Jerry Brown ignores rights to appease law enforcement lobby

Will California’s Governor Outlaw Police From Searching Mobile Phones Without A Warrant?
[Via Techdirt]

For years, we’ve discussed the legality of police searching the contents of your smartphone at a traffic stop. The issue is a bit complex legally. The law generally says that police can search through anything on your body, but that was generally meant for things like your wallet or other physical storage. When it comes to something like a smartphone, that contains all sorts of details about your life (and the ability to access a hell of a lot more) the questions become a lot trickier. It certainly feels like it should be against the 4th Amendment to allow such searches without a warrant — but the courts have been mixed. Tragically, earlier this year, California’s Supreme Court ruled that such searches were perfectly legal without a warrant. In response, the California legislature passed a bill, SB 914, which would require police to get a warrant.

But there’s a problem: Governor Jerry Brown hasn’t signed it yet.

Despite petitions and a variety of editorials urging him to sign it, he’s still sitting on it (he has until October 9th). Wired is reporting a rumor that Brown has agreed to veto the legislation in an effort to please the “law enforcement lobby.”


So what happens if my iPhone is locked? Do I have a right to withhold he password unless a warrant is produced?

The Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Seems to me that papers and effects are protected. Nice of Jerry to stand up for the common man.

One thought on “Jerry Brown ignores rights to appease law enforcement lobby

  1. Yes, what if your phone is locked? If you provide the password, are you giving up your right NOT to incriminate yourself?

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