US Supreme Court rules Police can’t search your phone without a warrant

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The US Supreme Court has ruled that in order for police officers to search your phone, law enforcement will, in general, need to get a warrant.

The decision is the result of two cases that were brought to the Supreme Court, Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie, both of which involved police who searched the phone content of people who had been arrested but without asking for a warrant beforehand, or permission.

In a decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the nine members of the Supreme Court all agreed that,

“police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.”

Police will still be allowed to inspect the phone itself, but not the contents. According to the ruling, possible exceptions to the warrant requirement could include a detainee texting an accomplice to detonate a bomb or a suspected child abductor that could have information about the abductee on the phone.

The complete ruling is available here (PDF).[signoff predefined=”Enjoy this?” icon=”icon-users”][/signoff]

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