search and seizure

19 Stories

Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo

And rules that police need a warrant to search your phone

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today delivered a major victory for broadcasters by ruling 6-3 that Aereo violated their copyright. Aereo uses thousands of TV antennas to stream content that's freely broadcast over the airwaves to users, who can also choose to record shows to watch later. The ruling may effectively... More »

US Uses Border Searches to Seize Devices: Manning Ally

Technique allows warrantless search of electronics

(Newser) - If you cross in to or out of the US, the government might seize your electronic devices—whether it's got a warrant or not. David House, a fundraiser for Chelsea Manning's legal defense fund, found that out the hard way in November 2010, after a trip to Mexico.... More »

Court: Feds Can Track Your Location Without a Warrant

But in another case, government says it must admit NSA spying to defendants

(Newser) - The federal government can grab GPS data indicating where you've been directly from your phone carrier without a warrant, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday, saying that the practice was "not per se unconstitutional." Technically, that data is a "business record," meaning... More »

Supreme Court Needs to Rein In Dog Searches

We need better restrictions on how far police can go: Jeffrey Meyer

(Newser) - It may not be the most high-profile issue on this year's Supreme Court docket, but two cases coming up later this month have the potential to affect our privacy in profound ways, writes Jeffrey A. Meyer in the New York Times . Both involve police dogs, and how far authorities... More »

Supreme Court Bans Warrantless GPS Tracking

Obama administration had argued that tracking cars didn't constitute a search

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the government must obtain a warrant before secretly affixing a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car. The case stemmed from an incident in which the FBI placed a tracker on a DC drug dealer's car, with the Obama administration arguing... More »

Jesse Ventura: I'm Done Standing for National Anthem

He's ticked that a court tossed his case on airport searches

(Newser) - Jesse Ventura says he's so angry that his airport security lawsuit got tossed out of court that he might become a Mexican citizen—or even run for president in this country, reports the AP . The former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler launched a suit against the TSA in January,... More »

Judge Orders Florida to Stop Welfare Drug Tests

Says it will likely be ruled unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal judge has ordered Florida to suspend its “suspicionless drug testing” of would-be welfare recipients, writing that “there is a substantial likelihood” that the law requiring such tests will be deemed unconstitutional. The ruling comes thanks to an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of one welfare recipient—an... More »

Supreme Court Sides With Cops in Warrantless Search

In an 8-1 vote, they rule it was OK to enter apartment based on smell

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has ruled against a Kentucky man who was arrested after police burst into his apartment without a search warrant because they smelled marijuana. The justices, by an 8-1 vote today, reversed a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that threw out the evidence gathered when officers entered Hollis King'... More »

Michigan Cops Scan Your Cell Phone Data: ACLU

State police have device that extracts information from mobiles

(Newser) - The ACLU is worried that Michigan state troopers are violating 4th Amendment rights by using a gizmo that quickly scans drivers' cell phones during routine traffic stops and extracts information, reports The Truth About Cars blog . The group accuses the state of dodging Freedom of Information requests on how often... More »

Jesse Ventura Sues Over Body Scans

Ex-governor argues they constitute unreasonable search and seizure

(Newser) - Jesse Ventura doesn’t want the TSA getting too intimate with “the Body.” The wrestler-turned-governor-turned-conspiracy-peddler has filed a lawsuit complaining that the full-body scanners and pat-downs passengers are subjected to at airports constitute unreasonable search and seizure, the AP reports. The searches are “warrantless and suspicionless,”... More »

Cops Bust Wrong Pot Party, End Up in Supreme Court

Accidental drug bust has odd consequences

(Newser) - The Supreme Court will today hear the strange case of an accidental drug bust. Police were chasing a suspect through an apartment building in Lexington, Ky., and heard him slam a door somewhere in a hallway—that contained two closed doors. Unsure which was the correct one, they smelled pot... More »

Feds Secretly X-Raying Cars, Drivers

'Drive-by snooping' latest assault on privacy, say critics

(Newser) - Federal investigators are randomly X-raying vehicles and their drivers in a hunt for terrorists and crooks, triggering howls of outrage from privacy advocates. "This really trips up the creep factor because it's one of those things that you sort of intrinsically think the government shouldn't be doing," says... More »

Israel Captures Alleged Iranian Arms Ship

Smuggled weapons were headed for Hezbollah, Israel says

(Newser) - Israel has seized a cargo ship it says was being used to smuggle hundreds of tons of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Though the ship has been sequestered, Israel tells the BBC it does not believe the crew was aware of the operation, and that the weapons were... More »

High Court Skeptical of Strip-Search Case

And sounds skeptical

(Newser) - Savana Redding’s lawyers made their case before the Supreme Court yesterday, condemning the strip-search of a 13-year-old in a hunt for ibuprofen as unreasonable search and seizure. But the justices were skeptical, the LA Times reports, with their questions indicating they were leery of limiting school officials’ powers to... More »

Texas Cops Accused of Racist Highway Robbery

Black motorists given the choice of handing over property or facing felony charges

(Newser) - Cops in a small Texas town are accused of seizing the property of innocent black motorists to pad their salaries, the Chicago Tribune reports. A federal lawsuit alleges that Tehana police have abused the state's asset-forfeiture law—intended to penalize drug-runners—to extort money and other valuables from out-of-town drivers... More »

Supreme Court OKs Use of Illegally Obtained Evidence

5-4 vote along ideological lines aims to avoid criminals freed on mere technicalities

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today ruled that evidence obtained in violation of the Constitution is admissible in court, Bloomberg reports, in a 5-4 vote along ideological lines. The court ruled that prosecutors could try an Alabama man who was found to be carrying methamphetamine and a pistol when he was accidentally... More »

Illegal Search Rule Faces New Challenge

US is the only country to automatically reject unlawful evidence

(Newser) - America is the only country in the world where evidence—even a carload of narcotics—is automatically suppressed if the police are found to have acted wrongly in acquiring it, writes the New York Times. Courts in other countries weigh the level of police misconduct with the gravity of the... More »

Should Cops Swipe DNA Without a Warrant?

Lawyers say it violates privacy rights; cops say they're catching crooks

(Newser) - Police didn’t need a search warrant to get a DNA sample from now-convicted murderer Altemio Sanchez—they just waited until he left a restaurant and confiscated his glass. That kind of sneaky DNA collection is going on across the country, and defense lawyers don’t like it, the New ... More »

Judge: Parts of Patriot Act Unconstitutional

Revised legislation violates separation of powers, 1st Amendment

(Newser) - The Patriot Act violates the Constitution by allowing unreasonable searches and seizures, violating separation of powers, and denying free speech, a federal judge ruled today in striking down parts of the revised legislation. Judge Victor Marrero said investigators must obtain court approval before ordering ISPs and phone companies to turn... More »

19 Stories