Commentary

US government sued over ‘suspicionless’ device searches by customs officials | Law | The Guardian

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Escalating concerns about US customs officials demanding access to travelers’ cellphones, tablets and laptops have prompted a leading free speech watchdog to take the government to court, to disclose its rules for digital privacy at the border.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a freedom of information lawsuit on Monday, seeking to obtain the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rules for “suspicionless” searches of mobile devices from US citizens and non-citizens alike.

The lawsuit seeks internal DHS directives for compelling travelers to surrender their devices; data establishing the frequency with which Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) officials conduct them; procedures for what CBP and Ice do with the information stored on those devices, particularly when the devices belong to first amendment-protected professionals such as journalists; and any privacy or anti-discrimination assessment DHS has performed to audit its policies.

Source: US government sued over ‘suspicionless’ device searches by customs officials | Law | The Guardian

Categories: Commentary, privacy

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