Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Random Laptop Searchs at the Border Unconstitutional

Ryan Singel writes on 27 B Stroke 6:

Customs agents must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed to search the laptops or other digital devices of citizens entering the United States, according to a Los Angeles District Court.

While there's a broad border exception to Fourth Amendment, customs agents must have, at the least, articulable and reasonable suspicion that a laptop may have evidence of a crime before searching it, Judge Dean Pregeson ruled. The ruling came in a case where customs agents searched the laptop of Michael Arnold who was returning from the Philippines and subsequently found images they believed to be child pornography. The evidence from the search is now excluded from his trial for possession of child pornography.

More here.


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