Monday, January 25th, 2021

NY State to Allow Cops to Snatch Your Phone After Being Stopped & Search it Using a “Textalyzer”

Published on May 23, 2016 by   ·   1 Comment

As government continues to expand, finding ever more ways to feed itself through taxation, it seeks to justify this burgeoning existence. Enter the Nanny State.

New York is a leader in developing laws and regulations to protect us from ourselves, perhaps most famously with the Big Apple’s attempt to ban-large size sugary drinks. The Empire State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, which fuels a black market, and it places heavy restrictions on other “sins.”

No one doubts that cigarettes and an excess of sugary drinks are bad for the health, but it is not the state’s responsibility to manage this behavior. The issue becomes trickier when bad behavior puts other people’s lives in danger.

New York was the first state to place restrictions on cell phone use while driving, which has prompted 46 other states to ban texting while driving over the last seven years. The issue of driving while distracted—especially texting—has undoubtedly become a huge problem.

Unfortunately things are not getting better, as road fatalities are up sharply after years of decline. While the impact of texting while driving is debated, the fact remains that personal responsibility—through good parenting, awareness campaigns and common sense—is the surest way to address the problem.

New York legislators are seeking to expand the state’s involvement in the issue, and this time with dire consequences for privacy rights. The proposed bill would allow cops to take a person’s cell phone and connect it to a machine called the Textalyzer.

“It would work like this: An officer arriving at the scene of a crash could ask for the phones of any drivers involved and use the Textalyzer to tap into the operating system to check for recent activity.

The technology could determine whether a driver had used the phone to text, email or do anything else that is forbidden under New York’s hands-free driving laws, which prohibit drivers from holding phones to their ear. Failure to hand over a phone could lead to the suspension of a driver’s license, similar to the consequences for refusing a Breathalyzer.”

The legal theory of “implied consent” that is used for the Breathalyzer—where drivers consent in advance when obtaining a license—would also be employed here. Instead of insisting that a person breathe into a tube, cops would be able to snatch your cell phone and analyze its data.

Proponents of the bill are quick to say that the Textalyzer would not allow police to look at emails or texts. One sponsor of the bill, Felix Ortiz, expressed his enthusiasm at the heavy-handed tactic.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Bring Dunkin Donuts– toss the donut holes– they’ll scramble for them.

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