snydeq writes "The EFF and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives have filed an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals requesting that the full court rehear and reverse a three-judge ruling (PDF) that empowers border agents routinely to search files on laptops and mobile devices. The case in question involves US citizen Michael Arnold, who, returning from the Philippines in July 2005, had his laptop confiscated at LAX by custom officials after they opened files in folders marked 'Kodak Pictures' and 'Kodak Memories' and found photos of two naked women. Later, when Arnold was detained, officials uncovered photo files on Arnold's laptop that they believed to be child pornography. In addition to raising Fourth Amendment issues, the amicus brief (PDF) reiterates the previous District Court ruling on Arnold's case regarding the difference between computers and gas tanks, suitcases, and other closed containers, 'because laptops routinely contain vast amounts of the most personal information about people's lives — not to mention privileged legal communications, reporters' notes from confidential sources, trade secrets, and other privileged information.'"
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