Bill introduced on warrantless GPS tracking. SupCourt expand no warrant search of devices. Security guide to customs-proofing your laptop | Politics and Law. If you travel across national borders, it's time to customs-proof your laptop. Customs officials have been stepping up electronic searches of laptops at the border, where travelers enjoy little privacy and have no legal grounds to object. Laptops and other electronic devices can be seized without reason, their contents copied, and the hardware returned hours or even weeks later. Executives have been told that they must hand over their laptop to be analyzed by border police--or be barred from boarding their flight. A report from a U.S. These procedures are entirely legal, according to court precedents so far.
The information security implications are worrisome. Fortunately, you have some technological defenses against overly snoopy border agents. Let's assume you've already backed up your files before traveling in case your laptop gets seized for an indefinite period of time. To guard against that, you can set aside a section of your computer's hard drive to be encrypted. There's more.
Warantless cellphone search in CA. US DHS revises border laptop search rules. IDG News Service - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released new rules for border agents searching travelers' laptops and other electronic devices, but the revised guidelines won't quiet complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The new guidelines, unveiled Thursday, continue to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to search electronic devices during border crossings without suspicion of wrongdoing. Both CBP and ICE are part of DHS. The new rules were announced by DHS a day after the ACLU filed a lawsuit in an effort to get more information about border laptop searches. The new guidelines are intended to provide more "transparency and accountability" for the laptop searches, said Matt Chandler, DHS spokesman. The guidelines require CBP to complete a search of an electronic device within five days and ICE to complete a search within 30 days.
The ACLU does not oppose border searches, she added. Groups Sue Over Suspicionless Laptop Search Policy At The Border. September 7, 2010 (Updated 9/7/2010) ACLU Says Government Must Have Reasonable Suspicion Before Looking Through Contents Of Travelers' Electronic Devices FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) today filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) policy permitting border agents to search, copy and detain travelers' electronic devices at the border without reasonable suspicion.
DHS asserts the right to look though the contents of a traveler's electronic devices – including laptops, cameras and cell phones – and to keep the devices or copy the contents in order to continue searching them once the traveler has been allowed to enter the U.S., regardless of whether the traveler is suspected of any wrongdoing. The Privacy of Your Laptop at International Borders. The blogosphere has been bubbling over the past few weeks over the subject of laptop searches and seizures at international borders. The source of the buzz? A couple of recent court cases. First, The Ninth Circuit recently held in United States v. Arnold that the Fourth Amendment does not require government agents to have reasonable suspicion before searching laptops or other digital devices at the border, including international airports.
The privacy and free speech implications of this decision are very significant because many of us store a wide range of private information on our laptops. US Customs agents now have free reign to search through all the photos of your personal life, emails to your friends and family, all the e-books you have purchased, and your entire music library. If you have confidential work information about clients, patients, breaking news stories, or business deals, US Customs may attempt to view those materials.
The first solution is very problematic. How to Secure Your Laptop Before Crossing the Border. By Luigi Benetton Here’s what you need to know about data searches at he United States border, and how you can protect sensitive data. August 2009 Update: The U.S. announces revised and sweeping guidelines on border searches of electronic devices: “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released directives regarding its data search policy on August 27, 2009, which detail what constitutes a lawful search and the process governing devices that are reviewed and/or detained at the border.
Solicitor-client material stored on a laptop will not necessarily be exempt from data searches under the guidelines, but it might invoke new procedures that apply to sensitive documents.” View article Do you regularly travel to the U.S. on business? For many travelers, CBP reassurances that confidential data is handled carefully ring hollow. This article suggests 10 steps you can take to shield sensitive information, like that protected by solicitor-client privilege, when crossing the border. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Grad Student Challenges Border Laptop Searches - Hit & Run. One of the great thrills of international travel is that frisson of Cold War nostalgia we feel upon return, as we line up for readmittance to our own country, just feet from the welcoming embrace of Bill of Rights protections that end, by mandate of a clause located somewhere in the Constitution, at a fifteen-foot distance from anybody wearing a Customs and Border Protection Uniform. But as Checkpoint-Charlie thrilling as even routine border crossings are, they can get a bit tired and, even, over-the-top. It was one such excessively enthusiastic search that led McGill University graduate student Pascal Abidor to challenge the U.S. government's policy of poking through electronic devices at will after he was detained while agents pawed through his laptop.
Abidor was travelling on an Amtrak train from Montreal to New York on May 1, 2010, to visit his parents after the end of the winter semester at McGill. The ACLU, of course begs to differ. Seven weeks? ACLU Sues Over Laptop Border Searches | Threat Level. An Obama administration policy allowing U.S. border officials to seize and search laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices for any reason was challenged as unconstitutional in federal court Tuesday. Citing the government’s own figures , the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers claim about 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border since October 2008. In one instance, according to the lawsuit filed in New York, a computer laptop was seized from a New York man at the Canadian border and not returned for 11 days. The lawsuit seeks no monetary damages, but asks the court to order an end to the searches.
“All we want is that the government has to have some shred of evidence they can point to that may turn up some evidence of wrongdoing,” says ACLU attorney Catherine Crump. The government maintains it needs the carte blanche authority to search electronics at the border to keep the United States safe . Forcing Defendant to Decrypt Hard Drives Is Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Rules | Threat Level. Forcing a criminal suspect to decrypt hard drives so their contents can be used by prosecutors is a breach of the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. It was the nation’s first appellate court to issue such a finding.
And the outcome comes a day after a different federal appeals court refused to entertain an appeal from another defendant ordered by a lower federal court to decrypt a hard drive by month’s end. Thursday’s decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that an encrypted hard drive is akin to a combination to a safe, and is off limits, because compelling the unlocking of either of them is the equivalent of forcing testimony. The case at hand concerns an unidentified “Doe” defendant believed to be in possession of child pornography on 5 terabytes of data on several drives and laptops seized in a California motel with valid court warrants.
The Atlanta-based circuit held: U.S.
Israel Demanding Passwords at the Border. Protecting Your Privacy at International Borders. Cotterman v. U.S.: Live-Blogging the Border Search Doctrine Appeal - Civil Rights Law - U.S. Ninth Circuit. Update 10: (June 19, 3:20 p.m.) Should the Government be able to look for any evidence of crime in a CBP search? Corbin says the customs agents should be able to look for any kind of contraband which is not admissible into the country, which could potentially include intellectual property contraband. What is required to lawfully conduct an extended border search? Corbin says reasonable suspicion is necessary for an extended border search, but the facts of this case do not match those of an extended border search. Corbin said that this case is distinguished because Howard Cotterman had cleared customs, but his laptops had not. And that’s it for the arguments. Update 9: (June 19, 3:10 p.m.) Now we're back to A.U.S.A. Update 8: (June 19, 3:05 p.m.)
Handman also argues that the Fourth Amendment has to be elastic to recognize new technology; Justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor made similar arguments in their U.S. v. Update 7: (June 19, 2:55 p.m.) Now Christopher T. Related Resources: Answers Your Questions About Border Searches. Protecting Your Privacy at International Borders. This WEEK in LAW 128.