4th Amendment Erosion

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

A couple of days ago, I read an article about how police in Michigan (go figure) were forcing motorists to surrender their cell phones upon being detention for traffic violations. They are using the common tactic that most liberals and anti-constitutionalist morons use that “if you have nothing to hide, you’ll do what I ask.”

This, of course, is false logic. “If I’ve done nothing wrong, there is no reason to ask” is the proper approach that citizens should take when asked to waive their 4th Amendment rights at any time, including traffic stops.

The 4th Amendment states unequivocally:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Again, cops would argue that it’s “reasonable” to search a cell phone during traffic stops, but the appropriate response is included at the end of their justification: “but upon probably cause.” What probable cause do Michigan police have that 1) a crime was committed and 2) that the cell phone will provide evidence of that crime?

According to the article:

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

“Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags,” a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device’s capabilities. “The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps.”

The police have no need for this information and citizens should NEVER surrender their 4th Amendment rights without a court order. It’s disturbing that our government is even CONSIDERING this type of technology, let alone using it in common traffic stops. It’s important that we understand and EXERCISE our rights as guaranteed to us by the Constitution. The government can only take away the rights we freely grant them.

14 Responses to “4th Amendment Erosion”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    Irony alert.
    Massachusetts highest court ruled this week that the odor of burnt marijuana does not give police enough suspicion to order someone from a car.
    Before the ruling, police could use smelling pot as probable cause to search.
    Not anymore.

    So, how is it that a person pulled over for something can even be asked to give up their cell phone….if they have one?

  2. 2

    Rich P

    I would love to know this device can access 3000 different phones yet, whenever I get a new cell phone, I also have to get a new car charger cable because the old one doesn’t fit the new connector.

  3. 3


    Did you really think we still had a Constitution? We surrendered our rights a long time ago when states rights were lost and liberals on the courts discovered a living constitution and legislation from the bench and no one stopped them. When FDR got his unconstitutional socials security and other new deal programs OK’d after threatening to pack the court, we lost. In fact, we probably lost before that with the creation of the income tax and IRS. Does anyone think that Obama cares about anything in that old piece of paper? He is supposed to be this constitutional expert, but if he has any expertise, it is not how to follow the constitution, but how to end it for all time. The sad part is the vast majority of those who call themselves American do not even have a clue and care less about what is in the document. Most have been taught by liberals who hate the constitution and defame the founders and parents do not seem to have the time or interest to teach their kids what America is all about. Far too busy getting those new toys that will never bring them joy or freedom and in paying the taxes they owe because they did not pay attention and fight for freedom from big government. We get the government we deserve and we have been paid in socialist currency. I had hopes for the tea party until I saw a recent pool showing the tea party folks did not want to see cuts in Medicare by about 73%. What are they smoking? If the ponzi scheme does not end very soon, America as we know it is over. Also saw a pool with majority believing that capitalism is a failed system by over 50%. We love those “entitlements” even when they are killing us financially forever. FDR knew a good thing when he saw it to retain power and LBJ took it to new levels and Obama is outshing both of them combined. Does not matter that they are killing us, the drug is too good a high..

  4. 4

    Alfonso Bedoya

    I have had no use for a cell phone for years, but I do understand how the CelleBrite UFED works. Presently working up battery in a cell phone case which will, when hooked up to a synchronizing cable, completely discharge through the (provided by the snooping party) cable to the input of HIS device.

    Burn up a few dozen of these play-pretties and the Local Constabulary will find something else to think about. The CelleBrite UFED ain’t cheap, sports fans.

    What do ya think a booby-trapped, honey-pot UFED-snuffer’s worth on the market?

  5. 5


    CJ, I believe you’ve touched on all relevant issues associated with this topic. As for me, I don’t care how good the intention is by the police, the ends, of wiping out our guaranteed rights by the Constitution, do not EVER, justify the means. Any person who even has a modicum of respect for the Constitution, and a desire to retain those freedoms and liberties guaranteed by such, should be up in arms over this, and demanding an immediate, and complete, stop to this.

  6. 6



    BTW, Alfonso… you wouldn’t, per chance be an Ohioan denizen, would you? If not, you have a twin kindred spirit there….

    …jus’ a blonde askin’ questions.

  7. 8



    Not sure which cops you’re talking about CJ but I’m not one of them that believe we can go through a cellphone on an infraction. I don’t see it said in that article you linked to either where its being used during traffic stops…only place it says it is in the title of the article, I’m wondering where they got that kind of information.

    After an arrest IS made there is a case law (pdf) which says we can then go through a cellphone…in California at least.

  8. 9



    The word is out. If you have the new Iphone, Google can track you every second of the day, at least if you have your phone. The application will presumably be sold to spouses and bosses to keep tabs on their loved ones. The chances for abuse are legion, but Google maintains the property is to assure us of good service. Yea! Right. Of course the smart criminal will have his phone in one location making bogus call to establish an alibi, while he is in another committing mayhem. Invasion of privacy can be a two way street. I’ll stick with my Blackberry until it dies.

  9. 12

    Brenda Butler

    @Nan G: It is amazing how much we allow our government to get away with because we are intimidated, frightened, or trying to be cooperative. Technology moves faster than law. There are very few laws in place today to govern the search and seizure of personal data devices. Of course, that also means that there are very few laws in place to protect us from search and seizure of personal data devises from thieves. The benefit is, the government cannot get away with invasion, so long as we stand firm and refuse to give up our 4th Amendment rights. The frustration is, we may very well have to prove we are acting within our 4th Amendment rights when we stand fast. The danger is, we risk being victimized by criminals and by our very government as it tries belatedly and ineptly to catch up with the very technology we embrace so freely.

  10. 13


    Amazing, I am not able to pry the cell phone from my teenaged daughter’s hands. Maybe I need one of these, lol.

    Seriously though, our 4th amendment rights are getting more and more scarce.

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