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Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new Government

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Supreme Court Cites Fourth Amendment in Landmark Digital Privacy Decision

From Mic:
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Americans’ right to keep their digital information private Friday, as they ruled that cell phone location data is protected from warrantless searches under the Fourth Amendment. 
In a 5-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States, the court ruled in favor of robbery suspect Timothy Carpenter, whose cell phone records the FBI seized without a warrant under the Stored Communications Act. 
Carpenter argued that the location data the government was able to gather through the records should be suppressed, as it violated the Fourth Amendment. 
A lower court ruled, however, that since Carpenter’s cell phone data had already been shared with his wireless carriers, Carpenter had no reasonable expectation of privacy. 
The Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling Friday, noting that cell phone location records “hold for many Americans the ‘privacies of life’” and should thus be protected under the Fourth Amendment, which asserts the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects.” 
“We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s majority opinion. 
“In light of the deeply revealing nature of [cell-site location information], its depth, breadth and comprehensive reach, and the inescapable and automatic nature of its collection, the fact that such information is gathered by a third party does not make it any less deserving of Fourth Amendment protection.”


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