Michigan Police Device Can Reveal Drivers’ Phone Data, Texts and Pictures

Photo: Cellebrite

Photo: Cellebrite

CNET reports:

The Michigan State Police have a handful of portable machines called “extraction devices” that have the potential to download personal information from motorists they pull over, and the ACLU would like to know more about them.

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

The problem, as the ACLU sees it, is that accessing a citizen’s private phone information when there’s no probable cause could create a violation of the Constitution’s 4th Amendment, which protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures.

To that end, it’s petitioning the MSP to turn over information about its use of the devices under the Freedom of Information Act. The MSP said it’s happy to comply, that is, if the ACLU provides them with a processing fee in excess of $500,000. That’s more than $100,000 for each of the five devices the MSP says it has in use.

The ACLU, for its part, says that the fee is odious, and that a public policing agency has a duty to its citizens to be open…

For more information, see original article.

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  • Hadrian999

    I’m surprised Michigan state police can afford gas for their cars let alone new toys(and the inevitable lawsuits)

    • Haystack

      That’s why they’re trying to bilk the ACLU for 500k.

  • Hadrian999

    I’m surprised Michigan state police can afford gas for their cars let alone new toys(and the inevitable lawsuits)

  • Haystack

    That’s why they’re trying to bilk the ACLU for 500k.

  • Czeck6

    Does your phone being in a locked state prevent this device from reading it?

    • Tiradixm

      it breaks the lock

      its designed to bypass/break password,security to allow the cops to open and copy info from the cell.

  • Czeck6

    Does your phone being in a locked state prevent this device from reading it?

  • MikeK

    My phone is more than 5 years old. Maybe their reader isn’t compatible with it, and maybe I can damage the link to guarantee it…on the other hand, there’s nothing important in that phone that they would need to know anyway.

  • MikeK

    My phone is more than 5 years old. Maybe their reader isn’t compatible with it, and maybe I can damage the link to guarantee it…on the other hand, there’s nothing important in that phone that they would need to know anyway.

  • Tiradixm

    it breaks the lock

    its designed to bypass/break password,security to allow the cops to open and copy info from the cell.

  • Tiradixm

    it breaks the lock

    its designed to bypass/break password,security to allow the cops to open and copy info from the cell.

  • Jacob Santos

    couldn’t someone just deny access to the phone in the same way they would deny a request to search a vehicle. You may be taken to jail if they feel there is cause for suspicion, but at least your sexting history is safe and sound. 

  • Jacob Santos

    couldn’t someone just deny access to the phone in the same way they would deny a request to search a vehicle. You may be taken to jail if they feel there is cause for suspicion, but at least your sexting history is safe and sound. 

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