Judge says it's OK to use your seized phone to impersonate you and entrap your friendsBy Cory Doctorow
Jul. 22, 2012
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A federal judge has upheld the practice of police using seized phones to impersonate their owners, reading messages and sending sending entrapping replies to contacts in the phone's memory, without a warrant. The judge reasoned that constitutional privacy rights don't apply to messages if they appear on a seized device -- even if the messages originated with someone who has not been arrested or is under suspicion of any crime:
A federal appeals court held that the pager owner's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure were not violated because the pager is "nothing more than a contemporary receptacle for telephone numbers," akin to an address book. The court also held that someone who sends his phone number to a pager has no reasonable expectation of privacy because he can't be sure that the pager will be in the hands of its owner.It's legal: cops seize cell phone, impersonate owner