The decision was made as part of a case in which Joseph Sam in Washington state was arrested last year and was charged with charges of robbery and assault. While arrested, an officer allegedly pressed the power button on the phone and called up the lock screen.
In February, the FBI turned on Sam's phone to take a screenshot of the lock screen. His lawyer filed a motion saying evidence should not be collected without an order.
Judge John Coughenour of the US District Court in Seattle ruled in favor of that argument, saying that the FBI's actions went against Sam's Fourth Amendment right. He determined that turning on Sam's phone to take a screenshot of the lock screen qualifies as a "search" by modification. Because the FBI had no orders, he considered that action unconstitutional.
When it comes to the matter the police look at …