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?
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.