Dana Littlefield reports:
When San Diego defense lawyers returned to court after the start of the new year, many were shocked to learn that their clients were being asked to sign a newly-drafted waiver, allowing police to search cellphones, computers and other types of electronics without first obtaining a warrant.
The one-page document spells out the types of items that would be subject to search: call logs, emails, text messages and social media accounts accessed through a variety of devices — everything from an iPhone to an Xbox.
By signing the waiver, criminal court defendants would also agree to disclose any and all passwords used to access those devices or accounts. Even a fingerprint that unlocks an electronic device would be fair game.
San Diego Superior Court judges began using the waivers just days after a new law took effect in California, requiring police and probation officers to get a search warrant before examining a person’s emails and other forms of “electronic communication.”