U.S. Supreme Court reviewing cell phone searches, seizures - FOX Carolina 21

U.S. Supreme Court reviewing cell phone searches, seizures by police

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Police use Faraday bags, which block remote signals and preserve information on seized phones. (April 28, 2014) Police use Faraday bags, which block remote signals and preserve information on seized phones. (April 28, 2014)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Most of us have one, and we're either talking on it or using it for pictures, email or sending messages.

"I just have a lot of music and Candy Crush and Facebook," Gary Barnhardt.

Barnhardt said he's aware of the distracted driving ban in Greenville, but said he understands why police may need to see his phone.

"Police can actually go back through your text log and say you were driving at this time," Barnhardt said.

And now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if police need warrants to search phones for cases.

Some say it violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

"It seems a little extreme, invasive - you know," Steve Gaskins said.

He doesn't like the idea of police officers looking through his phone.

"What else are they going through? Are they going through my photos? Are they going through my internet, my search log?" Gaskins said.

And that's why Tom Slovenski says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a huge deal for everyone.

"A cell phone is an intimate part of a person, and it's like a closed, protective case," Slovenski said.

He thinks police should have warrants. He's a mobile forensics examiner and owner of Cellular Forensics in Simpsonville.

"I've been called on as an expert witness to testify in cases," Slovenski said.

But as a former police officer, he also understands why investigators want to get to crucial information quickly. In order to preserve information, some investigators put them in what's called Faraday bags. That's when police put phones in airplane mode while they wait on a warrant. The Faraday bags block remote signals. However, investigators say criminals are known to still be able to wipe phones from a remote location once the phone is taken out of the bag.

"If there's no interference from the tower - the information, the data is preserved on the phone at that time," Slovenski said.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to review two cases on Tuesday regarding cell phone searches and seizures.

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