Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Major 4th Amendment privacy win

Court rules that Customs cannot search phones and laptops at the border without probable cause:
The seizure and search of phones and laptops at the US border is unconstitutional, a judge said Tuesday in a landmark ruling. 
Massachusetts district court judge Denise Casper declared [PDF] that the practice breaks the Fourth Amendment on unreasonable search, and that border agents need to have a “reasonable suspicion” of illegal activity before they can search electronic devices. 
“The CBP [Customs and Border Protection] and ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] policies for ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’ searches, as presently defined, violate the Fourth Amendment to the extent that the policies do not require reasonable suspicion that the devices contain contraband for both such classes of non-cursory searches and/or seizure of electronic devices,” Casper declared.
It seems that the Government's primary argument was that they were searching for Child porn.  Ooooooh kaaaaaay.

It looks like the Government is going to appeal (thanks for working hand in hand with the Deep State, Trump!), but the SCOTUS has recently ruled on something very similar:
Most integral to her argument is another landmark decision (Riley) by the Supreme Court where it found, unanimously, that the warrantless search and seizure of digital contents of a mobile phone during an arrest is unconstitutional.
But our Public Servants are going to rope-a-dope this in Court as long as they can.

1 comment:

Eric Wilner said...

But... but... a smartphone could contain MUNITIONS!!!!
... For ITAR purposes, anyway. (See also: this T-shirt is a munition.)