Wednesday, January 5, 2011

California Supreme Court upholds searches of text messages in drug arrests.

Court upholds searches of text messages in drug arrests | San Francisco Examiner:

Sheriff’s deputies seized Diaz’s cell phone along with six tabs of Ecstasy. One and one-half hours later, a detective, who did not have a search warrant, looked in the text message folder of the phone and discovered a coded message that referred to Ecstasy sales.
OK, I just saw this and I haven't read the briefs (heh-heh), so I'm not going to fly off the handle ... but my train of thought out of the station goes something like this: texts are messages (similar enough to phone calls) that are sent and received by phone; I wouldn't expect law enforcement to be able to check my messages or monitor my calls without a warrant; but, I wonder what the rules for handwritten notes in a person's pocket at time of arrest are ("Dude, I will pay you to sell me drugs at this time and place!") and if text messages are more similar to messages on paper than phone calls?

I'm leaning towards thinking texts should be treated like phone conversations with similar expectation of privacy. Am I wrong?
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