Mississippi bill would outlaw warrantless cellphone searches

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Mississippi bill would prohibit police from searching cellphones or other devices in certain instances without a warrant.

Sponsored by Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello, the bill would clarify that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone or other electronic device contains evidence of a crime.

Supporters say the privacy safeguards are critical as technology advances and as cellphones have become much more than simple devices to make phone calls.

Safeguards need to be made against improper government intrusion while ensuring that law enforcement officials can use the technology when necessary to protect public safety, they say.

HB240 awaits consideration in the House Judiciary B Committee.

Two more bills of note cover commercial driver’s licensing.

The first bill, HB246, would authorize drivers with diabetes to be examined by a nurse practitioner who is board certified in advanced diabetes management.

Mississippi law now limits examinations to being done by a board-certified/eligible endocrinologist.

In addition to the endocrinologist or medical examiner, blood glucose logs could be submitted to a nurse practitioner. A copy of the nurse practitioner’s report could also be provided at the time of the annual medical exam.

One more bill, HB243, would allow people with visual impairment in one eye to obtain a CDL as long as they meet all other qualifications. Affected license holders would be limited to driving truck only within the state.

Visually impaired CDL holders would also be required to undergo an annual eye examination.

The truck driver bills have been routed to the House Transportation and Public Health and Human Services committees.

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