News Brief 3/18/2007, Adar 28, 5767
Ruling Mandates Warrant Required to Search Cell Phones
The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that police are required to seek a search warrant before examining cell phones of those they have detained for questioning.
The ruling by Judge Chana Ben-Ami stated that “there is a great deal of similarity from the point of view of the rationale behind the special law governing computers, between the computer and the cell phone, in terms of the information stored and the way they operate.”
Police were able to quickly track down and arrest a suspect who was charged with raping an 11-year-old girl in Arad this month by tracking him through her cell phone, which he had stolen and used after the attack.
The ruling effectively ties the hands of detectives who now use the information they glean by reading the text messages and phone numbers stored in the cell phones carried by suspects.