24/7 Newsfeed

Put Reason 24/7 on Your Site


Follow Reason 24/7 on Twitter and via RSS

Restrictions on Electronic Searches Approved by VT Supreme Court

The Vermont Supreme Court gave electronic privacy a big boost this morning when it approved restrictions placed upon police when conducting searches of electronic devices.

The case originated when police in Burlington, Vermont were investigating a report of a person applying for credit cards online using someone else's identity. Once the police narrowed the investigation to a street address where they thought the perpetrator might live, they asked a judge to issue a search warrant for “all computers or electronic media” located in the house—even though the house had multiple residents.

The judge issued the search warrant, but was wary about approving such a broad search of computers, iPads, and other devices. So he imposed a number of restrictions on the search, including that the police could only look for evidence relating to the alleged identity theft, had to turn the devices over to a third party to conduct the search, and would not be permitted to prosecute a suspect based upon evidence of other crimes found on the devices.

Source: ACLU. Read full article. (link)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.