When The Government Is After Your Cell Phone Information

You have probably noticed by now that you spend less and less time on an actual laptop computer. And you probably spend even less time on a desktop computer. That is because we are all getting used to being mobile when we do our computing and it does not look like that is going to change any time soon. And it shouldn’t. This new style of computing makes work a lot easier and you can get it done from wherever you would like to be.

govt-and-your-rights

But you have to remember that even though you are using a phone or a tablet to get your work done, you are still using a device that acts a lot like a computer. And a lot of people forget that. For some reason just because the form factor is different, they believe that they do not have to treat the phone the same way they treat a computer. They believe that it cannot be broken into and that security is something that they do not have to think about anymore. But security is something that you have to think about all the time. Not just security from the bad guys but security from the good guys as well.

Crime suspect

If you are a suspect in a crime then in many places the police have a right to look in your mobile phone. Law enforcement officials know that a lot of the computing that gets done these days is done on smart phones. So they know to look on there when they are looking for information about any crime that might have happened. In some places, even if you are pulled over for a simple traffic stop you will be asked to hand over your cell phone. And that can be a little bit much.

That is why you have to think about your security when you are dealing with both the good guys and the bad guys. While we are not trying to advocate any criminal activity, you have to think about your personal rights when you are handing over your device to law enforcement officer. Sometimes the law enforcement officials are just trying to fish for information and they really do not suspect you of any wrong doing. So you must know the rules so that you are able to defend yourself against an overzealous officer such as this.

Federal government

When the federal government wants to be able to look into your computer, they have to get a warrant to do so. They cannot just march into your house and take a look whenever they want to. They have to have just cause and a presiding judge must agree with them. In most cases these same rights extend to your mobile phone as well. Your mobile phone acts just like your computer these days so why would they not have the same right when it comes to accessing them. If you are being arrested for a crime is one thing. But if you are just walking down the street and an office decides to take a look in your phone, then you have a good case to tell them no.

Even though you want to protect your rights against anyone who might be trying to take them away, it pays to be respectful to the officer. It is not going to help if you become a hot head and cause a scene in front of everyone. You will have your day in court and you will be able to make your case there. If you give the officer a reason to arrest you then when it comes to try and defend the wrong that was committed against you are going to have a tougher time trying to convince people.

Know the law

The best thing that you can do is to look up some of the laws that are in your local area and see what rights you really do have. And if you do get in trouble then you should really get a lawyer so he can help you settle your case. Even though you may know your rights, unless you are a lawyer you still do not know how to navigate a court room. This best course of action is to get someone who does know how. You have probably heard of the old saying, “a person who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client”.

We are all taught that security to stop the bad guys is a good thing and something that we all should focus on. But you also need to be able to protect your personal rights as well. And anyone on either side of the law can try and take those. Make sure that you have enough knowledge to be able to stop them.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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