Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie

EFF and the Center for Democracy and Technology ("CDT") have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to crack down on warrantless searches of cell phones, arguing in two cases before the court that changing technology demands new guidelines for when the data on someone’s phone can be accessed and reviewed by investigators. 

The amicus briefs were filed in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie.  In both cases, after arresting a suspect, law enforcement officers searched the arrestee’s cell phone without obtaining a warrant from a judge.  Historically, police have been allowed some searches “incident to arrest” in order to protect officers’ safety and preserve evidence.  However, EFF and CDT argue that once a cell phone has been seized, the police need a search warrant to search the data on the phone.

In June 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the search incident to arrest exception does not extend to a cell phone and that police need to get a search warrant in order to search an arrestee's phone after arrest.

Case status: 

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Police cell-site simulators interfere with cell networks & emergency calls. Tell @FCC to regulate them. https://act.eff.org/action/te...

Aug 23 @ 5:38pm

CloudFlare stands up for Internet users by insisting on proper court orders & fair process before blocking. https://eff.org/r.tbm8

Aug 23 @ 4:47pm

These two posts recap the problems in the IP chapter of the TPP, and in the other chapters. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks..., https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Aug 23 @ 3:54pm
JavaScript license information