Give me my cell phone, or give me death

Bailey Ethier, Editor-in-Chief

Before you press send on that text to your mom asking what’s for dinner or send that selfie on Snapchat to your camp friend, ask yourself – would I want a police officer to see this?

The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether police officers need a warrant to search an arrested suspect’s cell phone. The Obama administration believes a warrant shouldn’t be required to search a cell phone because a cell phone is just like a notebook – which doesn’t need a warrant to be searched by a police officer.

I don’t know about you, but I text people with my English notebook and play 2048 with my math notebook all the time. Sometimes I even go on my AP Gov notebook to scroll through Twitter.

But who cares about rights? Supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un doesn’t give North Koreans rights, and he still got 100 percent of the vote. And in March, almost 97 percent of voters in Crimea chose to join Russia. Why wouldn’t Crimeans want to join a country that has banned “homosexual propaganda” and limits the freedom of the Russian press?

No one actually cares about their right to privacy. If people did, Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have gotten away with wiretapping the telegraph lines to monitor government officials and journalists.

Plus the Bill of Rights was written over 200 years ago, so does it even apply to modern day society? James Madison and friends didn’t have cell phones back in the 1700’s, so who am I to say that they wouldn’t be in favor of going against everything they believed in so a police officer could see who an arrested suspect’s Snapchat best friends are?

Our founding fathers wanted to make the United States the best damn nation in the world. So they made Americans in charge of our government, not politicians or a king. They gave us the right to say anything we want, whenever we want. And they made us innocent until we’re proven guilty. And because of actions like these, God blessed America.

George Washington didn’t kick some British butt so our government could take away our rights. I’m not sure when the last time President Obama has read the masterful piece of literature that our Bill of Rights is, but the Fourth Amendment protects “people … against unreasonable searches and seizures.” And handing over my iPhone, which contains the contents of my life – my text messages, my tweets and my Flappy Bird high score of 86 – is “unreasonable.”

John Hancock and 55 other patriots put their own lives in danger by signing the Declaration of Independence, and yet some Americans couldn’t tell you what their own rights are.

A court-approved search warrant is needed if a police officer wants to look at the contents of my computer. And it would be, frankly, stupid to not require one for my phone. Because isn’t a phone really just a mobile computer, not a notebook like the Obama administration actually suggested with a straight face?

If a police officer actually suspected that an arrested suspect’s phone contained valuable information, than it shouldn’t be hard for an officer to get a warrant. But there’s no need for a police officer to see anyone’s call history.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

In today’s age, the contents of one’s phone are an essential liberty.