Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ok, there are two points in this story for which the Michigan State Police

need a big legal kick in the ass.
...that department has several forensic cellphone analyzers deployed in the field. Forensic analyzers are routinely used in police investigations to recover data from computers and other digital devices. Lately, cellphones have become valuable sources of evidence for police, since one phone can include almost all of an individual's private communications (SMS, recently dialed numbers, email, Facebook and Twitter posts) as well as location data from the device's GPS unit.
This type of forensic device is nothing new, but the ACLU's concern is that the UFED mobile units might have been used in routine traffic stops—which, the ACLU contends, would violate the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure
Well, no shit; there is no damned excuse for them to do this in a routine traffic stop. Period. That's the first point.

Here's the second:
According to the ACLU's letter, the organization requested usage logs from the Michigan troopers' devices, but the state police requested more than half a million dollars to pay for retrieval of the documents and records, which the ACLU claims is unreasonably high. In a statement to PM, Tiffany Brown of the Michigan State Police said: "The Michigan State Police will provide information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As with any FOIA request under statute, there may be a processing fee to search for, retrieve, review, examine and separate exempt materials, if any."
Hell YES that's unreasonably high; that's like them demanding $5 per sheet for copies 'to cover the expense'. It's bullshit and it's trying to deny the information without actually saying "We won't do it."

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