Posted by: Shelly Insheiwat, Web Producer / Editor - email
In a time when we have less and less privacy, where we eat for lunch, who our friends are, the deaths of parents, school graduations, promotions, parties, dates, you name it are all Facebooked, Tweeted, Instagramed and emailed, the United States Supreme Court, no less, has taken a step in a different direction.
The court ruled , in a unanimous decision, that before Police can look at the contents of our smart phones in pursuit of a criminal investigation, they have to have a judge sign off on a search warrant. ( http://www.supremecourt.gov/ ) The American Civil Liberties union called it a ''revolution'', '' a major victory for privacy rights''. The Police , in general, said it ''was not unexpected''. This doesn't stop police from accessing the kind of info that might help them solve a crime, it just slows them a bit. But judges are on call 24/7 so it literally is a matter of minutes or hours before the secrets of your cell phone are spilled if you're under arrest. You can image how valuable this modern day information is, from our contacts to our emails to our text messages to our photos to where we've been Google mapping. It's literally a goldmine of information for investigators looking to track someone's whereabouts or who they've been talking to , when they've been talking to them or texting, or who their friends are, maybe even photos of a crime. The court certainly understands that, and wasn't trying to prohibit authorities from obtaining that information, they just have to convince a judge there's 'probably cause '' to do that, and not just do it routinely like they do with a search of your pockets looking for a weapon or a search through your purse or wallet looking for an ID. Tough to argue with that logic. Combine that with a relatively recent decision requiring Police to get a warrant for GPS trackers, and there's some hope that privacy isn't a completely outdated antiquated concept.
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