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Thread: Judge rules that police can search suspect's cell phone without warrant?

  1. #1
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    Judge rules that police can search suspect's cell phone without warrant?

    This is weird.

    A judge has ruled that police can search a suspect's cell phone without a warrant. He evidently feels that, since the evidence in the phone might lead to faster solution to an urgent crime, that makes it OK.

    WTF???

    Couldn't the same argument be used to justify ANY unwarranted search? Or even torture of a suspect to get the information? I know, the Constitution forbids torture etc. But it also forbids warrantless searches, doesn't it?

    There's a major disconnect here. The fact that a certain kind of search makes things easier for police to do their jobs, does NOT mean that that kind of search is constitutional. If it violates the suspect's constitutional rights, it violates his rights, period.

    And even weirder part is where the judge says that, since the cop was only looking for names and addresses, that makes it more OK too.

    What has that got to do with his constitutional rights?

    Even if the guy is a slimebag, he still has rights. Violate his, and next week you'll be violating mine.

    I've got to wonder if the story is leaving out something major. Because to me, this is a flagrant case of govt violating a citizen's constitutional rights. How could the judge POSSIBLY conclude this is OK? Did the suspect tell the cop that the names and addresses of the guys holding some kidnap victims, are in his cell phone, but he wasn't letting the cops search it, and then the cops went ahead?

    Sort of like if a cop finds a suspect pointing a gun at innocent people, then the cop might be justified in shooting the suspect, because he's actively protecting the lives of innocents during the obvious commission of a crime. But how would searching a cell phone, ever be similar to that?

    -------------------------------------------------------

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/03/06/p...hone-searches/

    Police Given Direct Line To Cell Phone Searches
    March 6, 2012 10:02 PM

    Reporting Jay Gormley

    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) Think about all the personal information we keep in our cell phones: Its something to consider after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled it is now legal for police to search cell phones without a warrant.

    Former Dallas FBI Agent Danny Defenbaugh said the ruling gives law enforcement a leg up. I think not only will it help them, but it could be life saving, said the former Special Agent, who was based in Dallas.

    The decision stems from an Indiana case where police arrested a man for dealing drugs. An officer searched the suspects cell phone without warrant.

    The judge in the appeal case, Judge Richard Posner, agreed that the officer had to search the phone immediately or risk losing valuable evidence. Judge Posner ruled it was a matter of urgency, arguing it was possible for an accomplice to wipe the phone clean using a computer or other remote device.

    Defenbaugh says the ruling takes into account exigent or time-sensitive circumstances that could be life saving in more urgent cases, such as child abduction. If the child is alive and youre only minutes behind, that could be critical to recovering that child alive, added Defenbaugh.

    Judge Posner ruled that the search was legal because the officer conducted a limited search and only looked for phone numbers associated with the alleged drug deal. The judge argued it was similar to flipping through a diary to search for basic information such as addresses and phone numbers.
    "The social contract exists so that everyone doesnt have to squat in the dust holding a spear to protect his woman and his meat all day every day. It does not exist so that the government can take your spear, your meat, and your woman because it knows better what to do with them." - Instapundit.com

  2. #2
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    Holy shit that's insane.

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    It appears to be exigent circumstances.

    As an analogy, consider the situation where the police break down a door without a warrant to stop a criminal from shredding documents that were evidence of crime. Courts rule in favor of police action in most cases like this. The police generally need only show that a warrant would reasonably have been issued for that purpose had there been time to acquire one, but circumstances demanded immediate action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Acorn View Post
    This is weird.

    A judge has ruled that police can search a suspect's cell phone without a warrant. He evidently feels that, since the evidence in the phone might lead to faster solution to an urgent crime, that makes it OK.

    WTF???

    Couldn't the same argument be used to justify ANY unwarranted search? Or even torture of a suspect to get the information? I know, the Constitution forbids torture etc. But it also forbids warrantless searches, doesn't it?

    There's a major disconnect here. The fact that a certain kind of search makes things easier for police to do their jobs, does NOT mean that that kind of search is constitutional. If it violates the suspect's constitutional rights, it violates his rights, period.

    And even weirder part is where the judge says that, since the cop was only looking for names and addresses, that makes it more OK too.

    What has that got to do with his constitutional rights?

    Even if the guy is a slimebag, he still has rights. Violate his, and next week you'll be violating mine.

    I've got to wonder if the story is leaving out something major. Because to me, this is a flagrant case of govt violating a citizen's constitutional rights. How could the judge POSSIBLY conclude this is OK? Did the suspect tell the cop that the names and addresses of the guys holding some kidnap victims, are in his cell phone, but he wasn't letting the cops search it, and then the cops went ahead?

    Sort of like if a cop finds a suspect pointing a gun at innocent people, then the cop might be justified in shooting the suspect, because he's actively protecting the lives of innocents during the obvious commission of a crime. But how would searching a cell phone, ever be similar to that?

