10 Aug U.S. Privacy Group Appeals for Border Search Warrants on Digital Devices
Last Wednesday, privacy advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals to require search warrants at U.S. borders and international airports before seizing devices like cellphones, laptops, and tablets for federal investigation.
The appeal was filed in a case involving a defendant whose mobile phone was searched while at a border. Data from the device was used as evidence to indict the defendant with attempted drug trafficking.
EFF urges the court to only permit searches for devices when border agents have issued warrants from judges. Currently, searching devices are permitted under a customs exemption in the Fourth Amendment.
According to EFF staff attorney Sophia Cope, the government should admit that prying into digital devices is gravely invasive, and the Fourth Amendment should employ stronger privacy protections.
In summary, EFF asserts that items in a luggage should not be treated the same way as private information in digital devices.