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Category Archives: Privacy News

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U.S. Supreme Court Favors Cell Phone Privacy

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

On June 25, 2014, the US Supreme Court issued a an important ruling in favor of cell phone privacy. The court ruled that a police officer must have a warrant in order to search the cell phone of a person placed under arrest. This decision, in Riley v. California, was long awaited by those… Read More »

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Supreme Court to Rule On Cell Phone Search

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

We live in a digital age. The time when all our private information was kept inside our home is gone. The time when our private information was kept only on a computer is gone. Today, cell-phones are like mini-computers. The amount of information that can be kept on a smart-phone is vast. The question… Read More »

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Warrantless Cell Phone Search

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

Once a person is arrested, the police are allowed to search you for weapons or contraband without a warrant. In more recent times, there has been a question of whether the police may search a cell-phone without a warrant, where it is found during the search for weapons. In Riley v. California, the police… Read More »

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Police Cheek Swabs for DNA

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

Police could wander through your private property at any time without the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches. Thanks to the Fourth Amendment, search of your property requires a warrant signed by a judge. But what if police officers were allowed to swab your cheeks after your arrest for DNA identification? Would you find… Read More »

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Police Search Without Warrant

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

In the case of Terry v. Ohio in 1968, detective Martin McFadden was patrolling around his neighborhood one afternoon. After watching two men he’d never seen before, he observed these men pace back and forth in front of the same store over 24 times. When the detective saw the two men talking to each… Read More »

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Portland Jumps into Facebook Privacy Fight

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

A Portland, Oregon murder trial could change the ability of Facebook and other social media companies to refuse to give out information about their users and the content they post. While Facebook claims that its content is protected under federal privacy laws, criminal defense lawyers say their client’s constitutional rights trump the federal statute…. Read More »

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Federal Government Invades Privacy

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

As Americans throughout the country were getting ready to celebrate the New Year, members of Congress were preparing to extend a bill that has had a very negative effect on our privacy. Congress gave final approval to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which allows the government to intercept electronic communications of spy and… Read More »

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Legislatures Trying to Protect Privacy

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

A recent issue for Congress and State legislatures to evaluate is whether police need a warrant before searching a cellphone. Efforts have been made by State legislatures to say, “yes,” the police need a warrant. However, efforts have been denied by the governors of certain states. A U.S. Senate committee is set to consider… Read More »

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A Dog-Sniff Search

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

On October 31, 2012, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in a search and seizure case involving the use of a drug-sniffing dog on the outside of a home. In Florida v. Jardines, after receiving a tip, a police detective visited the defendant’s home, watched it for fifteen minutes, and waited for… Read More »

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Police GPS Tracking Devices Declared a Valid Search

By Mark C. Cogan, P.C. |

The United States Supreme Court periodically issues decisions in which the scope of the public’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, as protected by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, comes into conflict with law enforcement’s use of new technology. In the latest such decision, United States vs. Jones, announced… Read More »

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