Article: California Now Has the Nation’s Best Digital Privacy Law
Governor Jerry Brown signed a law protecting digital privacy rights. And since he has done this, California now has the best digital privacy laws in the nation.
The landmark Electronic Communications Privacy act forbids any state law enforcement to search any type of electronics for example, phones, laptops, tablets, androids, emails, text messaging, etc. without a warrant. And now, in order to track any type of device’s location, law enforcement has to have a search warrant. California is the first to have such a major law for protecting location data, all content, metadata, and device searches. The reason why this law was signed upon and put into place is for California residents to have the right to digital privacy with their electronics as they have the right to privacy with things that are not digital.
There was major support with this bill by technological companies (Ex. Apple, Google, linkedIn, and Twitter) that Governor Jerry Brown signed and approved. There was also major bipartisan support by state lawmakers.
In my personal opinion, If we can’t have warrantless searches anymore as law enforcement, then how are we going to pin point criminals and crime on the internet? What if this law is brought to Virginia? We, as law enforcement, have to personally wait for a search warrant to be approved and then we can search someone’s electronics!?! by then I think it will be too late! by the time we come with a search warrant, that criminal who is doing the crime online, that criminal is smart enough to hide all of his crimes happening and flee! In chapter 10 of our textbook, for the Searches without Warrants, It says that majority of the searches that police do are warrantless searches. And, it is also said in this same section that all digital evidence without a warrant cannot be justified. Like I mentioned, I think that it’s a longer process in catching a criminal who does crime on the internet. Also, throughout this textbook and all of my previous courses, professors always mention how it’s very hard to catch a criminal online due to how smart and computer savvy that criminal is and by the time we get to their home or try to figure out who it is, the criminal has already fled the area, or for example, if its money laundering, have transferred their money into another account in a different country or something.
Another thing is that if law enforcement cannot track location without the warrant, how are we supposed to catch a criminal without tracking him or her? In order to catch someone, as law enforcement, we have to have reasonable suspicion/evidence of a crime exists, crime has been committed, the evidence presently exists in the place to be searched: This is searches with warrants but however in general, without a warrant I believe that these things still apply. So, how is law enforcement supposed to track evidence now?
In conclusion, I am against this digital privacy rights. I mean yes, have digital privacy rights but with exceptions so then law enforcement can crack down on crime and the internet. I think this law in California is going to slow down/delay the process of catching criminals out on the internet/electronically.