Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Searching for MMS
Two of my friends recently returned from a jaunt in the Rajasthani Desert where they had gone to attend a friends marriage. Now that in itself does not warrant a post, but something strange they told me does. These guys were catching a train to Jodhpur from Bandra Terminus, and while they were trying to get into the place - it is incredibly difficult getting to large train stations at Bombay, which has a phlethora of large train stations - they were stopped by cops. Fair enough, in this country we are rather used to in your face security and don't question violations of our rights - now even though I was surprised to find out that it was the Mumbai Police not the RPF doing the checking over here - are they allowed to? But the second thing was rather peculiar, they asked one of my friends to show them his phone - he has a fancy new Nokia 6681 (the other friend has an ancient piece which the cops were not interested in) and they started searching his phone for porn. Now, there was no porn on this guys phone, and obviously nothing happened, but when I found out about this I asked my friend if the cops can do this? To the best of my knowledge without a warrant attested by a judge, the police can't search my personal belongings - unless of course, I'm travelling by air or even by train. But beyond the cursory check that my cell phone isn't going to blow a hole in the side of an Express Train, can the police go through the contents of my phone without the express permission of a judge? I don't think so. Has anything like this happened to someone else?