Is Cellphone Privacy the Next Big Issue Facing the Supreme Court?


Amid a national debate over how much the government should be able to find out about the private activities of its citizens in the name of combating terrorism, the Washington Post suggests cellphones loom as the next big issue for a U.S. Supreme Court review. More than 85 percent of Americans carry one, and the devices provide authorities with more than just a vast record of a person's travels and phone calls, with a smartphone memory capacity equal to that of a typical home computer in 2004, capable of storing millions of pages of documents.

Last fall, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. didn't hesitate when a questioner at Rice University asked him about the biggest constitutional challenge the Supreme Court faced. He said the court must identify “the fundamental principle underlying what constitutional protection is and apply it to new issues and new technology.” The court has started the process, with major rulings on technology in the recently completed term concerning warrants and DNA testing.

Comments are closed.