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US U.S. Judge Blocks ‘Suspicionless’ Searches of Phones at Borders

01:55  13 november  2019
01:55  13 november  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

Federal judge rules suspicionless device searches at the border are illegal

  Federal judge rules suspicionless device searches at the border are illegal 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 toCasper 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.

A federal judge rejected a Trump administration policy allowing agents at U . S . border crossings and airports to arbitrarily search the phones and laptops “By putting an end to the government’ s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place

The judge said that to the extent CBP and ICE (NYSE:ICE) policies allowed for such searches without cause, they violated the U . S . Constitution' s "By putting an end to the government’ s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that

(Bloomberg) -- A federal judge rejected a Trump administration policy allowing agents at U.S. border crossings and airports to arbitrarily search the phones and laptops of international travelers.

a train crossing a bridge over a body of water: Pedestrians stand in line to get identification checked while walking along the Puente Internacional Cordova de las Americas (Puente Libre) bridge towards El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Poverty and violence—and the pull of the world's richest economy—are driving people north. At the border, they're met by a new regime of tightened security and laws, imposed by Trump in tandem with his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO.© Bloomberg Pedestrians stand in line to get identification checked while walking along the Puente Internacional Cordova de las Americas (Puente Libre) bridge towards El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Poverty and violence—and the pull of the world's richest economy—are driving people north. At the border, they're met by a new regime of tightened security and laws, imposed by Trump in tandem with his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO.

The agents must demonstrate individualized suspicion that a traveler’s devices contain digital contraband before conducting searches that would tap troves of personal data such as photographs and social-media posts, U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper ruled Tuesday in Boston.

US border search of suspicionless travelers' devices is unconstitutional, court finds

  US border search of suspicionless travelers' devices is unconstitutional, court finds ICE and CBP will now need reasonable suspicion to search through phones and laptops at US borders.US border agents currently have free rein to search through your digital devices, conducting more than 33,000 device searches in 2018 and 30,200 searches in 2017. EFF filed a suit back in September 2017 alongside the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the Department of Homeland Security agencies Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on behalf of 11 people who had their phones and other devices searched without warrant at a US border.

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 The court said the government’ s policies on warrantless searches of devices without reasonable suspicion “violate the Fourth Amendment,” which

Border agents will need cause or warrants to look at phones and laptops. 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

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which sued on behalf of about a dozen people, called the ruling a major victory for privacy rights. Customs and Border Protection searched more than 33,000 devices last year, almost four times the amount from three years earlier, the groups said.

Warrantless searches of travelers’ belongings have long been a feature of U.S. borders and airports, where the government’s need to deter terrorism and illegal entry by criminals justified an exception to the U.S. Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure. The plaintiffs argued that exception became too powerful in the digital age.

Here's what searches spiked on Google in response to Democrats' debate

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“By putting an end to the government’ s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that The number of electronic device searches at U . S . ports of entry has increased significantly. Last year, CBP conducted more than 33,000 searches

Border agents then confiscated his iPhone and manually searched it. They subsequently arrested Kolsuz and conducted a second search of his The Supreme Court’ s pre-Riley case law, however, permits warrantless and suspicionless “routine” searches of items like luggage that travelers carry

“By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel,” Esha Bhandari, an attorney with the ACLU, said in a statement.

The press office for U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the ruling.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Steve Stroth

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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