Should Police Have Access to Your Cellphone? [POLL]
Do you think that police should have complete access to your cellphone if you’re suspected of a crime – or should they obtain a warrant before accessing it?
As the New York Times reports, this question is vexing members of the U.S. Supreme Court who are debating how prudent it would be for the police to ask for your phone in the event a crime has been committed – with the issue swirling as to whether or not complete access would violate the “unreasonable search and seizure” clause of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.
It seems the more conservative justices would be inclined to set precedents as to the privacy rights of individuals under arrest, saying, in effect, that warrantless searchers would be justified in order to prevent the destruction of evidence and protect law enforcement.
Something of an irony in that you’d think those same members would stand by a strict interpretation of the Constitution regarding one’s right to privacy.
The more liberal members of the bench feel otherwise, that to allow a warrantless search of one’s cellphone would violate one’s right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.
Much of the debate centered around protecting police and the destruction of evidence that a warrantless search would provide. Others tried to dance around the thorny question of 4th Amendments rights and limit searches of phones if the arrests were for minor crimes.
Either way the justices find themselves in a pickle when it comes to interpreting the Constitution in an age where the technology has evolved faster than the laws that protect our most cherished freedoms.
Your cellphone is like your home. Would you allow police ready access to it without first wanting to know what they’re searching for?
Seems rather pedestrian, but that’s the view from here!~
Do you feel police should be granted permission to search your cellphone without a warrant?