OFF THE WIRE
Brown vetoes limit on police search of cell phones
Posted: Oct 09, 2011 4:39 PM PDT Updated: Oct 09, 2011 4:39 PM PDT SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have required law enforcement officers to get a warrant before they can search through the smart phones and other electronic devices of people they arrest.
The bill, SB914, would have overridden a recent California Supreme Court decision allowing warrantless searches of electronic devices.
The justices ruled that police could use a suspect's text messages in a 2007 drug arrest. They said portable electronic devices can be treated the same way as an arrestee's clothing.
The bill's supporters say the devices are different because they can contain personal correspondence, financial records, passwords and even a geographic record of everyplace the person has been for weeks.
Brown said in a veto message released Sunday that the issue is better left to the courts.