Supreme court bans police access to phone records without a warrant

(From The Guardian)

A US supreme court ruling issued Friday barred police from accessing cellphone records such as call listings and location data without first obtaining a search warrant, in a landmark decision in favor of privacy protections.

Advocates hailed the 5-4 ruling as a victory for personal privacy rights in an age when digital technology and the widespread use of mobile devices could create easy paths for law enforcement or other state bodies into the most intimate corners of private life.

“This is this most important fourth amendment ruling in recent memory, and plainly the most important decision of this term,” wrote Bob Loeb, a former leader of the justice department’s appellate division who has argued cases before the high court, on Twitter.

Cell phones are “papers and effects.” The Supreme Court apparently agrees.