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US Government and Cell Phone Privacy Essay

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Introduction

Police being able to search your phone without is warrant is a violation of privacy and the fourth amendment. This is an ongoing issue that is currently in the Supreme Court and state courts, which have split opinions on the issue. The courts are having a lot of trouble grasping what to compare a cell phone to as far as searching it. A big case that they are comparing searching cell phones to is over 40 years old and it involves a police officer searching through a cigarette box and finding drugs. A judge in the 9th circuit against warrantless search debunked the cigarette box comparison by saying phones are more like a suitcase, except the suitcase contains everything that you have ever traveled with in your entire life, then some. Though that is a better view on the situation, it is still a very narrow view on what personal data really is. Who cares if the police can search your phone? Well when they do, they will learn more about you then you ever knew about yourself. Do you really want a stranger knowing everything about your personal life, it would almost be like living in a glass house with no doors and bright lights on all night (KOPAN, 2013).
Background

Underlying case
A big case in warrantless search of cell phone revolves around Riley vs. California. In this case the police took his cell phone without a warrant after they suspected him to be a possible murder suspect when they found guns that matched the scene of the crime. Though this is on the extreme end of warrantless search it is still wrong. Riley is suing because they conducted this warrantless search on him which led to his conviction and arrest. If the police would have gotten a warrant, then everything would have been ok. But instead they labe...


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... (2013). Obama administration asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless cellphone searches. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/19/obama-administration-asks-supreme-court-to-allow-warrantless-cellphone-searches/
(2) Lye, L. (2013). Keeping cell phones private. If the police have a good reason to search a phone, then they can get a warrant, Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/09/16/warrantless-cell-phone-searches-violate-civil-liberties
(3) Kopan, T. (2013). Digital era confounds the courts. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/digital-era-technology-supreme-court-cases-100410.html
(4) California, v. Riley, Defendant and Appellant., (2013). (SCD226240). Retrieved from website: http://www2.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/People_v_Riley_No_D059840_2013_BL_34220_Cal_App_4th_Dist_Feb_08_2



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