DANGER - "General" Search Warrants in the Digital Age

By Darren M. Gelber |   Jun. 1, 2015

If you knew that there was a chance—maybe even a good chance—that a law enforcement officer could gain access to every single text, email, photograph and voice mail on your smartphone, going back years, because you were suspected of criminal activity, would you change your behavior? Say less? Save less? As the law struggles to keep pace with rapid advancements in technology, the threat to individual privacy rights is rising just as quickly. More and more, law enforcement officers investigating criminal activity are securing warrants to search the smartphone contents of the targets of their criminal investigations. The justification for these searches is often if there is probable cause to believe that an individual is involved in criminal activity, it follows automatically that probable cause exists that the target’s smartphone is being used to facilitate that criminal activity--or at least communicate about it. And judges are approving search warrants in these cases, without any competent, specific evidence to establish that a particular smartphone is likely to contain evidence of a crime. This dangerous trend has yet to be checked under New Jersey law.

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Topics : police, Constitutional Rights, privacy, Electronic Data, information, digital, search | 0 Comments Read More

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