Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Supreme Court has decided that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy in the personal information they carry on smartphones, ruling unanimously that police may not search such devices without a warrant from a magistrate. The decision is major victory for privacy advocates and the most surprising criminal law ruling handed down in years by the conservative-leaning high court. "Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience," said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. "With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans 'the privacies of life.'" These tiny devices "could just as easily be called cameras, video players, Rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers," he said.

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moder8

 

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Finally our Federal Government acknowledges that we have a right to at least a smidgen of privacy from Big Brother.

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-06-25 11:41 AM | Reply | Flag:

It makes sense which surprises me coming from a court. We keep tons of private information on our smartphones these days. A cellphone is not a phone anymore so much as it is a personal data device. If they need a warrant to search my personal computer, then they should need one for my phone.

#2 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-06-25 11:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

Following his decision to go along with the majority in this case Clarence Thomas reportedly was seen shaking spasmodically as he checked into rehab.

All joking aside, in terms of day to day nuts & bolts issues involving personal freedom and privacy, this is a huge ruling.

#3 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-06-25 11:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

A small ruling when compared to their decision on corporate law.

#4 | Posted by Tor at 2014-06-25 12:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

They finally threw us a crumb.

#5 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-06-25 12:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

A Win is a Win. Hooray for US Citizens...

#6 | Posted by catdog at 2014-06-25 12:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

You have to give credit of the younger members of the court their aids on this to explain to the other judges what exactly can be on a phone. During questioning you could see that some judges had no idea you could have more then your friends phone numbers and maybe some photos of your cat on your phone. Who knows maybe Justice Sotomayor pulled out her cell phone and showed the court photos of her last hunting trip and won over the last vote.

#7 | Posted by THomewood at 2014-06-25 12:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

OMG, a sensible SCOTUS ruling, Alito, as usual not taking part in the sanity side.

I doubt the cops would have had any trouble getting a search warrant for the smartphone after the arrest. Maybe they could re-argue the case based on inevitable discovery, too.

#8 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-06-25 12:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

Lee's comment is the most profound thus far.

#9 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2014-06-25 12:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

So how does this affect NSA spying on communications?

This seems illusionary to make one think they are protected.

#10 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-06-25 01:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obama's response to the ruling was... I see your ruling but, who are you going to get to enforce it?

#11 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-25 01:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Finally Obama starts to deliver on his promise to "restore core constitutional liberties". Thank you, Obama! Obama 2016!

#12 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-06-25 01:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

I'll see your SCOTUS ruling and raise you an Executive Order! - Obama.

#13 | Posted by aescal at 2014-06-25 01:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

*As Obama rifles through his desk*

"Warrants, huh? Well, damnit, I know I have another of those rubber stamps I gave to the FISA courts in here somewhere."

#14 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-06-25 01:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

This only matters if it applies to Stingray, parallel construction, and searching a phone remotely without taking physical possession.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-25 01:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

This is a big deal. In most jurisdictions it is SOP for law enforcement to go through a suspect's cell phone. Happens tens of thousands of time a day across the US. Since most of you are not suspected criminals this has probably never affected you. But it is a real game changer for day to day law enforcement.

#16 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-06-25 02:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

Supremes: No Warrantless Smartphone Searches

translation: Stay off the NSAs turf!

#17 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-06-25 02:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

But it is a real game changer for day to day law enforcement.
#16 | Posted by moder8

For the short term, and at the small scale. Long term, big picture, there are still significant challenges to a right to privacy when communications are "voluntary" and carriers can be compelled to give up data. Also, Stingray.

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-25 03:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

Mod I doubt it would be difficult for the cops to get a warrant to search a criminal suspects phone. So I don't know how much this will change day to day operations for the cops on the street.

#19 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-06-25 03:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

The cops will still search your phone they'll just use "parallel construction" to launder the data.

#20 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-25 03:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

I support total transparency, openness and surveillance (with no warrant needed) as long as it is confined to our various elected officials who claim to be public servants.

