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ACLU

Mich. Cops Can Now Steal Your Cell Phone Data — Without the Owner Knowing

From The Blaze:

It’s a scary scenario. You’re driving down the road and get pulled over by a state patrolman. After checking your license and registration, the officer asks for your cell phone, and then uses a futuristic machine to download all your data. In Michigan, it’s happening.

An extraction device sold by manufacturer Cellebrite.

CNet.com reports the Michigan State Police (MSP) are using “extraction devices” to download personal information from motorists’ cell phones, including contacts, videos, GPS data, and pictures, “even if they’re not suspected of any crime.”

“The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information,” CNet says. The MSP have admitted to owning five of the devices.

The ACLU isn’t happy. In a press release last week, the group continued its mission to have the MSP hand over records indicating how the information is being used. For three years, the release says, the MSP has been giving the ACLU the run around. In fact, it’s now come to the point where the MSP is demanding over $500,000 in processing fees to fork over the data.

“We should not have to go on expensive fishing expeditions in order to discover whether police are violating the rights of residents they have resolved to protect and serve,” the release said.

“Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags,” a brochure from device manufacturer Cellebrite says about the tool’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 also says the data extraction can take place “without the owner of the cellphone knowing.”

The group is now threatening to sue in order to get the data.

“This seems like a pretty obvious violation of the 4th Amendment prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures,” Business Insider writes. “If a police officer can’t look into your trunk when you get pulled over, they certainly can’t download your photos and text messages.”

Court Denies Class Action Status to ACLU case against SCGS

From the Indiana Law Blog:

Updating this ILB entry from Oct. 31, 2009, relating to “two girls, both sophomore fall-sport athletes, [who] were suspended from extracurricular activities for the entire school year because of sexually suggestive photographs posted on their pages on MySpace, a social networking site on the Internet.” More from the Oct. 28, 2009 story in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

The lawsuit names the district and Churubusco High School Principal Austin Couch, both individually and in his official capacity, and alleges that Couch and the district violated the girls’ First Amendment rights by how the situation was handled.The ACLU seeks to have the case handled as a class-action on behalf of all students participating in, or who may participate, in extracurricular activities at Smith-Green Community Schools, according to court documents.

Today Judge Philip P. Simon, ND Ind., issued a 10-page order denying class certification. Here are some quotes:

T.V. and M.K. are sophomores at Churubusco High School in Whitley County, Indiana, and Austin Couch is the principal of the school. T.V. and M.K., by their parents as next friends, bring this case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, challenging the constitutionality of a policy of Churubusco High School, administered by Mr. Couch as the principal, which they contend violates their First Amendment rights. In the motion presently before the court, T.V. and M.K. seek the certification of a class composed of students subject to the allegedly unconstitutional policy. But because the typicality and commonality requirements of Rule 23(a) have not been met, the motion for class certification will be denied. * * *Here, for the reasons noted above, I conclude that class certification is not appropriate for failure of the requirements of Rule 23(a). I note, in addition, however, that were the Seventh Circuit to resolve its apparent internal historical difference of opinion on the “need” criterion in favor of what is by now the majority view, that consideration would also weigh against class certification here. A determination in favor of T.V. and M.K., that school authorities could not constitutionally punish out-of-school expressive conduct on grounds of disrepute to the school, would have school-wide impact going forward, without the need for a class-action dimension to this litigation. [emphasis by ILB]

Read this from the source HERE.

 

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