Warrantless Searches of Computers and Other Electronic Devices

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I keep a list of cases from across the country on warrantless searches of computers and other electronic devices. It covers topics like searches of cellular phones incident to arrest, whether consent to search a residence includes consent to search the computers therein, and whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in an employer-issued laptop. We don’t have many in-state cases on searches of electronic devices yet, so looking at other courts is helpful.

Anyhow, in connection with a session I’ll be teaching next week, I’ve updated the list. The current version is available here. If you’re aware of significant cases that I should include, please call or email me to let me know. At this point, there are enough decisions coming out that I’m mostly interested in published cases from the federal circuit courts and state supreme courts.

2 comments on “Warrantless Searches of Computers and Other Electronic Devices

  1. I would like to know if it is legal to go into one parties computer and print emails that are from another party(or made to look as though they are from the other party) using that as basis to obtain a warrant to arrest, not attempting to authenticate said emails until 4months after the arrest at which the authentication is a failed attempt.Will these emails still be considered evidence?

  2. […] Last week, I posted a paper about warrantless searches of computers and electronic devices. Today, I’m posting its companion: this paper about warrant searches of computers, which I have just finished updating today. Although the paper focuses on computers, the principles discussed in the paper apply equally to other electronic devices. […]

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