Virginia Lawmakers Eye Laws to Govern Cell Phone Searches

Both Del. Peter Farrell, a Republican, and Del. Betsy Carr, a Democrat, have filed bills, HB 1274 and HB 1349, to prohibit authorities from searching all electronic devices—cell phones, laptops or tablets—without a warrant. These bills are part of a bigger privacy push that resulted from the creation of the Ben Franklin Privacy Caucus this year. The bipartisan caucus, led by Democratic Sen. Chap Petersen and Republican Del. Richard Anderson, is looking for ways to reform everything from the use of drones to automatic license plate readers by police.