In the digital age, cell phones have become an integral part of our lives, storing a large amount of personal and confidential information. However, when it comes to criminal investigations, these devices can be an invaluable source of evidence for law enforcement.emptying a mobile phone” Have you heard this term? Here we explain what we are talking about.

What is mobile phone battery drain?

The process of accessing and viewing the contents of a phone as part of an investigation is commonly known as “mobile phone stripping.” That means comprehensive data extraction and analysis stored on the device to collect relevant evidence, such as communication logs, during an ongoing criminal investigation.

This process may include viewing text messages, emails, call logs, photos, videos, files stored on the device, and other digital information.


The process of wiping a cell phone is usually done with the help of experts in the field of digital forensics, also known as “computer forensics” These specialists work with law enforcement to extract and analyze electronic data, ensuring that evidence is legal and admissible in court.

Legal and ethical aspects of emptying a mobile phone

At least in the case of Chile, as legal publication En Estrado explains, the devastation of cell phones This is not equivalent to wiretapping.which is governed by Articles 222 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure and applies only in cases of serious crimes.

The information stored on the phone is analyzed to obtain communication registration data without directly intercepting it. This includes “voice calls, SMS, MMS, WAP, GPRS, radio or PTT services (click to talk), WhatsApp, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and others like that,” says En Estrado.

While cell phone wiping can be a powerful tool for law enforcement in the fight against crime, it also raises important legal and ethical issues, such as the need to obtain judicial authorization. This situation is complicated by the lack of specific rules regulating this process in the current legislation.

On the one hand, some argue that emptying a mobile phone does not require a court order, based on Article 187 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which empowers the police conduct a search of the seized device without the need for additional authorization. Moreover, when a cell phone is found at the scene and the defendant does not claim ownership of it, this is considered another compelling argument in favor of continuing the search.

A man uses a mobile phone in the dark.

However, the opposing view states that this procedure requires judicial authorization. It is argued that registration of mobile phones may violate constitutional guarantees such as right to privacy and the sanctity of the home as enshrined in the Constitution.

In addition, Article 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure establishes that the permission of the guaranteeing judge is necessary if an action in the proceedings affects the rights of the accused or a third party, even if the mobile phone belongs to another person who is not being investigated.

Therefore, mobile phone scraping is a valuable tool for collecting evidence in criminal investigations. However, its use must be subject to strict legal and ethical standards to protect individual rights and privacy. It is extremely important to find balance between law enforcement and civil rights protection when using this digital forensic method, since the decision on this matter can significantly affect the development and outcome of the case.

Source: Digital Trends

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