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Weekly News Digest

July 1, 2014 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Individual Privacy

The Supreme Court of the United States released an opinion on Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie in which it decided that law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before searching the content in an arrested person’s cellphone. Both Riley and Wurie were convicted on charges brought against them after their initial arrests because of information police officers found on their phones. Both men moved to suppress the cellphone evidence and were denied. Now, “Officers may examine the phone’s physical aspects to ensure that it will not be used as a weapon, but the data on the phone can endanger no one.”

The opinion also states the following:

Before cell phones, a search of a person was limited by physical realities and generally constituted only a narrow intrusion on privacy. But cell phones can store millions of pages of text, thousands of pictures, or hundreds of videos. … It is true that this decision will have some impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime. But the Court’s holding is not that the information on a cell phone is immune from search; it is that a warrant is generally required before a search.

“These decisions are huge for digital privacy,” says Hanni Fakhoury, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) staff attorney. “This should have implications for other forms of government electronic searches and surveillance, tightening the rules for police behavior and preserving our privacy rights in our increasingly digital world.”

Source: Supreme Court of the United States

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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