Commonwealth v. White

Onyx White Triplicate Final - reducedCOMMONWEALTH V. WHITE | SJC–1197 | Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court | November 23, 2015 The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief (PDF) in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) in Commonwealth v. White, SJC-11917. This is the third case in as many years in which Massachusetts’s highest court has sought the input of amici to help clarify when law enforcement may glean information from a cell phone to advance a criminal investigation. At issue in White is the question of what evidence is required to establish probable cause to seize a cell phone without a warrant – especially in view of an allegation that the cell phone contains a remote wipe feature, raising the specter of its contents being erased if the police don’t immediately seize it. ACLUM argues that the ubiquity of cell phones, their powerful functionality, and their capacity to store enormous amounts of private information are reasons that they merit the very strongest privacy protections as enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

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