Friday, August 2, 2013

Delaware needs a new law ...

... and you usually don't hear ME saying that.

Delaware is one of the states in which, if you are arrested, the Delaware Code is currently silent on whether or not law enforcement may seize and examine everything on your cell phone without a warrant.

The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that such searches are not appropriate with a warrant:
“We refuse to authorize government intrusion into the most private and personal details of an arrestee’s life without a search warrant simply because the cellular phone device which stores that information is small enough to be carried on one’s person.” 
Given that, in Delaware, we already know that law enforcement is prone to invading your cell phone without your foreknowledge or permission [the DIAC "See something, say something" APP that converts your phone into a device to spy on you], it is not unreasonable to believe that our police are routinely examining the cell phones of people they have stopped or arrested.

[Ironically, a Delaware public official in a meeting on another subject verified that for me yesterday.  She noted that she had been stopped by an NCCPD Officer who accused her of having been talking or texting while driving.  When she denied it, the officer then demanded to examine both her private and work cell phones to determine the times of her last calls and texts.  Amazingly (because the lady in question is actually an attorney) she agreed to this demand, only to realize later that by doing so she had granted him basically an unlimited ability to snoop into her private records based on nothing more than a (possible) minor moving violation infraction.]

Somebody find me a state legislator who actually cares about civil liberties, so we can get a bill written for January requiring police to have a warrant before they get to access your cell phone.

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