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US Federal Judge Rules Suspicionless Border Searches of Laptops Constitutional 462

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the i've-got-an-inchoate-hunch dept.
AHuxley writes "The American Civil Liberties Union sought to challenge the U.S. legal 'border exemption' three years ago. Can your laptop be seized and searched without reasonable suspicion at the border? A 32 page decision provides new legal insight into legal thinking around suspicionless searches: your electronic devices are searchable and seizable for any reason at the U.S. border. The ACLU may appeal. Also note the Kool-Aid comment: 'The report said that a reasonable suspicion standard is inadvisable because it could lead to litigation and the forced divulgence of national security information, and would prevent border officers from acting on inchoate "hunches," a method that it says has sometimes proved fruitful.'" It's even legal for them to copy the contents of your laptop for no reason at all, just in case they need to take a peek later. A bit of context from the ACLU: "The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Pascal Abidor, a dual French-American citizen who had his laptop searched and confiscated at the Canadian border ... Abidor was travelling from Montreal to New York on an Amtrak train in May 2010 when he had his laptop searched and confiscated by customs officers. Abidor, an Islamic Studies Ph.D. student at McGill University, was questioned, taken off the train in handcuffs, and held in a cell for several hours before being released without charge. When his laptop was returned 11 days later, there was evidence that many of his personal files had been searched, including photos and chats with his girlfriend."
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US Federal Judge Rules Suspicionless Border Searches of Laptops Constitutional

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  • Copyright (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @10:36AM (#45836651)

    Stick a copyright notice on your laptop.

    "The contents of this laptop are copyrighted. Licensed for use by owner only."

    Then sue them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @10:41AM (#45836697)

    Well, it certainly wasn't Albert Einstein. The quote first appeared in print in 1983 (in a book by Rita Mae Brown), when Albert Einstein had already been dead for 28 years.

    "Every quotation sounds better when it is attributed to someone genius" - Isaac Newton

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