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The Georgia AG Says that If You Don’t Have a Phone, You Are a Criminal!


CNS NewsIn a peculiar turn of events, Georgia’s Attorney General, Chris Carr, has ignited a storm of controversy by suggesting that not owning a smartphone or possessing a basic phone in the year 2024 could be indicative of criminal intent. This startling assertion emerged during a recent court hearing where Deputy Attorney General John Fowler argued that the mere possession of a basic cellphone could imply involvement in a criminal conspiracy under Georgia’s RICO statute.

The case in question involves Ayla King, a 19-year-old who is among 61 individuals indicted on RICO charges linked to protests against the construction of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. Fowler contended that a basic cellphone found in King’s possession should be considered evidence of wrongdoing, even though it contained no data.

He went further, suggesting that the absence of a cell phone altogether could also be construed as suspicious. This legal maneuver has drawn sharp criticism from civil liberty groups, who view it as a violation of constitutional rights, particularly the First and Fourth Amendments. They argue that such arguments by prosecutors and acceptance by the court set a dangerous precedent, undermining fundamental freedoms.

The ubiquity of smartphones has led to a resurgence in the use of basic phones, driven by concerns ranging from privacy to mental health. Basic phones, with their limited features and lack of data connectivity, are favored by individuals seeking to protect their identities from surveillance. Journalists, whistleblowers, and activists often rely on such devices to safeguard their communications from government scrutiny.

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The Attorney General’s position raises questions about the extent to which privacy rights may be infringed upon. Could the use of privacy-enhancing tools like VPNs or encrypted messaging apps also be deemed evidence of criminal intent? Such measures have become commonplace in today’s digital landscape, reflecting a desire for anonymous speech and protection against surveillance.

In light of these developments, there are growing concerns about the erosion of personal freedoms and the presumption of innocence. The state’s use of the absence of evidence as affirmative evidence sets a troubling precedent, potentially casting all individuals without smartphones as suspects. The outcome of the ongoing legal battle involving Ayla King may have far-reaching implications for digital privacy rights and the protection of free speech.

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