Just Security: We Need to Know More About Government Searches of Traveler’s Electronic Devices by Carrie DeCell:
Relying on directives from the George W. Bush administration, U.S. border patrol and immigration officers have been subjecting travelers crossing U.S. borders to intrusive searches of their cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices at significantly increased rates over the past year.
Those directives (here and here) authorize U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to search and detain travelers’ electronic devices without suspicion that the individual’s devices contain evidence of any wrongdoing. In other words, border officers may compel travelers to hand over their digital lifelines for any reason whatsoever or for no reason at all.
On Wednesday, the ACLU and Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) filed an important new lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of those searches under the First and Fourth Amendment. …