The recent unanimous US Supreme Court decision, Riley v California, ruled that police need a warrant to search the cell phones of those they arrest. At issue was whether or not searches of the cell phone of an arrested person was a search incident to the arrest. Such searches are allowable because they can find objects harmful to the safety of the arresting officer, and prevent the destruction of evidence. The Court found that neither concern applied to information accessible by cell phones and that police should obtain warrants to authorize such searches.
This is of course an important finding, but my purpose here is to look at some of the ideas about communication technology embedded in the decision. The most obvious example and widely quoted is the following.
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