Can cops search your phone? Supreme Court likely to tell us in 2014


In the United States, cops can poke around your pockets and briefcase during an arrest but they can’t start searching other parts of your property without a warrant. But what about the contents of your cell phone? Is that just like a pocket search or do cops need special permission to search it?

Judges across the country can’t agree on the answer and now the Obama Administration is weighing in. In a brief filed last week, the White House urged the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a drug case in Massachusetts where cops obtained a call log from a flip phone without a warrant.

Meanwhile, an alleged gang member from California is also asking the Court to overturn his shooting conviction because evidence in the case came via a warrantless search of his Samsung Instinct smartphone.

The two appeals, conflicting case law and the Obama Administration’s involvement mean the…

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