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Article posted Jul 22 2012, 1:52 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Boing Boing Print

Judge says it's OK to use your seized phone to impersonate you and entrap your friends

By Cory Doctorow

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.

Judge Penoyar said that the same reasoning applies to text messages sent to an iPhone. While text messages may be legally protected in transit, he argued that they lose privacy protections once they have been delivered to a target device in the hands of the police. He claimed that the same rule applied to letters and e-mail. (Police would still need to seize or search a phone or computer legally, and phones are much easier for cops to seize than computers, which generally require a warrant.)

"On his own iPhone, on his own computer, or in the process of electronic transit, Hinton's communications are shielded by our constitutions," he wrote, referring to both the state and federal constitutions. "But after their arrival, Hinton's text messages on Lee's iPhone were no longer private or deserving of constitutional protection." Penoyar rejected Roden's privacy arguments on similar grounds.
It's legal: cops seize cell phone, impersonate owner

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Comments 1 - 12 of 12 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jul 22 2012, 6:31 PM

9927 I go to prison if I impersonate an officer. Police get a bonus and a pat on the back if they impersonate me? WTF Where is the tipping point ?

Posted: Jul 23 2012, 3:28 PM

174117 this is our tipping point.

Posted: Jul 24 2012, 1:30 AM

81106 as much as i dont agree with it just keep your nose clean and move on. if you dont do anything illegal you wont get your personal messages siezed. I feel sorry for the cops, every time they catch a break catching stupid people they get condemnned for the way they do it, let them do their jobs or stop complaining that they are "not good enough"

That said i will say that the day they start going into peoples personal data without any suspicion, warrant or anything is the day that I will lose all faith, and more than likely get out of this country.

Posted: Jul 09 2013, 6:06 PM

10976 Get out of your country then so.

Posted: Jul 10 2013, 11:54 AM

65110 "if you dont do anything illegal you wont get your personal messages siezed"

Oh yeah... Why didn't I think of that

Posted: Jul 10 2013, 11:56 AM

65110 No Such Agency is fond of these things
James Smith

Posted: Jul 10 2013, 4:00 PM

It isn't as if any rational person still believes the USA is a free country. Think about it. No-warrant wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, approval of rendition of prisoners and torture, stop and frisk without probable cause, search and seizure without a warrant, no-knock entry, confiscation and destruction of cameras that might have been used to film police acting illegally, police brutality, police shootings that go without investigation, managed news, and the civil-rights destroying "Patriot" Act.

Acts of police behaving illegally, with shootings, Tasers, and unwarranted violence now appear almost daily. Rarely are these offenses punished. Most often "an investigation" is claimed, but soon forgotten.

In addition, the USA, with 5% of the world population, has 25% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the most people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents incarcerated, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1!

 Does any of that sound like a free country?

As Dwight D. Eisenhower said about communism, "It's like slicing sausage. First they out off a small slice. That isn't worth fighting over. Then they take another small slice that isn't worth fighting over. Then another and another. Finally, all you have left is the string and that isn't worth fighting over, either.

Posted: Oct 08 2013, 4:59 PM

70197 Just a response to the keep your nose clean bit: today's nothing to hide can easily be something that makes you an enemy of the state tomorrow. The sausage analogy is perfect for this situation. We really need to stop trading in our freedoms and rights for the absolute false promise of safety.

Posted: Nov 25 2013, 5:39 PM

75182 So show me someone who hasn't broken some law or other, whether or not he was aware of it, in the past month... Or week.

Posted: Mar 07 2014, 6:18 PM

68186 What can we do. We are just normal people. Unless your rich or famous you can't do squat. So get in line and follow the leaders!
p.s. If you DO (highly unlikely) think of something then I'm right with you

Posted: Mar 14 2014, 3:19 AM

98233 one of the biggest for the growth of the police state in america is the drug war mania.
when drug criminalization is stopped most of this police harassment stops.
dont forget the cops are just the dumb attack dog being controlled by the elected politicians.
and these politicians make the laws that cause the problems (just like the prohibition law in the 1930s)
lake Villa Illinois Anarchist

Posted: Sep 20 2014, 12:38 PM

10875 if you are afraid. then they have you right where they want you
Comments 1 - 12 of 12 Page 1 of 1

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