Warrants

Supreme Court to Decide if Cellphone Searches Require Warrants

Rules currently vary

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The Supreme Court today agreed to decide the unsolved constitutional question of whether police may search, without warrants, the mobile phones of suspects they arrest.

The justices did not immediately schedule a hearing in the most important digital rights issue the high court has decided to review this term.

The outcome is expected to shore up conflicting federal and state rulings, as well as varying state laws that are all over the map as mobile phones have become virtual extensions of ourselves, housing everything from email to instant-message chats to our papers and effects. The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project last year found that about 91 percent of adult Americans own a mobile phone. In 2012, there were 12,196,959 arrests in the United States, about one for every 2 seconds, according to the latest FBI data available.