“California Gov. Jerry Brown is vetoing legislation requiring police to obtain a court warrant to search the mobile phones of suspects at the time of any arrest,” David Kravets reports for Wired.
“The Sunday veto means that when police arrest anybody in the Golden State, they may search that person’s mobile phone — which in the digital age likely means the contents of persons’ e-mail, call records, text messages, photos, banking activity, cloud-storage services, and even where the phone has traveled,” Kravets reports. “Brown’s veto message abdicated responsibility for protecting the rights of Californians and ignored calls from civil liberties groups and this publication to sign the bill — saying only that the issue is too complicated for him to make a decision about. He cites a recent California Supreme Court decision upholding the warrantless searches of people incident to an arrest.”
Kravets reports, “Because of that January ruling from the state’s high court, the California Legislature passed legislation to undo it — meaning Brown is taking the side of the Supreme Court’s seven justices instead of the state Legislature. The Assembly approved the bill 70-0 and the state Senate, 32-4.”
“Brown’s veto also shores up support with police unions and the Peace Officers Research Association of California, a police union that opposed the legislation and recently donated $38,900 to Brown’s campaign coffers,” Kravets reports. “‘Restricting the authority of a peace officer to search an arrestee unduly restricts their ability to apply the law, fight crime, discover evidence valuable to an investigation and protect the citizens of California,’ the association said in a message. That support would be key if Brown decides to seek a second term.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]