, Legal Times

Justices Endorse Privacy in Cellphone Search Cases

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Law enforcement must generally obtain a warrant before searching the contents of a cellphone that belongs to a person under arrest, the U.S. Supreme Court said on Wednesday in a major ruling on digital privacy.

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  • Larry Moniz

    MC, As a crime reporter I worked closely with the MSPCA, law enforcement unit. Even nearly half a century ago, they followed the same rules as regular law enforcement agencies. In fact, they carried commissions as Special Massachusetts State Police Officers. I‘ve also covered activities of animal control officers in other jurisdictions and know of NONE who violate the warrant/search and seizure laws as you imply. If they did, they would be liable to be criminally charged for breaking and entering or criminal entry, depending on the jurisdiction and applicable laws. If you know of specific Animal Control units violating such laws, please, tell us which ones and/or report them to the applicable state attorney general of a U.S. Attorney.

  • Larry Moniz

    MC, it is not the responsibility of the government or U.S. Constitution to make the lives of law enforcement personnel easier, but rather to protect the American citizenry from police state tactics. There were similar cries when the Supreme Court ruled on Miranda and basic right at arrest. Somehow, law enforcement survived, thrived and (most of the time) works within the Miranda Warnings and the right to remain silent, etc.

  • MCovault

    This is a mixed bag, IMO. While it preserves an alleged criminal‘s privacy rights, it could really hinder law enforcement to an extreme and allow true criminals to play the system. Seems bizarre that this ruling could come about, and yet, it‘s okay when LE/AC go into a private home where there is "alleged" animal neglect/abuse, and do pretty much whatever they want, from seizing the animals to all private property (computer, cages, etc.) *under color of law*, and even threaten an owner with incarceration if they try to tape the actions. Do we have some warped perspective here that gives animal enterprises less legal protection than those who commit crimes against humans?

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