Criminals can all breathe a collective sigh of relief with the court ruling. The close decision I think reveals a technology gap with what judges believe phones do and what they think they do. Which obviously is a problem when you are dealing with supreme court judges, most of whom think Motorola flip phones are “da bomb”.
One simple analogy is obtaining a search warrant for phone records. If the cops need to go to a judge to get the phone records for a home phone, why shouldn’t the same apply to a cell phone? Especially if the cops want to see what phone numbers were recently dialed? What if the phone is locked and requires the ‘*#’ combo? Does that count as being openly available for anyone to see? In the end if this keeps a criminal out of jail, of course that’s bad news. But I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice their rights to put a few more people behind bars.
So a quick recap, you get arrested, the cops cannot search your phone without a warrant, which requires reasonably cause. So stop talking about the crimes you’ve committed and start using code words. Get hip to the lingo my homie.