When the cops do it, that means it isn’t illegal.

Or does it? Only the “legal” system knows for sure. Or not.

Coming To a Patrol Car Near You!

Without an arrest, search requires probable cause—the officer must have some reasonable basis for believing that a crime has been committed, and that a particular search will turn up evidence relevant to that crime. It’s hard to see how cellphone data could be relevant to a traffic stop. Instead, searching cellphones looks more like a fishing expedition: Having gotten access to you with a traffic stop, officers are just looking around to see what they find. That’s explicitly forbidden by the Constitution, and with good reason. Letting government officials snoop on anyone they choose, for no particular reason, is a bad idea.

“Look, fourth amendment, schmorth amendment. If you don’t consent you must be guilty of something, and that’s grounds enough for a search warrant. So save us both a lot of trouble, okay? You don’t have anything to hide, do you?”

I’ve actually had that conversation with a cop.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to When the cops do it, that means it isn’t illegal.

  1. John B says:

    I want one!
    Right now I have a laptop with an insane number of data cables.

    Very rarely is it used on someones phone against their will. Mostly we’re tracking down deleted texts. Computer Forensics are more useful to the absent minded, than against the putative criminal.

    Besides Law Enforcement Agencies don’t pay worth shit!

  2. John B says:

    at $8000 a pop average, the only folks that afford that, are the ones who depend on taxpayers for these little improvements in the human condition.

    I may have to start up a internet startup. I can imagine all sorts of uses for that thing that wouldn’t even violate anyone’s rights.

To the stake with the heretic!