Archives: Fourth Amendment

Subscribe to Fourth Amendment RSS Feed

Court to Rehear Whether Government May Compel Disclosure of Cell Phone Location Information Without a Warrant

During a cellphone call, the cellphone interacts with its mobile carrier, allowing the carrier to track that phone’s approximate location, also known as cell-site location information or “CSLI.” CSLI is saved on the carrier’s computer system. Prosecutors can obtain this CSLI, often without a warrant, to place defendants at crime scenes by tracing movements of … Continue Reading

Department of Justice now needs a warrant to search cell phones with Stingray devices … with some exceptions

Sensitive employer information may be the subject of secret Government prying. With the pervasive use of smart phones in business today, and with those phones containing confidential personal and business information, law enforcement has the ability to take information from those smart phones without an employer’s knowledge. Most law-enforcement agencies have the ability to deploy … Continue Reading

Courts Disagree on Whether Government May Obtain Cell Phone Location Information Without a Warrant

“[T]he government’s warrantless procurement of the CSLI [cell-site location information] was an unreasonable search in violation of Appellants’ Fourth Amendment Rights,” a divided panel of the federal appeals court in Richmond has held, in conflict with its sister circuits, in a case where CSLI helped the prosecution establish the suspects’ location before and after robberies … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court in New York to Clarify When Seizures of Computers are Unconstitutional

When federal agents execute a warrant for paper documents during an investigation of a company, they generally seize only the documents in the warrant and leave the rest of the physical documents behind. Where it is not practical to search on site, the law permits them to take all the records and review them later. … Continue Reading

Circuits Split on Government Warrantless Search of Electronic Data

Companies and other private parties acting on their own are not regulated by the Fourth Amendment’s restriction on search and seizure.  A company can reconstruct a prior computer search for the government, without implicating the Fourth Amendment, to show the police what the company observed on the device.  However, if the government asks the company … Continue Reading

Judicial Rules Committee’s proposal would expand FBI’s surveillance capability and hacking of companies’ computers and smartphones

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules has voted 11-1 to modify Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to greatly expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to obtain electronic information from a private computer. Currently, judges can only approve search warrants for materials within their own judicial district. With this … Continue Reading

Nondisclosure agreements prevent local law enforcement from acknowledging it can search cell phone without a warrant

With the pervasive use of smart phones in business and with those phones often containing confidential personal and business information, employers should be aware that law enforcement may not only conduct a warrantless search of that information, but also may take that information without the public even knowing it has that ability. In January 2015, … Continue Reading

The FBI says it can search your cell phone without a warrant by using “stingrays” in public places

The data on employees’ cell phones may be taken by law enforcement, even without a warrant, if those smart phones are used in public places. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that search warrants or other court orders are not required when deploying cell-site simulators, known as “stingrays,” in public places which … Continue Reading

Can Police Search Data on a Cell Phone Following an Arrest?

With the pervasive use of smart phones in business today and with those phones containing confidential personal and business information, employers should be aware that if one of their employees is arrested, whether that confidential information may be viewed by law enforcement without a search warrant still awaits resolution by the Supreme Court. On January … Continue Reading