Wednesday, June 25 2014, 12:03 PM EDT
Two Major Supreme Court Rulings Involving Cellphones
The U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings Wednesday involving cellphones - one about police surveillance, and the other about a company that lets viewers watch their favorite TV shows on them.
A unanimous Supreme Court says police may not generally search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.
The justices say cellphones are powerful devices unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest.
Chief Justice John Roberts says that because the phones contain so much information, police must get a warrant before looking through them.
The Supreme Court also ruled that a startup Internet company has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices.
The justices said Wednesday by a 6-3 vote that Aereo Inc. is violating the broadcasters' copyrights by taking the signals for free. The ruling preserves the ability of the television networks to collect huge fees from cable and satellite systems that transmit their programming.
Aereo is available in New York, Boston and Atlanta among 11 metropolitan areas and uses thousands of dime-size antennas to capture television signals and transmit them to subscribers who pay as little as $8 a month for the service.