(Federal Appeals) Court Limits Border Searches of Electronic Devices
Source: Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Border Patrol agents must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before conducting comprehensive searches of laptops or other digital devices in what civil liberties activists are calling a significant victory for privacy rights.
The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals creates for the first time a broad standard aimed at protecting travelers' most private information from arbitrary searches.
"A person's digital life ought not be hijacked simply by crossing a border," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the appeals court majority.
The ruling only applies to Border Patrol agents operating within the 9th Circuit, which includes the U.S.-Mexico border along Arizona and California.