Continuing what many privacy advocates will see as a disturbing trend against 4th Amendment protections in the state of California (and elsewhere), Governor Brown has vetoed the ‘Leno’ bill, SB 914. The bill would have required the government to obtain a warrant to search a cellular device upon an arrest. This follows on the heels of the Supreme Court of the United States declining to grant review of the Diaz case.
In another California case, the 2nd District Court of Appeal cited Diaz in upholding the warrantless search of a digital camera.
These days, if you blink, you may miss another decision affecting the concept of privacy in the United States.
If you're not familiar with Diaz, begin here. In a nutshell, the Supreme Court of California ruled that if arrested, the government may search your cellular device – without a warrant. Now the California legislature is getting in on the act.
State Senator Mark Leno (D-SF) has introduced SB 914 (which has already passed in the senate), seeking to overturn that decision and require the government to do things the old-fashioned way; procure a warrant based on probable cause.
I've previously said that the current ruling has the potential to lead us down a dangerous path. As far as the state of California is concerned, this is a very important piece of 4th Amendment legislation.
Regardless of how this turns out, you already know my advice; set a password for your PDA – and keep it!