Administration Keeps Chipping Away At The Fourth Amendment; Asks Supreme Court To Allow Warrantless Cell Phone Searches
by Tim Cushing
Tue, Aug 20th 2013
Considering what’s come out about the NSA’s domestic surveillance “accidents,” it almost makes you wonder why the government would bother. Surely this information is accessible by other means. In an apparent effort to be thorough in its dismantling of the Fourth Amendment, the administration has asked the Supreme Court to rule that this amendment provides for the warrantless search of cell phones.
Here are the details of the case being argued:
In 2007, the police arrested a Massachusetts man who appeared to be selling crack cocaine from his car. The cops seized his cellphone and noticed that it was receiving calls from “My House.” They opened the phone to determine the number for “My House.” That led them to the man’s home, where the police found drugs, cash and guns.
The defendant was convicted, but on appeal he argued that accessing the information on his cellphone without a warrant violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Earlier this year, the First Circuit Court of Appeals accepted the man’s argument, ruling that the police should have gotten a warrant before accessing any information on the man’s phone.