CEI Daily - Cellphone Privacy, Obama's Regulatory Reform, and Electric Cars


Cellphone Privacy


California's Supreme Court held in People v. Diaz that police may lawfully search the smartphone of a person under arrest without first obtaining a search warrant.


Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia encourages people to encrypt their phones to avoid warrantless searches.


"If you care about your privacy, password-protecting your smartphone should be a no-brainer. Better yet, you should ensure your smartphone supports a secure implementation of full-disk encryption. With this method of encryption, all user information is encrypted while the phone is at rest. While it isn't absolutely foolproof, full-disk encryption is the most reliable and practical method for safeguarding your smartphone data from the prying eyes of law enforcement officers (and from wrongdoers, like the guy who walks off with your phone after you accidentally leave it in a bar.)"




Obama's Regulatory Reform


In his op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal, President Obama has announced he is signing an executive order to ensure that "regulations protect our safety, health, and environment while promoting economic growth."


Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews questions the sincerity and effectiveness of the order.


"This executive order is hardly a war on red tape, and no affected businesses or consumers are going to be able to sue anybody to force compliance -- it's just an 'order' to agencies to behave. And, as my colleague Gregory Conko points out, , it should be noted that there is already an Executive Order in effect that does what President Obama says this one will do.  Both balancing safety against economic growth and requiring a review of existing rules are features of President Clinton's EO 12866, which Obama reaffirmed when repealing Bush's EOs 13258 and 13422. One big question is: what will this new one do that's different?"


Electric Cars


D.C.'s first private electric car charging station was recently installed.


Warren Brookes Fellow Kathryn Ciano argues that while it's good that there's now a private alternative to public charging stations, the private station reveals the truth about the future of electric cars.


"[Y]ou have to admit: It’s a little silly that these cars are supposedly designed to herald a brighter future, and targeted only to the kind of yuppie weekend warriors that would pay to charge their cars in private."