And the American Police State marches on...

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists.

The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

"Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide," ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. "No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure."

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

"Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags," a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device's capabilities. "The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps."

The ACLU is concerned that these powerful capabilities are being quietly used to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

"With certain exceptions that do not apply here, a search cannot occur without a warrant in which a judicial officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the search will yield evidence of criminal activity," Fancher wrote. "A device that allows immediate, surreptitious intrusion into private data creates enormous risks that troopers will ignore these requirements to the detriment of the constitutional rights of persons whose cell phones are searched."

The national ACLU is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security for its policy of warrantless electronic searches of laptops and cell phones belonging to people entering the country who are not suspected of committing any crime.


GR4U - I think that the next time I hear someone say "Well it's a free country", I'm gonna punch 'em right in the nose!


idahobob said...

No, not in the nose, right smack dab in their stoopid mouth!


David III said...

You made me stop and think for a minute... I'll damned if I can remember the last time someone actually said that to me! I guess people all know the truth, even if they refuse to acknowledge it.

GunRights4US said...

There was a time that "It's a free country" was commonly heard in conversation. I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I heard it used - OTHER than by libertarians being sarcastic.

The Public Eye said...

The Civil War - to say nothing of the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and all the other interventionary monstrosities besetting the United States - should have taught us how "free" America was. In terms of American freedom, there NEVER was a "good old days".

GunRights4US said...

Hi Public, thanks for stopping in.

I would contend that the "good old days" extended from the victory at Yorktown until the ratification of the Constitution.

Diogenes said...

No. Ya want to smile at them (like a politician) then when they are walking away, Dropped elbow to the base of the neck.

When they get up yelling, say, "hey, its a free country" then give em your best Bill Clinton Smile

Then you pop em in the face.

Chief Instructor said...

Guns, I couldn't believe that article. No damned way that's actually happening in America. A quick Google search proved me wrong.

Good Lord, we're so screwed.

Isn't Michigan also the place where the state police came up with their report that defined basically everyone with a gun, bible and a military background as a potential terrorist?

What the hell is going on up there?

GunRights4US said...

Hey Mike. Good to "see" you!

I believe you're correct about Michigan. But the galloping facism isn't just confined to MI of course. Before long it's going to reach into every single corner of the "fruited plain".

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that there are NO LEGITIMATE EXCEPTIONS to the restrictions of the Fourth Amendment. The amendment does NOT mention anything about "unless" or "except" or "???".

It's all LEGAL QUACKERY just like so much of their unconstitutional "laws" and "court rules" etc.

Personally can't wait for the hangings and purging to begin.

I'm sick and tired of their BS!

I would welcome death if only I knew for sure my grandchildren and their grandchildren would be free from financial servitude to an out-of-control, illegitimate Federal Autocracy.

Live Free or Die!