Who Can I Turn To
When these things happen, its important to know whos got your back. Finding legal representation that understands your situation, and understands technology, is key. You and your legal team might also require assistance from digital forensics experts, or talk to digital security trainers who can help you navigate this tricky situation. Finally, self-care is hugely important. This work is extremely stressful talking to the right people might help you recapture your courage, prevent you from doing harm to yourself and others, and help you get through the trauma.
Get In Touch With Our Criminal Defence Solicitors
For specialist advice about the polices powers to search your phone and social media accounts, give our criminal defence lawyers a call today. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you.
We also have an out of hours phone line and urgent police station advice line.
Alternatively, please feel free to fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.
Facebook Messenger Whatsapp And Instagram Data
As Facebook owns Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, the policies relating to disclosure of data to law enforcement are broadly the same.
Facebooks policy is to access and share your information in the following circumstances:
- Where a legal request has been made because Facebook is an American company, the police must make a Mutual Legal Assistance request via the Government to access any data. This can be a lengthy process, taking anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. However, on 3 October 2019, the UK and US entered into the Bilateral Data Sharing Agreement which will allow the police to apply directly to Facebook, speeding up the process
- In an emergency situation if Facebook believes in good faith that there is a risk of serious injury or death or imminent harm to a child, it will release your data without a Mutual Legal Assistance request
It is highly likely that Facebook will release at least some private data to the police if requested. Statistics released by Facebook show that from the period July-December 2018, authorities in the UK submitted 7,218 requests for information . Facebook provided data in 91% of these cases.
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An Overview Of The Law On Police Officers Searching Cellphones Including The Issue Of Forcing People To Unlock Their Devices
By Micah Schwartzbach, Attorney
If police officers arrest you, they can search you, including your pockets, and the area within your immediate control. But what happens if they come across your iPhone, Android, or even your old-school flip phone? Are they free to dive into your phone and all its data, or do they first need a warrant?
The U.S. Supreme Court sets the basic rules on search and seizure through interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable government intrusion. But since it takes so long for a case to get all the way to the Supreme Court, search-and-seizure law relating to new technology often remains uncertain for many years.
Uncertainty about cellphone searches prevailed until June of 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers generally need warrants to search the cellphones of arrestees. .)
What Does It Mean
Your digital belongings – phone, SIM, SD card data could have been copied and gone through.
Your phone may have been turned on, apps and browsers opened. The cops might have access to any accounts your phone was logged into, this means they may have read personal communication, noted your personal accounts including email addresses, social media account names to follow, sent messages or made posts using your log in.
The SIM card contains a lot of personally identifying information that ties the phone to its user. It can also contain contact lists as a series of pairs of name and phone number. This means that if your SIM card is searched, it’s possible that the police will now identify and target the people you have in your address book. Police track the location of individuals through the location of their mobile phone and SIM card, your unique phone and SIM combination may now be used to locate you.
The SD card contains photos and other media could contain chat logs, and other user-generated content. Not only can this data be used to build a profile on you, but can be used to map social connections between people you frequently communicate with, and they can unjustly become “persons of interest” to investigators. Such tactics can also be used, sometimes under the flimsiest of pretexts, to justify warrants for escalated surveillance on you in the near future.
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The Four Conditions For Police To Search Your Cellphone Without A Warrant
1) The arrest must be lawful
2) The search must be truly incidental to the arrest.
This requirement should be strictly applied to permit searches that must be done promptly upon arrest in order to effectively serve the law enforcement purposes. In this context, those purposes are protecting the police, the accused or the public preserving evidence and, if the investigation will be stymied or significantly hampered absent the ability to promptly conduct the search, discovering evidence.
3) The nature and the extent of the search must be tailored to its purpose.
In practice, this will mean that only recently sent or drafted emails, texts, photos and the call log will, generally, be available, although other searches may, in some circumstances, be justified.
4) The police must take detailed notes of what they have examined on the device and how they examine it.
The notes should generally include the applications searched, the extent of the search, the time of the search, its purpose and its duration. The record-keeping requirement is important to the effectiveness of after-the-fact judicial review. It will also help police officers to focus on whether what they are doing in relation to the phone falls squarely within the parameters of a lawful search incident to arrest.