    -------------------------------------------------------

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/03/06/p...hone-searches/

    Police Given Direct Line To Cell Phone Searches
    March 6, 2012 10:02 PM

    Reporting Jay Gormley

    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Think about all the personal information we keep in our cell phones: It’s something to consider after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled it is now legal for police to search cell phones without a warrant.

    Former Dallas FBI Agent Danny Defenbaugh said the ruling gives law enforcement a leg up. “I think not only will it help them, but it could be life saving,” said the former Special Agent, who was based in Dallas.

    The decision stems from an Indiana case where police arrested a man for dealing drugs. An officer searched the suspect’s cell phone without warrant.

    The judge in the appeal case, Judge Richard Posner, agreed that the officer had to search the phone immediately or risk losing valuable evidence. Judge Posner ruled it was a matter of urgency, arguing it was possible for an accomplice to wipe the phone clean using a computer or other remote device.

    Defenbaugh says the ruling takes into account exigent or time-sensitive circumstances that could be life saving in more urgent cases, such as child abduction. ”If the child is alive and you’re only minutes behind, that could be critical to recovering that child alive,” added Defenbaugh.

    Judge Posner ruled that the search was legal because the officer conducted a limited search and only looked for phone numbers associated with the alleged drug deal. The judge argued it was similar to flipping through a diary to search for basic information such as addresses and phone numbers.
    It's called 4th Amendment protection. If you don't like it, MOVE TO CHINA.

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    YEAH!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    It's called 4th Amendment protection.
    Yes. It prohibits unreasonable searches, not warrantless searches.

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    Yes warrantless searches are included in FISA dating back to the Carter administration.

    Further update:

    Obama Fights to Retain Warrantless Wiretapping
    Monday, February 20, 2012
    Obama Fights to Retain Warrantless Wiretapping
    Despite being propelled to victory by progressive supporters critical of the Bush administration’s record on civil liberties, President Barack Obama has directed the Justice Department to defend many of the policies of George W. Bush, including warrantless wiretapping. Last week, the Justice Department filed papers asking the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling that allowed the continuation of an ACLU lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 2008 law giving the government unprecedented authority to monitor Americans’ international emails and phone calls.
    _____________________________________________
    I WILL NOT INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE BUT YOUR LACK OF INTELLECT IS FAIR GAME

    Remember the axiom of big government bureaucrats: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. When, finally, under the crushing weight of taxes and regulation, it stops moving, subsidize it. Going Postal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chachma v'Oz View Post
    It appears to be exigent circumstances.

    As an analogy, consider the situation where the police break down a door without a warrant to stop a criminal from shredding documents that were evidence of crime. Courts rule in favor of police action in most cases like this. The police generally need only show that a warrant would reasonably have been issued for that purpose had there been time to acquire one, but circumstances demanded immediate action.
    I find this reasonable, but it has a high propensity for abuse.

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    That's why alleged oversteps end up in court.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chachma v'Oz View Post
    Yes. It prohibits unreasonable searches, not warrantless searches.
    A warrantless search IS unreasonable.

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    Not under exigent circumstances, as affirmed by the courts time and again. There are quite a few situations where warrants are not required, as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chachma v'Oz View Post
    Not under exigent circumstances, as affirmed by the courts time and again. There are quite a few situations where warrants are not required, as well.
    There are no exigent circumstances that trump the 4th Amendment in this situation. Phones are private property that are not subject to government invasion without a warrant. Period.

    So ... unless there is somebody dying inside the phone that may be saveable, there is no exigent circumstance. Anything else is an end run around the 4th Amendment.

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    Too bad you don't have standing to challenge the court's decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chachma v'Oz View Post
    Too bad you don't have standing to challenge the court's decision.
    I don't need it. The courts ruled that the phone was off limits without a warrant.

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    The 7th circuit court is the only court that matters right now to these defendants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chachma v'Oz View Post
    The 7th circuit court is the only court that matters right now to these defendants.
    The phone is off limits without a warrant. I am sorry the police goons have such big issues with the 4th Amendment.

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    That would be the police and the court that validated their judgment.

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    Well, there has been a precedent set with the Patriot Act. We've accepted that, why not this?

    I have no clue how someone can correlate a drug bust with a missing child in danger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    A warrantless search IS unreasonable.
    Tell that to the democratic president who signed it into law. Remind Clinton who used it against an American citizen, Aldrich Ames. Remind Obama who supports the FISA laws that it is unreasonable. Its been on the books since Carter signed it into law and has been upheld by a liberal SC.
    _____________________________________________
    I WILL NOT INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE BUT YOUR LACK OF INTELLECT IS FAIR GAME

    Remember the axiom of big government bureaucrats: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. When, finally, under the crushing weight of taxes and regulation, it stops moving, subsidize it. Going Postal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I don't need it. The courts ruled that the phone was off limits without a warrant.
    FISA says different.
    _____________________________________________
    I WILL NOT INSULT YOUR INTELLIGENCE BUT YOUR LACK OF INTELLECT IS FAIR GAME

    Remember the axiom of big government bureaucrats: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. When, finally, under the crushing weight of taxes and regulation, it stops moving, subsidize it. Going Postal

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