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U.S. Federal Appeals Court Ruled For Cell Phone Limited Search Without Any Warrant

American citizens are getting more involvement of the government and state authorities into their private lives day by day. Just for keeping them safe, the U.S. government has taken a lot of measures which are not being liked by those who believe in maintaining an open trust with the government and foremostly believe in protecting citizens’ right of privacy under the law. But now the law itself has granted the state authorities a liberty to move around private affairs.


Recently, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled on March 1 that police officers can search a cell phone without a warrant according to Venture Beat. This is really getting in too deeply for search purposes. But now U.S. citizens cannot question or ask for their Amendment rights to be served the U.S. Constitution. However, the searches have to be limited just to the device’s number. But just getting that number is all that is sufficient because through that device number, all call histories could be requested from carriers. After a case happened in Indiana that involved drug bust, the police used the help of cell phones to locate the culprits of the drug ring. This led to the importance having to track cellphones.

The reason that the judges allowed such cell phone number search is because they equated it with getting a personal address from a pocket diary without a warrant, which is considered to be legal under the U.S. law. Not only that, but any gadget which is similarly operated could be searched without a warrant as a rule now. Hence, your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other type of computer could be searched. But this search is warranted for only limited purposes. If more elaborate and extensive searches are required, then a legal warrant is necessary to conduct the job.

If the purpose is to catch down the criminals, then nothing could be better than this. It is in fact a step in favour of the American society and citizens, but when decent citizens would come in its grab unnecessarily as does happen with the state authorities, then this is where the rule is being used against them and their privacy. According to renowned law blog The Volokh Conspiracy, the law blogger, Orin Kerr wrote:

“Searches of electronic storage devices should be allowed under the search incident to arrest exception if there is reason to believe evidence of the crime of arrest will be found on the phone, but not allowed if there is no such evidence.”

[ttjad]

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