Lawmakers on Monday unanimously approved legislation that would prevent law enforcement officers from looking through the smartphones and other electronic devices of people they arrest unless they obtain a search warrant.Technology has changed faster than our individual rights have been upgraded to protect from needless intrusion, and today people carry nearly as much personal information on their smart phones as on their home computers. If there's probable cause to go through that information, fine. Let a judge make that determination. But it shouldn't just be something police get to do by rote whenever they arrest someone.
The Assembly voted 55-0 for the protections. The bill by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco returns to the Senate, which previously approved it in a slightly different form.
If eventually signed into law, SB914 would override a recent California Supreme Court decision allowing warrantless searches of electronic devices. The court ruled that police could use a suspect's text messages in a 2007 drug arrest without first receiving a judge's permission.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Ban warrantless searches of smart phones
Here's some new legislation out of California I'd like to see passed in Texas. From AP: