COURTS IN DISARRAY ON CELL PHONE PRIVACY AS NEW DOCUMENTS SHOW LARGE INCREASE IN GOVERNMENT ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE OF AMERICANS

If someone is suspected of a DUI should the officer be allowed to search the person’s cell phone for pornography without a warrant? If someone is suspected of grand theft should an officer be allowed to use the cell phone to help determine where the person may have been at the time of the crime? Should cell phone conversations be considered private? Is carrying a cell phone the same as carrying a briefcase? American Courts disagree even as Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys urge Courts to find that Americans have a reasonable expectation of privacy rights in their cell phone use.


Recent press reports note that Courts across America are greatly divided as to whether search warrants are necessary for law enforcement to use the vast amount of personal cell phone information as well as internet use and email. Not only are American Courts divided, but more troubling is the fact that even the rationals of the various Courts in making privacy rights decisions in criminal cases are inconsistent. 

Yet as the ACLU chart below indicates an ever larger number of Americans are being subjected to phone taps, traps and traces. 

The government is using more phone taps traps and traces on Americans without getting search warrants.
Increase in Phone Taps, Traps & Traces

The failure of our Courts to agree on an overall reasonable privacy right requiring search warrants for personal cell phone information would seem to necessitate a review of privacy rights by the Supreme Court. Yet except for a recent Florida GPS case in which the Supreme Court demanded that Florida law enforcement stop using GPS to track the movement of Florida citizens, the Court has turned a blind eye to the most important privacy rights issues of this generation.

In a few days Congress will begin debates over amendments to the 1986 Electronics Communications Act, your favorite Clearwater Criminal Lawyer urges you to demand that your Congressman vote to repeal the provisions of the law which could be interpreted by any American Court as allowing warrantless searches of private information from private cell phone, internet and email use.