Bill would ban searching cell phones without warrant

Bill would ban searching cell phones without warrant

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Should law enforcement be required to get a search warrant before looking at your phone data?

Its a question state lawmakers are considering in a bill that will likely be up for a vote next week after being postponed for a scheduled vote Monday afternoon.

"They (law enforcement) don't really have a right now, I believe, to go through your cell phone," said Sen. Mae Beavers citing the 4th Amendment."We are supposed to be free from unwarranted search and seizure."

She is the main sponsor of the Senate Bill 1757/House Bill 1869 which would require law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before looking at your cell phone data.

"We just want to make sure that in Tennessee (law enforcement officers) have a search warrant--and its written in the law that they have to have a search warrant to go through you personal cell phone," added the Senator.

Leading a fight against the measure is the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

The agency's executive officer Illana Tate says "TBI is concerned about (the bill) due to cases where time is essential in locating a victim of a crime."

She cited abduction cases where "the first few hours are crucial, and it could take up to two hours to obtain a search warrant."

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