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California Supreme Court says warrantless searches of suspects' text messages are legal

Vlad Savov

Planning on getting arrested in California any time soon? You'd better make sure your text archives are free from any incriminating information as the state's Supreme Court has now ruled it legal for police to check your missives folder without the need for a warrant. The justification for this privacy intrusion is that a phone search is "incidental" to a lawful arrest and its contents, much like the contents of your pockets or bags, fall within the realm of reasonable search. Two of the judges in the case did dissent, with one noting that "never before has it been possible to carry so much personal or business information in one's pocket or purse," which she argues should afford your iPhone, Droid or BB a higher level of privacy protection than, say, the packet of gummy bears you have in the other pocket. What do you think?

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