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Security Awareness Discussion of all things related to the security of Apple devices.

Can Police Confiscate Your Smartphone


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GrannySueSnaps

 
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I'm starting this topic just to see your opinions, however, there was a recent Court ruling regarding this and I will provide more details after a time for comments. Let's get some input, what are your thoughts?

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vansmith

 
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Not without violating section 8 of the Charter (and thus one's constitutional rights) unless there's reasonable (legal/criminal investigation) grounds to do so. I don't see why a smartphone would be any different than any other object of personal property (who know how the law works though?).

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No need to hold off on the "details". This is the internet…and any of us can do a search and find the info:

How the Supreme Court's Cellphone Decision Affects You
Cops Need A Warrant To Search Your Phone, Rules Supreme Court - Forbes
Cellphone ruling a victory for privacy: Editorial
Politics News: Supreme Court's Decision Bans Search of Cell Phones Without a Warrant | InTheCapital

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Good news if one is a spy! There is a difference between confiscating and searching your mobile. If the phone itself is supsected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained of course they will.

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Slydude

 
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We're you a lawyer in a previous life Harry? That's exactly the kind of distinction that will likely be made. If someone is suspected of a crime and is being arrested/has been arrested it seems the phone can be confiscated but not searched.

The search could be conducted only if there is sufficient probable cause to believe one has committed a crime. Although the standard for that seems remarkably inconsistent here in the USA. At least to a casual observer anyway.

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Quote:
The search could be conducted only if there is sufficient probable cause to believe one has committed a crime. Although the standard for that seems remarkably inconsistent here in the USA. At least to a casual observer anyway.
Naw, first thing we do is give you a bath making you believe you're drowning, then we bang you around a bit with rolled up newspapers (NY Times Sunday edition), and after that we ask you in a nice way if we can look in your iPhone. And maybe if you cooperate, you won't get a free all expenses paid government trip to Cuba!
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GrannySueSnaps

 
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Politics News: Supreme Court's Decision Bans Search of Cell Phones Without a Warrant | InTheCapital

"In a landmark decision on Wednesday morning the Supreme Court ruled in a 8 to 1 decision that cell phones cannot be searched without a warrant, even if they are on a person's body at the time of arrest, based on the cases United States v. Wurie and Riley v. California."

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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannySueSnaps View Post
In a landmark decision on Wednesday morning the Supreme Court ruled in a 8 to 1 decision
A judge voted against this? Does the United States not have laws against unreasonable search and seizure? I ask because this seems like a clear case of "no, you can't randomly confiscate it unless there is reasonable cause."

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I was just wondering something similar. The Fourth Amendment to the US constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. Numerous federal laws have been passed since then to clarify the definition if "unreasonable".That I understand.

What puzzles me is why this had to end up in the Supreme Court and why it wasn't a unanimous decision. There must be some detail I have missed in these cases that makes them far more complicated.

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chscag

 
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I was just wondering something similar. The Fourth Amendment to the US constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. Numerous federal laws have been passed since then to clarify the definition if "unreasonable".That I understand.
And no one thought before "Miranda" that a suspect had to be read his or her rights when arrested. Hey, that's why we have a Supreme Court.

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I had not thought of that specific example. Although. when you look at the essence of the Miranda case, that one floors me as well. Something in my mind nags at me that the two cases are not exactly analogous but I can't put my finger on it at the moment.

My understanding of the "fallout" of that case is that it did not confer new rights on anyone. It merely required that potential suspects be informed of rights they already had. When I read about that decision in school it's another one that seemed self-evident to me. After all, how can someone exercise a right if they don't know they have it.

I've always been fascinated by how much many of the cases which come before SCOTUS are a product of the time in which they occur. I'm thinking here of the contrast between say Plessy v. Ferguson contrasted with Brown v. Board of Education. There is little doubt in my mind that social conditions/expectations played an important part in why both cases ended up in the Supreme Court.

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I've always been fascinated by how much many of the cases which come before SCOTUS are a product of the time in which they occur.
Very true. Right now in 2014 the Supreme Court leans toward the more conservative view of things. However, that can change in a heartbeat (literally). A conservative member of the court passes away and our President nominates and gets confirmation of his choice from the senate. Then the court will likely lean liberal and major decisions (social, moral, etc) will change very quickly.
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True. As evidenced in part by the number of 5-4 decisions.

Although the court may be more conservative than it has been in the past I'm not sure it's as consistently conservative as some think. I doubt, for example, that a truly conservative court would have jumped through the hoops they did to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
I ask because this seems like a clear case of "no, you can't randomly confiscate it unless there is reasonable cause."
What constitute's "reasonable cause" ?? Where is that line drawn ?

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Well Brent in NSW under Section 356A of the Crimes Act, 1900 as amended, 'reasonably suspected'. Different thing I guess to US law and 'reasonable cause'. Guess it all revolves around that word 'reasonable'.

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