes, its impact will most likely be much broader. The ruling almost certainly also applies to searches of tablet and laptop computers, and its reasoning may apply to searches of homes and businesses and of information held by third parties like phone companies.

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US court backs mobile phone privacy
The US Supreme Court has ruled police cannot search the digital contents of mobile phones of those arrested without a warrant.

The unanimous decision is a win for privacy advocates that argued searching mobiles was an unreasonable intrusion.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion that mobiles "hold for many Americans the privacies of life".

Supreme court endorses cellphone privacy rights in sweeping ruling
The US supreme court delivered a landmark endorsement of electronic privacy on Wednesday, ruling that police must obtain a warrant to search the contents of cellphones seized from people they have arrested.

All nine justices joined the ruling on a case hailed by civil liberties campaigners as a crucial test of the rights of individuals to be protected against intrusion into their ever-expanding digital lives.

Supreme Court says police must get warrants for most cellphone searches
The Supreme Court unequivocally ruled Wednesday that privacy rights are not sacrificed to 21st- century technology, saying unanimously that police generally must obtain a warrant before searching the cellphone of someone they arrest.

While the specific protection may not affect the average American, the court made a bold statement that the same concern about government prying that animated the nation's birth applies to the abundance of digital information about an individual in the modern world.

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