ACLU Sues San Francisco Over Warrantless Cell Phone Searches

Your phone knows you completely. It knows where you’ve been, and who you’ve been talking to. It knows which websites you visit in your idle time, and your many passwords. Hell, it probably knows what you look like without pants on. It knows you.

To search someone’s phone is to breach not just their property, but their very being. Today, the ACLU has filed suit against the county of San Francisco to (re)try to keep anyone from searching your phone without a warrant.

Back in 2011, the California Supreme Court determined that the police search of an arrestee’s phone fit within the lines of the U.S. Constitution.

In today’s suit, however, the ACLU claims that such searches violate the California Constitution, which appends a small mountain of protections onto its bigger, badder, federal brother. More specifically, they claim that the searches violate Sections 1, 2, 3 and 13 of Article I.

The suit was sparked by the 2011 arrest of SF-resident Bob Offer-Westort, who says police officers perused his texts — going so far as to read them aloud — after placing him in custody during a non-violent protest.