12.11.2014 10:17 AM

A libertarian I am not

…but this is frigging outrageous.


  1. davie says:

    In a small city I lived in my wife and I had a favourite restaurant. It was two or three years into people, especially teenagers, discovering the wonders of cell phones. Here is what happened.

    A kid, about 15 years old, was invited, via cell phone, to a birthday celebration at the restaurant. Her parent dropped her off, dressed for pizza, gift in hand. the parent left right away. Several of the kids’ peers were in the parking lot. They circled here and one attacked her, beating her up badly.
    The employees in the restaurant called cops, they arrived. They confiscated at least one video camera that one of the teens had.
    Our waitress told us many of the teens had cell phones and recorded the attack with their phones, probably to ‘share’ later on. She said she did not see the cops confiscate any phones, not did news reports say anything about confiscation of the phones.
    I would bet that those phones would have held lots of info, not just of the attack, but of the planning that had gone into the attack.

    I was puzzled as to why the cops did not confiscate those phones. This ruling might be a step toward clarifying what the cops can get after as evidence, and what they can’t

    • doconnor says:

      Under those circumstances confiscating the phones and getting a warrant before viewing them would be entirely acceptable.

    • Michael says:

      It’s not the ability of the police to seize phones as evidence that is at the heart of the matter. It is their ability to do so without a warrant that is troubling.

      • davie says:

        I was just thinking about an incident in our Vancouver airport a few years ago, when a non English speaking immigrant died at the hands of 4 cops. Had those cops confiscated a nearby civilian’s cell phone, we would have only the cops’ version of what happened.

  2. Lynn says:

    I am no libertarian either but my jaw dropped when I saw this decision. Privacy is our digital society is an illusion. It is frightening to contemplate where the state will be able to infiltrate next.

    And to the people who profess, “well, what does it matter if you are doing nothing wrong”; read some history and wake up and pay attention. The erosion of rights has a way of gaining momentum and no one is immune.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  3. e.a.f. says:

    I’m not happy about the decision. Taking cell phones, to ensure they don’t get erased, might be o.k. with, but to look at them, need a warrant, in my opinion. This is the start of the slippery slope. Better get your homing pigeons out if you want anything to be kept secret.

    People might want to start “locking” them. I expect there will be a new cell phone feature out shortly, erase it all with one push of a button. Works for me, even though I rarely use the things.

  4. patrick says:

    I was wondering how the powers were going to handle the single device that might keep the worst type of police officer in check – confiscate as evidence. Opps delete. Lost. Dropped. Crushed. Blank. Pick your poison.

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