WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that a search warrant is necessary for police to search the digital content of an arrested individual’s cell phone.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, held that the contents of mobile phones are protected under the Fourth Amendment: "modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. 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."
The decision will somewhat limit the "ability of law enforcement to combat crime," the court noted that some "exigent circumstances" might permit case-by-case exceptions to the rule, as where "officer safety" were to be at risk.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the decision was "a wake-up call that we need to update our laws to keep pace with technological advances." He said the court's logic needs to be extended to government searches of personal email, and called for congressional passage of his bipartisan update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
In a 6-3 split decision, the Supreme Court also ruled that the Internet video service Aereo had engaged in copyright infringement. The service, which allows users to watch and record local broadcast television channels on computers and mobile devices for $8 per month, was held to have engaged in a "public performance" under the Copyright Act, and hence requiring permission from TV networks to make use of the content.
"Given Aereo's overwhelming likeness to the cable companies targeted by [copyright law], this sole technological difference between Aereo and traditional cable companies does not make a critical difference here."
Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented, arguing that the court was stretching copyright law beyond its intended meaning.
"It is not the role of this Court to identify and plug loopholes," they wrote. "It is the role of good lawyers to identify and exploit them, and the role of Congress to eliminate them if it wishes."
Gordon Smith, CEO and President of the National Association of Broadcasters, said in a statement: "Television broadcasters will always welcome partnerships with companies who respect copyright law. Today's decision sends an unmistakable message that businesses built on the theft of copyrighted material will not be tolerated."
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler met with venture capitalists from startups and mid-size companies in Silicon Valley this week to hear their thoughts on net neutrality, according to Re/code.
Attendees included representatives from Y Combinator, Mozilla, public interest group Engine Advocacy, content delivery network Cloud Flare, Yelp and Square.
“An Open Internet is an essential foundation for startups to build upon, so very glad that Chairman Wheeler is spending time in Silicon Valley meeting with entrepreneurs, tech execs and investors,” said Homebrew's Hunter Walk according to Re/code.
- Smart Cities Connect to Hold 2020 Global Event Honoring 50 Smart Projects
- Broadband Roundup: More on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, 5G National Advocacy, and Policy Hackers
- Panelists on NTIA Broadband Webinar Say Smart Buildings Boost Civic Resiliency and Public Health
- Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Subject of Debate at Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on the Future
- FTC Settlement with YouTube Has Creators Upset and Worried About FTC Approach to Children’s Privacy
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Open Access4 weeks ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
China2 months ago
Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Broadband's Impact3 months ago
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Praises Agency’s Work in Promoting High-Speed Internet at ‘Broadband Heros’ Event
Open Access2 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Partnerships with Morgan, Utah, Idaho Falls, and Other Cities
Broadband Mapping & Data3 months ago
Broadband Data From Providers Needs to be Checked With Data From Users, Say Panelists at Mapping Event
Education3 months ago
State Educational Technology Officials Say Better Broadband Necessary for Pedagogy and Equity
FCC1 month ago
Telephony Industry Rises to the Challenge of Robocalls, With Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement Close Behind
FCC2 months ago
As Next Year’s C-Band Auction Looms, FCC Officials Reflect on Innovation in Spectrum Auctions