ACLU Sues US Over Border Laptop Searches

Ryan Whitwam

The ACLU, along with other groups, has filed a lawsuit challenging the authority of customs officials to search electronic devices at US borders. The practice of searching these items comes from a 2008 policy change that allows border agents to search a traveler's electronic devices without reason. The lawsuit seeks to have the practice ended, unless a warrant is obtained, or if there is probable cause.

Since the policy was established, some travelers have had their hard drives copied by border agents, and still others have seen their devices confiscated entirely. The ACLU has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act that show 6600 travelers have had their electronic devices searched by border agents between October 2008 and June 2010.

Let us know where you stand on this. Under what circumstances should searches be allowed? What would you do if a border guard wanted to search your computer? What about your cell phone?

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