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California appeals court approves cell phone searches during traffic stops

I guess this shouldn’t be any surprise. This is absolutely the logical next step in the giant surveillance grid.

Words to remember: I do not consent to any searches. If you insist on searching, be aware that you are violating my 4th amendment rights. I will comply with your order only under protest and duress. Please log that in your report.

From The Blaze:

 

In a case explicitly decided to set a precedent, the California Appellate court has determined police officers can rifle through your cellphone during a traffic violation stop.

This is not the first time such a law has been under scrutiny. In April, the Blaze told you about the extraction devices police were using in Michigan to download the entire contents of your phone.

Florida and Georgia are among the states that give no protection to a phone during a search after a violation has been committed. In particular, Florida law treats a smartphone as a “container” for the purposes of a search, similar to say a cardboard box open on the passenger seat, despite the thousands of personal emails, contacts, and photos a phone can carry stretching back years.

But after initially striking down cell phone snooping, California has now joined the list of states that allow cops to go through your phone without a warrant if they decide to impound your car.

It all began with a traffic stop, and a driver with some gun photos on his phone.

Here are the facts of California vs. Nattoli as presented by the newspaper.com.

On December 6, 2009 Reid Nottoli was pulled over for speeding by Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff Steven Ryan. Sheriff Ryan then suspected after pulling Nottoli over that the 25-year-old was under the influence of drugs.

As Nottoli’s license was also expired, the Sheriff decided to impound the vehicle. Nottoli requested to leave his car parked on the side of the road. Sheriff Ryan refused, and decided to conduct an “inventory” search prior to the towing.

 

Sheriff Ryan later testified that Nottoli was not driving erratically, nor was he arrested for driving under the influence. But the case took a turn that has brought up major privacy concerns when Sheriff Ryan searched Nottoli’s vehicle. The Deputy found:

“A fully legal Glock 20 pistol with a Guncrafter Industries 50 GI conversion that should have been stored in the trunk of the vehicle. He also noticed Nottoli’s Blackberry Curve which, after it was turned on, displayed a photograph of a mask-wearing man holding two AR-15 rifles akimbo.”

Apparently, the photo of the AR-15 rifles peaked the sheriff’s interest, and another deputy went through all the contents on Nattoli’s phone. It was not until later that Sheriff Ryan obtained a search warrant for it.

Based on the information from the Blackberry, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team exercised a search warrant of the Natoli home ten days later. The SWAT team found and confiscated a cache of weapons, marijuana-growing paraphernalia, and $15,000 in cash.

Cell phone data-extraction device

Nattoli‘s lawyers argued at trial that the Sheriff Deputy’s search through the cell phone was a violation of the 4th Amendment, and that all evidence found in the car should be excluded under “fruit of the poisoned tree” doctrine. The judge agreed and ordered the information suppressed at trial.

The appellate court overturned that ruling, however, on the grounds that the search of the cellphone was part of the inventory check needed to process an impounded car.

Furthermore, the judge ruled that the examination of the cell phone was legal because police were allowed to survey the impounded car for their own safety, and to preserve evidence.

This decision was released solely to create a precedent for future cases, as Nattoli died on September 4th. So the most important outcome of the case is the appellate court’s decision, written by Franklin Elia, which read in part:

“The deputies had unqualified authority under Gant to search the passenger compartment of the vehicle and any container found therein, including Reid’s cell phone. It is up to the US Supreme Court to impose any greater limits on officers’ authority to search incident to arrest.”

We may well see this case head to the Supreme Court, as it appears anytime you are pulled over in the state of California, your entire cell phone could now be fair game.

DIAMOND: TSA vs. Texas – Showdown over pat-downs opens important constitutional debate

Washington Times

Texas is gearing up for a fight with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over its perverse airport screening tactics. Last week, the state House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation holding TSA agents accountable for their conduct under sexual harassment statutes.

Like most Americans, these Lone Star State lawmakers are fed up with being groped, irradiated and photographed in the nude as a precondition for travel. Such treatment would come to a halt in Texas if House Bill 1937 became law. The measure proposes serious criminal penalties for any “public servant” who touches a passenger in a sexual or otherwise offensive way absent probable cause.

The prospect of TSA bureaucrats being hauled out of airport terminals in handcuffs has sent the agency scrambling. “What’s our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down?” the official TSA blog asked in an article posted Saturday. “Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.” In other words, Uncle Sam has unlimited powers, and there’s nothing the states can do about it.

Read more

While You Were Sleeping, They Abolished the Fourth Amendment

Debate Over: The United States has official entered the annuls of history as a Soviet-style police state

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two recent Supreme Court cases have served to virtually abolish the Fourth Amendment in the United States of America, with citizens no longer being “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

In a precedent described by dissenting justices as “breathtaking” and “unnecessarily broad,” the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week in a 3-2 vote that doing anything to resist police busting down your door and conducting an illegal search is now a criminal act.

“[We] hold that the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law,” the court ruled in the case of Richard L. Barnes v. Indiana.

Dissenting Justices Brent E. Dickson and Robert D. Rucker made it clear that the ruling represented a total rejection of rights enshrined in the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

“In my view, the wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad,” Dickson wrote.

“In my view it is breathtaking that the majority deems it appropriate or even necessary to erode this constitutional protection based on a rationale addressing much different policy considerations,” added Rucker. “There is simply no reason to abrogate the common law right of a citizen to resist the unlawful police entry into his or her home.”

The ruling was made under the justification that resisting a police officer had the potential to escalate and cause violence against the officer, meaning that the God-like status bestowed upon police officers now trumps both the 220-year-old Fourth Amendment and the 796-year-old Magna Carta on which it is based.

 

Read more at Prison Planet

 

TSA Responds To Texas: Resistance is Futile

Agency perverts meaning of Constitutional protections in response to state’s new law against federal groping

TSA Responds To Texas: Resistance is Futile 101110top

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
May 17, 2011

The TSA has issued a laughable response to the news that the state of Texas has passed a bill to officially make it a misdemeanor to pat-down breasts, buttocks, or genitals.

The Agency contends, via its blog, that Texas cannot do anything to restrict TSA procedures because, as a federal agency it is protected under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“Blogger Bob”, the TSA’s propaganda mouthpiece, writes:

“What’s our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.”

How ridiculous it is for the TSA to cite the Constitution in its own defense! While citing one section, it is completely ignoring two others – namely the Fourth and Tenth Amendments.

The Fourth Amendment protects “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches” without “probable cause”.

As far as we can recollect, no where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government has the right to touch Americans’ private parts in the first instance.

Therefore, under the Tenth, States have the right to pass their own laws against this abuse of power, because:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The TSA’s contention that the Supremacy Clause bars states from regulating the federal government is a total lie. The Supremacy Clause states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

In other words, The constitution is the supreme law and any federal laws made in line with the constitution are supreme. No where does it say that states cannot regulate federal government.

Read More at Prison Planet