Can A Cell Phone Be Tapped
You may wonder about can a cell phone be tapped. Yes, a cell phone can be tapped easily! And once the cell phone is tapped, it will constantly record conversations on your phone. Previously, cell phone tapping is a technology which is majorly used by the law enforcement officials to monitor the activities of a cell phone and look for any kind of suspicious activity. They even tap the cell phone from the cell phone carrier. They would know how to tap a cell phone with just the number and the technology used by them is a bit complex and it is not accessible for the general public to use it on an everyday basis. Only if the cell phone user is a suspected criminal, these services can be used.
However, for the daily spying for the general public, there are several spying apps specially developed. These spying apps adopt advanced techniques and let users tap any cell phone and know the daily activities on it. One such great app is called KidsGuard Pro. It has been designed in such a way that they do not require the use of any kind of professional knowledge. Even a novice user can use the app to monitor a cell phone by tapping it. This is a much better alternative to the service which is provided by law enforcement officials since this service can be used on a daily basis with ease without any complications.
If you are eager to know using KidsGuard Pro, we include the steps in the next part.
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Go On Tell Me The Numbers
Image Credit: Bruce Mars / Pexels
The report is based on Freedom of Information requests to 47 police forces. Twenty-six forces confirmed that they are using mobile phone extraction technology. This follows on from a 2017 Big Brother Watch report which found that 93 percent of police forces in the UK are extracting data from digital devices.
Data is being collected not only for serious crimes, but also for low-level offences, and several police forces have indicated that they want extraction of mobile data to become the default. Police forces across the UK are extracting data from tens of thousands of mobile phones each year.
There is no clear national guidance on when forces can use this technology, how data should be stored and for how long it can be kept.
Obtaining A Wiretap Order
Can police listen to phone conversations on your landline or cell? Yes, they can potentially listen in on both under certain conditions.
Wiretaps can provide supportive evidence against people suspected of criminal activity. Since its a severe invasion of privacy, though, it comes with strict procedures for law enforcement. Before they can eavesdrop on your conversations, the cops have to obtain something similar to a warrant called a wiretap order.
Since wiretapping is extremely intrusive, a wiretap order is a bit more complicated to obtain than a warrant. The law enforcement officials have to prove probable cause to believe that listening to your conversations will help them with a serious crime. This can include terrorism, money laundering, or drug trafficking.
Police may also seek a warrant to obtain location information through cellphone data.
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Can The Police Stop Me And Look Through My Phone
The police have powers to stop and question you on the street at any time. Typically, you dont have to answer their questions if you dont want to. The police can also search you but only if they have reasonable grounds to suspect youre carrying illegal objects such as drugs or weapons.
The police cannot stop you to search your phone without your consent. Exceptions include if they are able to justify using legal powers such as terrorism or child sex offence laws.
Another potential exception is if the police suspect the phone is stolen and their reason for searching you is to confirm that is the case .
What Can You Do
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Follow these simple steps to keep your phone secure, your social media accounts safe, and your property out of reach from prying eyes, for the next time. In addition to these tips here, have a look at EFFs excellent guide for protesters it has great tips for how you can protect yourself next time you go out there!
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Can Police Read Your Texts Without You Knowing
In most of the United States, police can get many kinds of cellphone data without obtaining a warrant. Law-enforcement records show, police can use initial data from a tower dump to ask for another court order for more information, including addresses, billing records and logs of calls, texts and locations.
What Do The Conditions Mean For Police
It means the police can and likely will search your cellphone if they believe searching its contents may be relevant to why you were arrested. It means they can search your cellphone, but they have to follow certain rules. If you were arrested, and your phone is unlocked or is not protected with a password, it would not be unreasonable for police to flip through the pictures or text messages inside if they believe doing so forms part of their investigation.
You cant really refuse a police search once you have been arrested without risking further charges, but what you can do is remain silent. So what if your phone was locked and police are demanding the password. If you choose to remain silent, what options do police have if they are committed to searching your phone?
