CA Governor Fails to Sign Bill Requiring Warrants to Search Phones

Ryan Whitwam

Civil liberties groups are up in arms today with the news that California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have forced police to obtain a search warrant before searching the mobile phones of suspects upon their arrest. The veto means that for the time being, anyone arrested in California can be forced to submit to a search of their phone. These days, that essentially means handing over your entire life to officers.

Brown’s veto message says that due to the complicated issues involved, and the contradictory court decisions, he did not feel comfortable making a decision. Some have pointed to large campaign donations from police unions as the real reason. The state legislature was uncharacteristically together on the issue, having passed the bill by wide margins.

With large numbers of arrests not leading to convictions, one has to wonder what becomes of all that harvested data. Presumably it is supposed to be deleted, but things do fall through the cracks, and government laptops seem to go missing quite often.

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