Monday, January 18, 2016

Court: With a warrant, cops can search basically anywhere on your phone

In a 4-3 decision, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Friday that with a warrant, it's ok for police to search anywhere on a seized phone that may reasonably turn up evidence of the crime under investigation.

In the case of Commonwealth v. Dorelas, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (MSJC) found that because the Boston Police Department (BPD) had a warrant to search a criminal suspect’s seized iPhone, it could access his photos as well.

As the majority opinion found:

The defendant contends, however, that the police had probable cause only to search his telephone call and text files, and not his photograph file. We disagree. Communications can come in many forms including photographic, which the defendant freely admits. So long as such evidence may reasonably be found in the file containing the defendant's photographs, that file may be searched.

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