Should Police Be Required To Obtain A Warrant To Search Cell Phones?

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police need to obtain a warrant to search cell phones in most cases. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, cell phones should be regarded as no different from an ordinary computer, since the only difference is that phone calls can be made on them.

Obtain A Warrant To Search Cell Phones?

“The term ‘cell phone’ is itself misleading shorthand; many of these devices are, in fact, minicomputers which also happen to have the capacity to be used as a telephone,” Roberts wrote. “They could just as easily be called cameras, video players, rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps, or newspapers.”

In short, cell phones should not be considered any differently from older technologies on which private information, as well as video and audio recordings, might be kept.

This ruling was made in relation to two separate cases…



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