California has just landed itself a landmark victory in the fight for better protections of people's rights, and given what it entails, all we can do is hope that the state becomes an example that all others will want to follow.
In the past, law enforcement hasn't had much of a stumbling block when it's come to demanding someone's digital information. In our ever-expanding mobile world, this problem has become notable; if you're pulled over, and an officer wants to see data on your phone, you haven't have a legal right to refuse it. This new law changes that.
With this law, law enforcement will be unable to obtain digital information from someone without a warrant. This is sure to dramatically decrease the number of needless data grab attempts, forcing law enforcement to pick and choose its targets more wisely.
Senator Mark Leno, from San Francisco, sums it up nicely, "For too long, California’s digital privacy laws have been stuck in the Dark Ages, leaving our personal emails, text messages, photos and smartphones increasingly vulnerable to warrantless searches."
While this is a major success, and one that's hopefully copied, we're still in the "Dark Ages" regarding other issues. The FBI has a beef with those who use encryption, for starters, and even believes that you deserve to be hacked should you try to protect yourself. Better still, the government and law enforcement is still up in arms with regards to our use of encryption, and some even want to go as far as implementing a universal mobile kill switch that the government could use should it feel the need to.
Something tells me that we'll be dealing with hassles like these for quite some time.