Border Agents Can't Search Your Phone Without Reason, Judge Rules
A federal judge today ruled that US border agents can't search travelers devices without "reasonable suspicion". Although they can still search devices without a warrant, they now need a specific reason to do so. Previous searches by CPB and ICE without reason violated the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, according to the new ruling by US District Judge Denise Casper in Boston. The ACLU and EFF filed the lawsuit in 2017 on behalf of 10 US citizens and one lawful resident whose devices were searched without a warrant. Over 30,000 devices were searched at the border in 2018, according to the ACLU.
Jun 22, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must generally obtain a search warrant in order to track people via cell phone towers.
Nov 29, 2017
The Supreme Court today heard a case regarding whether or not law enforcement can access certain types of cell location data without a warrant. Government agencies do not currently need a warrant when requesting location and other data held by phone companies thanks to a 1979 court case.
May 26, 2020
A federal judge in Seattle has ruled that the FBI violated a defendant's Fourth Amendment rights when it collected evidence by powering on the defendant's smartphone and photographing a notification displayed on the lock screen. The judge ruled that the FBI's actions amounted to a search, even though they made no attempt to unlock the phone.
May 23, 2019
A proposed bipartisan law in the Senate would require a warrant for border agents to search electronic devices such as phones, or demand access to online accounts such as social media. The law protects all digital content of devices, and requires a warrant for passwords, PINs, and biometric authentication such as a fingerprint or face.
Here comes the judge....