Homeland Security Continues To Expand Border Searches: Now Can Copy Your Paper-Based Documents
from the probable-cause-is-so-last-millennium dept
We've been covering the stories of how the Department of Homeland Security has a policy in place that lets it search and copy the contents of your laptop as you cross the border without any probable cause. DHS's reasoning for why it needs this power are not particularly convincing -- focusing mainly on scare mongering rather than rational argument. Now, the EFF has discovered, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, that it's not just computer data that DHS wants to copy. Last year, it quietly changed its policies to allow customs and border guards to read and copy any personal papers the traveler has, even without "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause." Compared to searching through and copying your hard drive, this may seem like a minor deal, but it's yet another example of DHS expanding its authority in ways that are very likely to be abused.