April 25, 2014
SOME OVERDUE SKEPTICISM: Low-level federal judges balking at law enforcement requests for electronic evidence. “Judges at the lowest levels of the federal judiciary are balking at sweeping requests by law enforcement officials for cellphone and other sensitive personal data, declaring the demands overly broad and at odds with basic constitutional rights. This rising assertiveness by magistrate judges — the worker bees of the federal court system — has produced rulings that elate civil libertarians and frustrate investigators, forcing them to meet or challenge tighter rules for collecting electronic evidence.”
Given an unfortunate general tendency to rubber-stamp search warrants, it’s nice to see some professional skepticism here.