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Court Rules CBP Agents Can Search Your Phone Without a Warrant

Article Comments  2  

Feb 11, 2021, 11:23 AM   by Rich Brome

A US appeals court has issued a new ruling declaring that Customs and Border Protection agents can conduct both basic and "advanced" searches of electronic devices at US borders without needing a warrant nor reasonable suspicion. The new ruling overturns a district court decision from January 2020 that ruled such searches unconstitutional. In the new ruling, First Circuit Judge Sandra Lynch says "Electronic device searches do not fit neatly into other categories of property searches, but the bottom line is that basic border searches of electronic devices do not involve an intrusive search of a person". Although the the rules for border searches are intended for persons entering at border crossings, they technically apply to all CPB agents working within 100 miles of any US border, which includes many major US cities. The ACLU, which backed the lawsuit in question, issued a statement: "We are disappointed with the ruling and evaluating all options to ensure we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel."

The Verge »



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Feb 18, 2021, 2:37 PM

@ the doorstep of the Supreme Court in 3, 2, 1. . .

Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Amendment whole lot broader than 'person' as described in the article and with a 'conservative' Supreme Court with at least one who reads the Constitution narrowly but literally, It seems ripe for the appeals court to be overturned

Feb 11, 2021, 6:01 PM


Which is why I fully wipe my device when leaving and entering the USA. Google backs it up any way and that access is password blocked, so even if they did want to look, the information of the password in my head isnt going to be given up. Aside from that, the device is wiped so there isnt a way to log in unless Ive already done so.
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