The Border Is a Back Door for U.S. Device Searches


From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 06:39:56 +0000 (UTC)


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/business/the-border-is-a-back-door-for-us-device-searches.html

By SUSAN STELLIN
The New York Times
September 9, 2013

Newly released documents reveal how the government uses border crossings to seize and examine travelers’ electronic devices instead of obtaining a search warrant to gain access to the data.


The documents detail what until now has been a largely secretive process that enables the government to create a travel alert for a person, who may not be a suspect in an investigation, then detain that individual at a border crossing and confiscate or copy any electronic devices that person is carrying.


To critics, the documents show how the government can avert Americans’ constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, but the confiscations have largely been allowed by courts as a tool to battle illegal activities like drug smuggling, child pornography and terrorism.


The documents were turned over to David House, a fund-raiser for the legal defense of Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, as part of a legal settlement with the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. House had sued the agency after his laptop, camera, thumb drive and cellphone were seized when he returned from a trip to Mexico in November 2010. The data from the devices was then examined over seven months.

[...]

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