We could use internet enabled cameras in their offices and in their meeting rooms and require that meeting and phone logs be kept on line. CSPAN would cover their negotiations in Congress. Our elected officials need this. The citizens do not.

They need to be kept honest and beholden to the electorate because they are spending our money and making back room deals as to who gets it, and making laws mostly FTBO cronies and others.

Back to the issue of warrant-less searches of smart phones. In the name of 9-11 and our security we've allowed the 4th Amendment to be incrementally stretched far from its intent. It is good to see a pause.

#21 | Posted by Robson at 2014-06-25 03:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

Wow! Be still my heart!

No more snooping around in our phones for drug deals while seeing if we were driving while texting?

"Sorry officer my phone is locked and you will need a warrant particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

#22 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-06-25 04:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Mod I doubt it would be difficult for the cops to get a warrant to search a criminal suspects phone. So I don't know how much this will change day to day operations for the cops on the street.
#19 | Posted by TaoWarrior"

Tons. You might be surprised at how much a warrant requirement quells the desire of a cop to go on a fishing expedition in search of evidence of a crime.

#23 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2014-06-25 04:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

They finally threw us a crumb.

#5 | POSTED BY LEE_THE_AGENT AT 2014-06-25 12:08 PM | FLAG:

They threw the crumb to themselves. They began to realize their power was slipping out of their hands every time they waived judicial oversight. I mean, what's the point of being a "Supreme" Court judge once it ceases to be Supreme?

#24 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-06-25 07:09 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

You might be surprised at how much a warrant requirement quells the desire of a cop to go on a fishing expedition in search of evidence of a crime.

#23 | Posted by mOntecOre

agreed. It keeps them honest. If they feel they really have cause they will get the warrant.

#25 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-06-25 09:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

So how does this affect NSA spying on communications?

Good question. You're not the only one to have thought of it.

After Riley, the intelligence community has some reason to be nervous. In defending its activities, the Obama Administration has pointed -- entirely appropriately -- at privacy protections, including detailed targeting and minimization procedures, and substantial internal and external oversight. Despite real challenges, these protections are meaningful and far exceed anything that other nations provide to protect privacy in their intelligence activities.

The Chief Justice made short shrift of a similar argument in Riley, when the government said it would develop "protocols" to deal with the privacy problems its cell phone searches would create in an age of cloud computing. "Proba­bly a good idea, but the Founders did not fight a revolution to gain the right to government agency protocols," he said. As someone who wrote and reviewed many such guidelines for intelligence agencies, I couldn't agree more! I expect to see this quote in brief after brief, whenever the government says internal safeguards are good enough.

There is undoubtedly some heartburn at the NSA on this point. Safeguards and oversight matter. The Supreme Court reminds us that they are no substitute for the Constitution. www.lawfareblog.com

#26 | Posted by et_al at 2014-06-25 09:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

Finally..these dorty shonks leef us alone. Praize Allah!
~El kaida

#27 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2014-06-26 03:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

They threw the crumb to themselves. They began to realize their power was slipping out of their hands every time they waived judicial oversight. I mean, what's the point of being a "Supreme" Court judge once it ceases to be Supreme?

-----------

The us consitution was such an extremely fascist document that Jefferson had to come out of retirement to stop that Nazi Adams from throwing his political opponents in jail. The anti sedition act is the real law of the land.

#28 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-06-26 12:47 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

This must also cover those instances when the police confiscate a phone of someone recording their procedures in public. Or even if someone is recording an encounter with the police at, for instance, a DUI checkpoint. There is an app out there now that allows you to immediately upload video to the internet while simultaneously recording the incident. Occasionally, police officers would attempt to gain access to and subsequently delete recordings on phones of people they arrest. The recordings are the only things protecting people from procedural abuse. Well, that and knowledge of your Constitutional rights.

#29 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-26 12:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Finally..these dorty shonks leef us alone. Praize Allah!
~El kaida

#27 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Hardly believe police would have difficulty getting warrants for suspected Al Queda terrorists. But your support for the hyper-police state is duly noted.

#30 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-26 01:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

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