Jan 162011
 January 16, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

An editorial in the Appeal- Democrat addresses the Ninth Circuit decision in Diaz:

The California Supreme Court has expanded law enforcement authority at the expense of privacy and personal liberty by allowing police to confiscate and search cell phones of people they arrest without first obtaining a search warrant.

In a 5-2 decision Jan. 3, the court held that cell phones are “entitled” to inspection by law enforcement upon an arrest because the devices are considered “immediately associated with (the arrestee’s) person.” The majority opinion in the case, People v. Diaz, ruled that “lawful custodial arrest justifies the infringement of any privacy interest the arrestee may have in property immediately associated with his or her person at the time of arrest.”

Essentially, the ruling treats a cell phone akin to clothing worn by an arrestee — a bad idea with troubling consequences.

Read more of the editorial in the Appeal-Democrat.

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