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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

California's New Laws Series: Devices Search Warrants

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Law enforcement officers need a search warrant to check your phones, electronic communications (SB 178, Leno): The bill protects Californians against warrantless law enforcement access to private electronic communications such as emails, text messages and GPS data that are stored in the cloud and on smart phones, tablets, laptops and other digital devices. There are exceptions for law enforcement to use in the event of emergencies and other public safety needs. (Info courtesy of Sen. Mark Leno)

This one makes all of the sense in the world.  So why do we need a special law for it?

It's sort of like Bill Engvall's jokes about warning labels.  They have them because somebody tried it before.

So, were they searching devices and electronics communications without a warrant?

What this means for Californians is that they can't check your device when they pull you over on the highway.

But, could they before?

As a constitutionalist, I have a real problem with searches without warrants.  The searches shouldn't have been happening in the first place.  It's pretty sad when you have a God-given right to not being unreasonably searched, yet they feel the need to pass a law because it's apparently been going on.

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