Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Supreme Court gets one right

  We are used to an unbroken series of small losses on the privacy front—cameras everywhere and data breaches and Facebook jamming advertisements into our lives in some new and troubling way. But Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling is a biggie when it comes to our future as citizens who have even a fig leaf of privacy to clutch in front of ourselves. My bosses asked me to react to it, which explains this rare midday blog post on our Early & Often political web site, which you should really be checking out regularly if you are not already.

     Making phone calls is perhaps the least significant thing that phones can do nowadays.
     My iPhone is a camera and a correspondence file, going back for years. It’s a digital recorder that has interviews with the mayor and assorted politicos on it, plus photos of my children and other personal data.
      I wouldn’t want a cop, pulling me over for a balky taillight, to be able to search it willy-nilly on a fishing expedition, looking for illegality, the same way he can glance into the back seat.
      The law was murky on this, and on Wednesday, in a major victory for our endangered privacy, United States Supreme Court ruled that police need a warrant if they want to search your cellphone.
      “Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the court. 
       “With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life’… The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”

     To continue reading, click here.


  1. To me this is a win win. I am a conservative (and I don't really know what that means), Maybe I am a libertarian but I'm not sure what that means either. I know I don't care about gays marrying, I figure hey, if they can find love then god love em. I abhor abortions but as a man that is not my call, It's only the call of the woman and her doc. I guess you could pigeon hole me as a fiscal conservative. That label really doesn't mean much either as there are so many facets to that as well. Sorry to take so long but as to this topic I must say it's astonishing that we got a 9-0 vote in the supreme court. It's amazing and it's the right call. I would think many of us would shudder if we knew someone who is looking to get something on us has full access to our phones, photos, financial and medical documents. Things can be taken out of context and boy this a situation you don't want to be in.

    1. House Bill 8761 will allow PAs to use medically necessary procedures to save the life of the mother. Call the switchboard and tell Senator Hutchins to vote Yes. (Use 217 area code, as fall veto session closes district office as a budget cutback.)

      *Patients for Physicians Assistants* a registered service mark in Illinois

  2. now we need an end to "gun control" too.

  3. Good column Neil, but you muddied the water with your complaint about Homeland Security regulations for flyers. Not the same issue at all. Nor is that old bugaboo gun control. The Supreme Court has consistently recognized, most recently in Justice Scalia's majority opinion in DC vs, Heller, the government's right under the Constitution to regulate what kinds of guns are available to the public and what classes of citizens have the right to own them.

  4. Problem: " I wouldn’t want a cop"
    Solution: Buy two phones --or-- walk on the sidewalk. Drive a vehicle in traffic, welcome to public affairs.

    Sorry to be medium, on lunch break.
    - Phil Z.


    J. Applecore Smyth-Hines, J.D., esq.

  6. My Humvee has two self-destruct buttons. One, magatazies the car when a cop light is detected by my Kitt-Kam, the other is the gas pedal. Vrroom, Vrroom,. The NRA can have their guns, I;ve got 4000 lbs of American steel and leather. It'll take 6 Al Gore Tennessee residences to equal my fleet of Hummers. I am a limo-owner-operator.

    1. George Bush, Jr. started the war. President Obama won it! Bye-bye Osama. Thank you Mr. President. FDR had four terms, I amwriting in Barack Obama in '16.

      S. Shinto-Kim

  7. The elections are rigged. The votes should be counted in school gyms across the state and streamed online. Why the he*l are property taxes so high? Quinn, out. Give Lisa Madigan the vote this fall, she's real. And a has a family to support. her.

    Pat O'Brien, 33rd Ward committeeperson, Democrat, 6th generation, Elks member

  8. The loonies are out in force today.

  9. Yes, yes . See above


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