I think this recent court precedent really shows the importance of personal encryption. As in so many of these civil liberties cases, it’s hard to feel any sympathy for the person, as he’s an obvious drug dealer. But, since it’s possible for police to do a pat-down of anyone at a traffic stop, and if “anything in your pockets” is free game for them to search through… Most of us don’t do a lot of illegal things, but we almost all do embarassing things. As smartphones proliferate, many people are carrying the equivalent of a large filing cabinet of personal documents and photos and videos with them at all times. Although the police have the obligation to do their utmost within the law to uphold the law, it’s possible that you may want to think about what you keep in your smartphone that you might not want a random stranger to see. This goes double at border crossings or customs stations at airports – there is a solid precedent that customs agents can pretty much just take all your personal electronics and never give them back whenever you enter the USA. It seems messed up, because it is.