California Governor vetos bill that would have shielded citizens from warrantless cellphone searches


30 Responses to “California Governor vetos bill that would have shielded citizens from warrantless cellphone searches”

  1. Guest says:

    “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. ”

    It’s not their job to draft legislation, but it very much is their place to make suggestions as to what laws need to be doing. It’s how the Mass Supreme Court in 2003 “recommended” that the legislature fix something, yielding marriage equality in the Commonwealth. IANAL.

  2. Rebecca DeLaTorre says:

    There has been so much anti-hippy sentiment on the internets since Occupy Wall Street and I really thought that it was out of line but when Governor Moonbeam blantantly supports 1984 style police control, than I say screw those dirty hippies.

    • OtherMichael says:

      Blame the hippies? Sure, why not! Brown is just as much a hippie as Charles Manson and Sonny Bono were.

      Good thing we never elected Brown president: the suede-denim secret-police would be going door-to-door — rapture! be-pure! — smiling and searching our cell-phones.

      • cdh1971 says:

        Rats…when I saw the headline I was hoping to be the one to make this ‘suede denim’ reference first. 

        It seems bizarre at first, but doesn’t as much considering JB has been a politician for most of his life. Also, DK must have wrote the song for a reason, right?

      • Kimmo says:

        Good thing we never elected Brown president: the suede-denim secret-police would be going door-to-door — rapture! be-pure! — smiling and searching our cell-phones.

        Is this the same Governor Jerry Brown?!


    • TOGoS says:

      What’s Jerry Brown got to do with the OWS protesters?  Or is this some kind of weird sarcasm?  All the hippies I know would think this is bulls**t.

  3. A Nonny Moose says:

    So what’s the chance of the legislature overriding the veto? It seems to me that they have the votes, assuming there’s a provision in the CA Constitution for it.

  4. .. .__. says:

    First thing that comes to mind EVERY TIME Jerry Brown does anything stupid (like, once a week!) is Mrs. Harriet Johnson reading her letter to Governor Lepetomaine in Blazing Saddles, particularly the last sentence.

  5. Phil Fot says:

    Seems to me that California needs  regime change as bad as the whole country.

    Encrypt everything.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Seems to me that California needs  regime change as bad as the whole country.

      Yeah, let’s have another recall. Maybe we could have Governor Lindsay Lohan this time.

      • Phil Fot says:

        Oh, man. Can we have the younger cute version? Before she got all burnt out looking?

        Yeah. I think the process of mounting recall elections should be simpler. But then, I’m also in favour of term limits.

  6. jimh says:

    What an interesting, boneheaded decision.
    So, lazywebs, is there an app for “delete all data I’m being arrested?”

  7. Ambiguity says:

    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.

    Intrusive snooping is an affront to human rights, privacy and dignity. But I guess I’ve become jaded enough to ask: are the CA legislators enlightened enough to realize this and make it the “because,” or is there some more mundane, ulterior reason they supported it?

    • bikewrecked says:

      Like text messaging hookers for filthy sex.
      Or texting a fixer to clean up the body of the dead hooker they just had sex with.
      Or texting a drug dealer to purchase drugs to wash away the small feeling of guilt they have for disposing of a dead hooker’s body.

  8. flowergardenslayer says:

    I’m very happy to be living in Ohio, where this isn’t allowed:

  9. anonymity86 says:

    Gov Brown refused to pass the law because it violated the court’s interpretation of FEDERAL law.  He is essentially saying this a federal not a state issue.

    • Stonewalker says:

      He is saying that, but he is incorrect, because the 4th amendment very much restricts states from searching and seizing unreasonably and without warrants.  At least that’s what the 14th amendment thinks.

    • waetherman says:

      @anonymity86: You’re confused. First, There is no federal law, there is only a state court’s interpretation of the US Constitution. Laws trump court opinion, unless the law violates state or US constitution. Second, the US constitution is a baseline of protection, not a limit; states are free to create higher standards of protection if they choose, provided they don’t violate the US constitution in some other way. Third this is not a federal issue, except perhaps as it might apply to federal agents enforcing federal crimes.

      Brown’s refusal to sign is simply an abdication of his responsibility to create and enforce laws on a local level that protect the citizens of California. One might disagree about anther it’s a good idea, but there is no disagreement that the law was within his power to sign, or that it would have been a valid law.

      It’s also important to note that just because the US Supreme Court refused to take up the issue doesn’t mean they agree with the interpretation by the state court; the US Supreme Court only takes up cases after a pattern of decisions has emerged where there is disgreement between the districts or confusion in the law. The US Supreme Court may very well take up this issue in a few years, once there are more cases on which to base on opinion.

  10. CLAVDIVS says:

    According to wikipedia, a two-thirds vote is required to overturn a veto in California. They have the votes already, let’s just hope they have the balls.

  11. Mathilda Hartnell says:

    First, he’ll come for your cell phones. Then he’ll come for your uncool nieces.

  12. oldtaku says:

    But boy there were sure a crapload of other laws he had no problem signing. I guess they were more important stuff.

  13. tomrigid says:

    This is not a big deal, I think. If I had an address book in my pocket they could look through it. We’re at a transitional phase when people keep their personal information on phones but aren’t careful/paranoid enough to encrypt it or put it all into the cloud.

    In a year every android/iOS/winOS device will let you keep all your vital data on the cloud, and encrypt everything local. They’ll have to, or they’ll never sell another device to a law firm.

  14. Adelantado says:

    Another example of the 6th amendment turned upside down.

  15. Guest says:

    I think people are confusing different situations here… there’s the kind of thing where a cop asks if they can search you or your vehicle after you were stopped for some other reason, and when you are actually under arrest. If you consent to a search of your vehicle and/or your person the cops are looking for drugs, guns ,etc… they can’t search your phone: there’s no probable cause or reason to believe those kind of things could be in there.

    If you have been arrested, and they are taking items off you, then it might be a different story.

    If you have an iPhone and you are truly paranoid, set a passcode, and set the phone to “erase all content and settings” if the passcode is entered incorrectly 10 times.

    If you are arrested, the police cannot search your phone without knowing the passcode. Inform the officer that you will not divulge the passcode without a warrant, that data protected by the passcode is not in plain sight, and repeated attempts to guess it will destroy the data. Legally it is the same as having a locked container in your vehicle. The contents are not in plain sight, and the police have to get a warrant to open it.

    You COULD also quickly wipe your phone if you think you might get arrested, and/or have the person you make your  “one phone call” to do a remote wipe, but you will probably get charged with destroying evidence or obstruction.

    Bonus: Thinks like the CellBrite UFED aren’t carried by traffic cops, and aren’t used without a warrant, but forensic devices still cannot dump an iPhone without knowing the passcode, unless the police have access to a computer the phone is synced with (assuming the disk is not encrypted… if you have the need to  passcode your phone, encrypt your laptop too!).

  16. mrclamo says:

    Betrayed by the Dems again. Mind= Blown.

  17. Stonewalker says:

    I am very confused by JB vetoeing this bill as well as many of the other bills that he signed…  I voted for him to advance civil rights, not attack them.  But perhaps he is playing checkers and not chess… perhaps he is trying to create a circuit split and get this 4A thing worked out a little better.

    I still have a hope for JB.

  18. mattcornell says:

    “Now it is 1984. Knock-knock at your front door. It’s the suede denim secret police.They’ve come for your uncool niece.”

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