Cell phones are not protected by the 4th amendment, which guards against illegal searches and seizures, according to the ruling of Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. A cell phone is essentially a hand held computer. It is not hard to imagine laptops being next, followed by any computers anywhere.
Big win for the burgeoning police state in the Unites States. Big loss for freedom.
But it’s not a surprise. The ACLU has recently voiced concerns that police in Michigan were illegally taking data off of phones with “extraction devices” that are sold by Cellebrite – which is a primary supplier of devices used to transfer data from phone to phone at wireless phone stores. Here is the complaint.
Whether or not it has happened yet is immaterial. The technology is there, and it will inevitably be used by police to take data without permission – whether by a rogue cop who believes the end justifies the means – or by a police department acting on an unconstitutional legal ruling such as the one made in Dallas by Judge Posner.