EPIC, ACLU, & EFF Urge Court to Prohibit Wholesale Forensic Cell Phone Searches When Probable Cause is Limited

This post was originally published on Epic

LEGENDARY has filed an amicus brief using the ACLU and EFF within United States sixth is v. Morton recommending the full Fifth Circuit in order to prohibit invasive forensic lookups of cell phones when police force only has probable trigger to search some of the data in the phone. In Morton , police acquired a warrant to search the particular defendant’s cell phone for proof of an alleged drug criminal offense, but instead conducted a forensic search of the phone’s complete contents and uncovered proof of an entirely unrelated crime. The Fifth Circuit panel eventually found that the search broken the Fourth Amendment because it attained a type of data on the telephone that was not likely to include evidence of the specific crime getting investigated. EPIC, ACLU, plus EFF applauded the panel’s recognition that “the range of cell phone searches should closely adhere to the possible cause showing, lest expert to search a device for proof of one crime mutate in to authority to search the whole of the device for proof of any crime— a restricted general search. ” The particular groups argued that, within an age when “Americans’ addiction on smartphones has, deliberately and inadvertently, resulted in our own phones containing vast troves of our personal information, strict limitations on searches and seizures are necessary to preserve privacy” which technological and administrative comfort “is no justification with regard to discarding the Fourth Amendment’ ersus probable cause and particularity requirements. ” EPIC frequently files amicus briefs challenging unconstitutionally broad cell phone searches, which includes forensic searches associated with entire cell phones.

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