Privacy Law

No Suspicion? No Problem: Feds Can Still Take Laptops at Borders, Read Contents


Confirming what some had previously feared, federal agencies say they can confiscate travelers’ laptops at U.S. borders for virtually any reason, and read and share with others the contents of documents the personal computers contain.

These policies of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are “truly alarming,” says Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis. He is planning to introduce legislation requiring reasonable suspicion for border searches, and prohibiting racial and religious profiling, reports the Washington Post in a page one article today.

The policies say reasonable measures must be taken to protect business and attorney-client privileged materials, the article reports. However, there does not appear to be any restriction against searching lawyers’ laptops.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Want the Gov’t to Read Legal Docs? Travel Abroad With a Laptop”

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