Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)


July 9, 2014

High court right on mobile phone ruling

July 9, 2014 — We don’t always agree with the rulings of the U. S. Supreme Court which is often divided with multiple opinions.

But, for the moment, we feel better about the high court because of its recent ruling on searching mobile phones.

Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t just write for a majority of the court, as is usually the case, he wrote for all nine of the justices in the unanimous decision that police must have a search warrant to examine the data on your personal phone.

The ruling makes it crystal clear that law enforcement officers must have a search warrant before they analyze the phone calls, phone numbers and other data on your phone.

That decision may change the plotlines of some television shows where police always seem to find incredibly incriminating evidence on cell phones.

We found it downright refreshing that the members of the high court put aside their philosophical differences and agreed on a clearly-worded decision that anyone can understand.

In our opinion, the growing types and amounts of data that we have on our mobile phones should be as safe as other forms of personal information.

The chief justice pointed out that cell phones no longer are just telephones.

Considering that an estimated 90 percent of Americans have mobile phones, those devices represent a virtual treasure trove of calendars, listings of family and friends and other information that most of us would not share voluntarily.

Chief Justice Roberts aptly and succinctly described phone contents as "a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives—from the mundane to the intimate,"

Yes, technology is expanding at a dizzying pace but that should not trump our constitutional right to privacy and the protection we have in the Fourth Amendment against "unreasonable searches and seizures".

That should make all of us feel safer.

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