Justices Limit Cellphone Searches After Arrests

A strong defense of privacy in the digital age is coming today from the Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices say police may not generally search the cellphones of people they arrest, unless they have a search warrant. The court chose not to extend earlier rulings, in which they allowed police to empty a suspect's pockets and examine whatever they find.

Chief Justice John Roberts says cellphones aren't just a "technological convenience" -- they hold "the privacies of life." Roberts says the message to police is simple: Before rummaging through a cellphone's contents, "get a warrant."

The chief justice acknowledged that barring searches would affect law enforcement, but says: "Privacy comes at a cost."

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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