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Why Choose Our Criminal Defence Solicitors
At Conspiracy Solicitor, we are a team of specialist criminal defence solicitors based in Grantham, Lincoln and Newark in the East Midlands. We provide expert advice and representation to clients who are under investigation or have been charged with a vast range of criminal offences, including drug offences, county lines offences, fraud, road traffic offences, and conspiracy offences.
We are Law Society Accredited in Criminal Litigation for our skills and our strong track record of helping clients achieve positive results. In many cases, were able to successfully end criminal investigations at the police station without any charges being brought.
We will be by your side through every step of the criminal justice process and we can travel to police stations and courts across the UK to assist you.
What Is Spyware And What Can It Do
This document considers mobile spyware to refer to an app or program that is deliberately placed on someones mobile device for the purpose of monitoring that person.
Depending on the type of spyware installed, in most cases, mobile spyware will monitor:
- Text messages, including phone number and SMS content
- Internet browsing, including history and bookmarks
- Location of the phone
- Email downloaded onto the phone
If the phone has been jailbroken or rooted , spyware software can monitor more, including:
- Certain messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype
- Phone conversations
- Using the phones microphone to record the phones surrounding
It is difficult to identify whether spyware has been installed, since most spyware products operate in stealth mode, so it cannot be detected on the phone.
Once the software is installed, the abusive person can monitor all the above activity via an online website.
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If Police Have Accessed Data From Your Phone Without Consent Call Our Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are many ways police can use modern technology to access your data remotely, but Utah law has made it such that, in most cases, a warrant is required for them to do so. This means that you have rights and protections when it comes to the data stored on your cell phone, even if you have technically turned it over to third parties. At Overson Law, PLLC, our experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys know how to fight to get evidence obtained through illegal searches of your digital data excluded from any court case. We will aggressively argue on behalf of your right to digital privacy. Call us today at 758-2287 for a free consultation.
Tip : Use A Strong Password
Piggybacking off Tip 1, the safest authentication method offered by your phone is the alphanumeric password. With a secure password , you can rest assured your phone won’t be unlocked without your consent, as there are simply too many possible combinations for law enforcement to guess.
An 8-character password with no consecutive letters would take a computer over five months to crack. Increase this to 16 characters and it would take several millennia. Until Google implements the ability to require both the password and biometrics to unlock, this is the safest option to keep anyone out of your phone. And with Lockdown Mode, you will hardly ever have to use it.
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Urgent Change Is Needed
Image Credit: Gratisography / Pexels
Privacy International says its time for an urgent review of digital data extraction. Warrants should be required before police are able able to search the phones of victims, witness and suspects and there should be an objectively verifiable legal standard before a warrant is granted Privacy International suggests that the test should be based on reasonable suspicion. And people should be informed of their rights in this area through published guidance from the Home Office.
One former chief constable has claimed that obtaining a warrant in each instance would be just not practical. However, the alternative, where police forces can extract the contents of our phone in minutes, with no legal checks and balances, looks an awful lot worse.
Like Pulling Something Out Of A Hat
George Floyd died under the knee of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.
In Burlington, the reaction was swift. Protesters marched through the city and rallied outside the police department, demanding defunding and termination of officers involved in past use-of-force incidents.
We had all these issues leading up to the pandemic and leading up to the murder of George Floyd, said Hightower, who is the first Black woman to serve on the City Council. For us, it wasnt just a national problem. It was a problem here at home.
Exactly one month after Floyds death, Hightower proposed a resolution called Racial Justice Through Economic and Criminal Justice.
She had been elected to the City Council just three months earlier. Her victory helped the Progressive Party achieve a plurality on the council, with six of 12 seats.
Several aspects of the resolution Hightower proposed were written not by her but by an activist group called the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance.
The alliances executive director, Mark Hughes, didnt respond to requests for comment. Neither did current board members.
On June 12, 2020, the alliance had published a letter to the City Council on its website, demanding an apology and reparations for Burlingtons role in chattel slavery and a restructuring of public safety, including, among other steps, an immediate 30 percent reduction in the number of police officers.
Although Dieng wanted police reform, he said, he wanted it done with care.
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