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California Updates Privacy Rights with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Starting on New Years Day 2016, a new law will prohibit California law enforcement agencies from compelling California residents and businesses to turn over metadata or electronic communications (e.g., texts, emails,...more

California Gives the Fourth Amendment a 21st Century Makeover

The average American today generates more media than they did at any other point in history, and the ease with which our communications, photos, and videos are sent and stored digitally means most of us have more media stored...more

Should Smartphone Manufacturers Be Legally Compelled to Unlock Users’ Devices?

Picture this: A criminal defendant is indicted for three counts related to the possession of methamphetamine, and federal prosecutors obtain a warrant for the defendant’s iPhone. But the iPhone is passcode protected, and...more

California Reaffirms First Amendment Right to Record Police in Public

As deputy U.S. marshals detained a group of people in Beatriz Paez’s neighborhood, the 34-year-old South Gate, Calif. resident began recording the incident. Video from another camera-wielding bystander rolls as a different...more

The Limits to Ordering Computer Monitoring as a Special Condition of Supervised Release in the Federal Court System

There are limits to when a Federal District Court Judge may order computer monitoring by United States Probation as a special condition of supervised release. While it can be argued that individuals on supervised release...more

California Law Enforcement and Industry Gain Procedural Certainty with Historic Cal-ECPA Bill

On October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Senate Bill 178, known as the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Cal-ECPA). Cal-ECPA mandates that California law enforcement agencies...more

United States v. Microsoft: ‘Global Chaos,’ Outdated Legislation And a Judge’s Plea to Congress

The Second Circuit’s challenge in considering the validity of a U.S. Stored Communications Act warrant to Microsoft for e-mails located on servers in Ireland involves interpreting the SCA, which was enacted nearly three...more

Arizona’s Revenge Porn Law Remains on Indefinite Hold

Earlier this year, the Arizona Legislature made major revisions to Arizona’s revenge porn law, Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1425. Arizona is neither the first nor the only state to prohibit the unauthorized disclosure...more

Government Dismisses Its Case After Warrantless Airport Laptop Search

The government has voluntarily dismissed its case against Jae Shik Kim, the South Korean businessman for whom Ifrah Law obtained a motion to suppress in federal court. In 2012, Mr. Kim was stopped by federal agents as he...more

Telephone Surveillance Hang-Ups: Second Circuit Asks Parties in ACLU v. Clapper to Brief Whether the USA Freedom Act Moots...

Not long after striking down the National Security Agency’s telephone surveillance program in ACLU v. Clapper, the Second Circuit is asking the parties to assess whether recently passed federal legislation has rendered the...more

Welcome to the Digital Age, Officer

California SB 178 Seeks to Apply Warrant Requirement to Electronic Devices and Online Data - The California Senate is currently reviewing the proposed California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (SB 178), which...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law That Required Hotels To Comply With Warrantless Police Requests For Guest Registries

On June 22, 2015, in a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Los Angeles v. Patel struck down a Los Angeles Municipal Code that required hotel operators to provide guest registries to police upon demand, and without a...more

Law Enforcement in the 21st Century: How The Courts Are Responding

As published in PublicCEO* The world of law enforcement is changing rapidly. In the last few years, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds altering the way police officers do just about everything. New technology...more

A Border Search Doctrine Without Borders? A Court Pushes Back Against Searches of Laptops and Cellphones

Last year, the Supreme Court in Riley v. California (134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014)) recognized the unique characteristics of laptops and cellphones and held that police generally may not search the cellphone of an individual who has...more

Seizure of memory cards from digital cameras allowed under plain view doctrine

Courts today are faced with applying traditional Fourth Amendment search and seizure doctrines to twenty-first century digital technology. In one such case, the Massachusetts Appellate Court upheld a lower court’s holding in...more

DANGER – “General” Search Warrants in the Digital Age

If you knew that there was a chance—maybe even a good chance—that a law enforcement officer could gain access to every single text, email, photograph and voice mail on your smartphone, going back years, because you were...more

Drone on Drones: Justice Department Drone Policy Emphasizes Privacy and Transparency

Federal agencies deploying surveillance drones in domestic airspace will be required to conduct annual privacy reviews, the Department of Justice announced last week. The new policy aims to require DOJ employees to assess the...more

Warrantless Laptop Search Suppressed In Sixth Circuit

On May 20, 2015, the Sixth Circuit ruled that the warrantless search of a laptop exceeded the scope of a preceding private search, and was therefore unconstitutional....more

Laptops, Border Checks and The Fourth Amendment

Developments in law are sluggish compared to the rapid rate of technological advancement, and courts must constantly apply old legal principles to technologies which were not contemplated at the time the laws were enacted. ...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Prolonging Traffic Stop to Conduct Dog Sniff is Unconstitutional

Overview: Police may not extend a routine traffic stop to give a police dog time to conduct a search for narcotics, the United States Supreme Court held this week. The Court determined that, absent reasonable suspicion,...more

Riley and the Third-party Doctrine

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one groundbreaking opinion in two cases regarding cellphone searches incident to arrest. In a unanimous opinion, the court held that under the Fourth Amendment, police must...more

California May Limit Law Enforcement’s Warrantless Data Collection

Eager to retain its spot among the principal laboratories for domestic privacy legislation, California’s legislature is set to debate Senate Bill 178, legislation restricting state law enforcement agencies from requesting...more

Illinois Amends Eavesdropping Statute in Response to Recent Court Decisions

On March 20, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court held that significant portions of the Illinois eavesdropping statute, 720 ILCS 5/14-1 et seq., (the Statute) violated the First Amendment. In People v. Clark, 2014 IL 115776, and...more

Can the NSA Legally Collect Telephone Metadata?

Earlier this month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals became the third federal appellate court this year to hear argument on the legality of the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata....more

Drone on Drones: New Court Decision Reflects Shifting Views on Privacy in Public

Whenever drone policy is raised as a topic, privacy concerns follow close behind it as a discussion point. The idea of aerial surveillance that is cheaper, less time-intensive and requires fewer man hours to get off the...more

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