Does General Consent Include Consent to Search the Memory of Electronic Devices ?
In United States v. Snow, 44 F.3d 133 (2d Cir. 1995), the court, interpreting Jimeno, found that defendant's lack of knowledge of what the officer is searching for does not change the effect of a "general consent."
The court concluded that it is self-evident that a police officer seeking general permission to search is looking for evidence of illegal activity. Snow, 44 F.3d at 135.
It further noted that if the consent to search is entirely open-ended, a reasonable person would have no cause to believe that the search will be limited in some way. Snow, 44 F.3d at 135.
In United States v. Reyes, 922 F. Supp. 818 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), the court adopted the reasoning in Snow and declined to suppress the phone numbers linking the defendants to the crime which were obtained from the search of a pager and cellular telephone.
The court concluded that the general consent must be taken to include consent to search the memory of the electronic devices. Reyes, 922 F. Supp. at 834.