An Israeli court has ruled that police need a warrant to search a suspect's mobile phone, bringing mobiles in line with home computers which also need a warrant to be searched.

In an investigation into an illegal gun smuggling operation, police submitted evidence from the suspect's mobile phone, Cellular News is reporting. During the court case, however, the defendant's lawyers argued it was inadmissible, saying the mobile was similar to a home computer and therefore protected.

Judge Hana Ben-Ami said: "There is a great deal of similarity, from the point of view of the rationale behind the special law governing computers, between the computer and the cell phone in terms of the information stored and the way they operate."

In the UK, the Home Office has the power to check the phone records of any mobile phone in the country and a phone itself can be seized without a warrant.

Earlier this month, France passed a law banning all but professional journalists from filming violent acts. The French government said the law was in part to curb the happy slapping craze.