Warrants Now Required to Search Online Data in California

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that went into effect on Thursday that will require California law enforcement agencies obtain a warrant prior to searching an individual's online data. This includes cell phone pictures, text messages, and emails. 

California joins a handful of other states in disallowing warrantless searches of online data. Virginia, Utah, and several other states already require warrants prior to searching private digital information.

Tech companies including Google and Twitter were supporters of the bill and many law enforcement agencies remained ambivalent to the law as it worked its way through the California legislature.