Michigan State Police could search cell phones during traffic stops.

The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device…

The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

“Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide,” ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. “No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure.”

Source: The Newspaper

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  • Eric

    Absolutely right, an illegal search without P.C., and, even then, a warrant should be required for a specific reason by privacy should be violated. Furthermore, checkpoints assume quilt (with very special exceptions), so a “slippery slope…” Almost certain it will be challenged. “Almost,” as we seem to be a nation who has forgotten, “Those who would trade freedom for security will not have freedom, and they will not have security, and they will not deserve either.” Very disappointing that agency has even taken this approach.

  • Jeff

    The question you have to ask is, what are they using the information gleened off of cell phones for? Its one thing if they actually believe you’ve committed a crime, its one thing if you’re arrested and being processed, but it seems wholely not right as a matter of routine. Under this standard, they’d be within their right to setup cellphone checkpoints; to see who you associate with or to see if you have anything in the absence of context appears incriminating.