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Technology Federal judge rules suspicionless device searches at the border are illegal

01:50  13 november  2019
01:50  13 november  2019 Source:   engadget.com

Muslim American mayor says border agents confiscated his phone after he arrived at NY airport

Muslim American mayor says border agents confiscated his phone after he arrived at NY airport A Muslim American mayor of a New Jersey town says border patrol agents wrongfully detained him and kept his phone when he arrived at JFK International Airport last month.

A federal court handling a 2017 lawsuit has ruled that US policies allowing device searches without valid suspicion or warrants violate Fourth Amendment Judge Denise Casper noted that an exemption for searches at the border was "not limitless," and still needed to strike a balance between privacy

A judge , citing Fourth Amendment rights, has now ruled that government has to be more careful about protecting its interests at the legal gray area that is the US border . Government officials argued in court that suspicionless searches have little potential to harm law-abiding individuals, but Casper

Civil liberties advocates just scored an important victory in a bid to prevent arbitrary device searches at the US border. A federal court handling a 2017 lawsuit has ruled that US policies allowing device searches without valid suspicion or warrants violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Judge Denise Casper noted that an exemption for searches at the border was "not limitless," and still needed to strike a balance between privacy and government interests. That usually means focusing on contraband, she said.

a group of people sitting at a table

Casper also rejected the government's claim that suspicionless searches would cause minimal harm, noting that agents could both look at past searches and were more likely to search people if there had already been a search before.

Judge refuses to toss charges against Coast Guard lieutenant accused in domestic terror plot

  Judge refuses to toss charges against Coast Guard lieutenant accused in domestic terror plot A federal judge on Wednesday reportedly declined to drop any of the four charges against a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who has been accused of plotting domestic terrorism. Attorneys representing Lt. Christopher Hasson had asked Judge George J. Hazel to drop two counts of unlawful possession of firearm silencers against Hasson as well as a drug count against him, according to The Washington Post. They reportedly argued that the gun charges violate his Second Amendment rights.

A federal court in Boston has ruled that the government is not allowed to search travelers’ phones or other electronic devices at the U.S. border without first having reasonable suspicion of a crime. That’s a significant victory for civil liberties advocates, who say the government’s own rules allowing its

In the ruling , Casper notes that, unlike border searches of property and vehicles looking for Similarly, Casper is rejecting the idea that searching a phone at the border is no different from One of the few limitations against suspicionless searches is against those that would cause some type of

The ACLU and EFF filed the lawsuit on behalf of 11 travelers (all but one of which are US citizens) who accused border agents of searching their phones and laptops without probable cause or warrants. In some cases, officials were examining highly sensitive data, such as attorney-client communications, business dealings and the contents of a work phone from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

It's not certain how Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security will respond to the defeat in court. If this ruling holds, though, it'll force a dramatic change in border search policies. Agents searched roughly 33,000 devices in 2018, or four times as many as they did in 2015. The numbers could drop precipitously in the future if at least some of those searches are considered unconstitutional. This won't completely prevent abuse (officers might only need a thin pretext), but it could decrease the number of "just because" searches that do little more than compromise privacy.

TechCrunch, ACLU

FBI asks Apple to help unlock iPhones of suspected naval station shooter .
The FBI is once again asking Apple to help it access iPhones for the sake of an investigation. The bureau has sent a letter to Apple's general counsel requesting the company's help in unlocking the two iPhones of Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man believed responsible for killing three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola. FBI officials have requested help from other agencies and countries as well as "familiar contacts in the third-party vendor community," but are hoping Apple will make their lives easier. One of those contacts might be CelleBrite, which reportedly helped the FBI crack San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone 5c.

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