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No Warrant Necessary for Cell Phone Searches in California

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Posted on Jan 5, 2011
Flickr / kiwanja (CC-BY)

The California Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police officers in the Golden State don’t need a warrant to be able to peruse the cell phones of those under arrest—a decision that may have troubling implications and may eventually involve the U.S. Supreme Court.  —KA

AP via CBS News:

California Deputy Attorney General Victoria Wilson, who represented the prosecution in the case decided Monday, told the newspaper the split opinions in California and Ohio could lead the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the cell phone issue.

The California Supreme Court decided the loss of privacy upon arrest extends beyond the arrestee’s body to include personal property.

Authorities can not only seize items but also can open and examine what they find, the ruling said.

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By expat, January 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

why anyone would still want to live in the nazi ‘meriKan reich is beyond me.

But that’s fine, all the more room and opportunities for me in my golden exile.

hey toadies, the water’s boiling !

if you ain’t got the balls to stand to it, at least vote with your feet, leave you debt, your taxes and all your baggage and dirty laundry behind.  There are no such things as credit bureaus overseas anywhere. 

Let’s have a massive diaspora…  I’d love to see the msm get tied in knots (some more) “explaining” the exodus from the “best country in the world” away…

Actually check the stats…  about 2 million per year (the stats are hard to find, uSSa does not officially keep such stats, ain’t that grand?)

Won’t tell you where I am, but free University for kids (well $500 for the year tuition and all), best health care (includes dental and all) covered 90%, 100% for hospital stays and other emergencies, economy is not so good but we’re still doing quite well and we are still…  FREE, etc, etc..

so long suckers !

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By Freelance Minion, January 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I see the concern but at the same time it is a physical object.  If the police find a scrap of paper in the pocket or purse of an arrested person, do they have a right to read what is on that paper?  The police might not have the right to tap phones in real time but if you wrote the contents of a phone call on paper and carry it with you, and THAT could be confiscated, I am not sure reading text messages, your list of calls or other data easily accessible on a cell phone CAN be considered as confidential as the call.  It is another proof that you shouldn’t use these mobile devices to send truly confidential info in the first place.  The carriers already have certain rights to misuse it anyway.

If we don’t like this we may have to work on some sort of controls about what circumstances police need to prove in order to take someone into custody in the first place.

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, January 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Has anyone ever looked into representing one’s SELF / PERSON in court and NOT have a member of the bar representing you?

When that officer has you sign that ‘ticket’ which is a negotiable instrument, be sure to know that you are ‘contracting with the state.’

In other words, you are now ‘in business’ with the state and signing is agreeing with EVERYTHING already printed on that ticket… time to cross things out and add YOUR participation into that contract… and RESERVE YOUR RIGHTS!!!!

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By kerryrose, January 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

With the loss of democracy comes the loss of civil rights.  The police state strengthens.  It began with The Patriot Act and continues…

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, January 6, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

And you are correct louiss123, we are screwed.

Amerika is like that super big gulp that is about finished, so all you hear from the sucking of the straw is…. a sucking noise.

But in Brazil and several Asian countries, their super big gulps are fresh and the straws have commenced sifting…

Only a real break from the BS of the two-headed party system will render a solution and some reminiscence of what this place is supposed to be / stand for.

I hear you on the platitudes many blow-hards make on these boards ( myself included ) and all their talk only helps them sleep until the next day, but we see the chains of slavery ever present around our necks in the form of debt, tribute and every increasing laws limiting life!

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By Napolean DoneHisPart, January 6, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

I suggest, upon being pulled over, remove the battery from your cell phone ( after making a frantic call to your loved ones asking them to bring a checkbook for bail ) and stash it in the glove box or elsewhere…

No battery, no looky loos.

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By louiss123, January 6, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Well duh..why are we surprised at this? Whatever personal rights we have left
have been disappearing for years. Thats why the pick of who is the next
Supreme Court Justice is obsolete. If the 4th amendment has been stripped of
meaning who was at the wheel? diff between repubs and dems. Both
do the same thing.
They use COERCION against us. They Both allow the:
TSA to grope us to ‘make us safe’
The IRS to tax our earnings
and then use that money for programs we disagree with.
Put in wars that make no sense
We are just faceless numbers for politicians to coerce for them to play with silly
power games.
Folks we cant waste our valuable time with ineffective arguments. We have to
take a birds eye view with this….we all want Liberty…to live our lives as we see
fit as long as we dont infringe or step on the rights of others. We have to find
things that UNITE us instead of focusing on those things that separate us.
Are we really going to vote for the lesser of 2 evils again next time? That is so
freakin predictable..then we can over a beer with our like minded friends slam
the person we dont like..jeez..
Or speak in intellectual platitudes that does nothing but subtly and sneaky
show how smart we(think)we are?
A friend started a Facebook page..called United Americans…if interested lets go
there and produce some real results.

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By L2k4fc, January 6, 2011 at 3:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow~ I live in Ventura County.  I was having a running conversation about this topic on the comment board when all of a sudden; whoops, the article isn’t available. is the website.  I’m hoping this is a temporary technical glitch and that I didn’t just see that really get pulled.

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