Privacy SOS

Supreme Court ruling on cell phone warrant may have implications for Stingray spying

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This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the police must obtain a warrant based on probable cause before searching your cell phone after you are arrested. The decision has potentially huge implications, and not just for cell phones. It also likely means that when you're arrested, police cannot simply rifle through your iPad or computer without first going to a judge to get approval.

What does that mean for the twelve million people who are arrested every year in the United States, and for the rest of the population? First of all, make sure you have a password protecting your phone's contents. Second, if police ask for your cell phone, tell them clearly that you do not consent to its search.

Finally, the ruling in Riley will likely have broader implications that go beyond cell phone and computer searches incident to arrest. Listen to Nate Wessler, ACLU attorney and cell phone sniffer expert, talk about how the ruling may impact police use of Stingrays nationwide.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.