Tag Archives: Fourth Amendment

Court allows warrantless cellphone search

From TheHill.com, By Brendan Sasso – 03/01/12 – A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled on Wednesday that police did not violate a suspect’s constitutional rights when they searched his cellphone without a warrant.

In the decision, Judge Richard Posner noted that the case has implications for whether police can search computers without a warrant because modern cellphones essentially are computers.

In the case, Indiana police arrested Abel Flores-Lopez, a suspected drug dealer, and seized his cellphone. Without a warrant, they used his phone to discover its number, and then used the number to subpoena call records from his telephone company.

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Feds Issue Threat: No Fly Zone for Texas?

by Connor Boyack, with Brian Roberts and Michael Boldin

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice upped the ante in a high-stakes political game of chicken. Lobbying against pending legislation in the Texas legislature which would criminalize any searches conducted without probable cause, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy sent a letter to a few high-ranking members of Texas’ government warning against promoting the bill and threatening a complete closure of all flights to and from the state.

“If HR [sic] 1937 were enacted, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute,” Murphy wrote. “Unless or until such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew.” Continue reading →