California governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that required the police to get a warrant before searching a telephone. Without this law, California's police will continue their practice of searching the cellphones of people they arrest, "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."
Brown blamed the Supreme Court, which found that current US laws don't protect against this sort of snooping, saying that the court's finding should stand. But all courts can do is tell you whether or not something is legal in the current system -- it's not their job to say what the law should be.
That's the legislature's job, and they did it: California's lawmakers passed this bill because deep, intrusive snooping without a warrant is an affront to human rights, privacy and dignity. In Brown's view, it seems that no laws should be passed -- rather, we should just freeze the current legislation and let courts refine it for the rest of time.
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. In his brief message, he also doesn’t say whether it’s a good idea or not.
Instead, he says the state Supreme Court’s decision is good enough, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court let stand last week.
“The courts are better suited to resolve the complex and case-specific issues relating to constitutional search-and-seizure protections,” the governor wrote.
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.
(Image: IMG_2787, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from kristina06's photostream)
Last October, floods of traffic from Internet of Things devices infected by the Mirai worm brought down several high profile internet services, from Level 3 to Dyn to Twitter and Reddit.
Help wanted: Operations Manager (personable, resourceful, and demonstrates outstanding attention to detail); Civil Liberties Legislative Counsel (advocacy, public speaking, blogging and other social media, media appearances and legislative and regulatory matters related to a variety of high technology public interest legal issues); 2017-19 Frank Stanton Fellowship (recent law school graduates or law students who will […]
M. David Weisman, a magistrate judge in Illinois’s Eastern Division, denied a federal warrant application that would have allowed law enforcement officers to force suspects to unlock their mobile devices with a fingerprint, ruling that the suspects’ Fourth Amendment (undue search and seizure) and Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination) rights protected them from being forced to unlock […]
DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]