Senators Not Thrilled About Laptop Searches At The Border

from the back-off,-customs dept

It would appear that the EFF's efforts to get Congress to look into laptop searches at the border has worked. This is over the question of whether or not it's legal, with no suspicion of wrongdoing, for customs officials to take your laptop and search through the contents. Even if the courts have said it's legal, it still seems quite troubling to many people who believe it's an unreasonable search. Some Senators have now asked Customs to reconsider its stance on this, with Senator Russ Feingold noting:
"If you asked [U.S. residents] whether the government has a right to open their laptops, read their documents and e-mails, look at their photographs, and examine the Web sites they have visited, all without any suspicion of wrongdoing, I think those same Americans would say that the government has absolutely no right to do that. And if you asked him whether that actually happens, they would say, 'not in the United States of America.'"
Somehow, I doubt that these hearings will lead to much, but at least someone in DC is concerned about this issue.

Filed Under: border searches, customs, eff, laptops, senate


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  1. identicon
    s, 26 Jun 2008 @ 6:08am

    Re: reasonable vs legal

    I call bullshit. All dealings are covered under some laws, and even customs agents need to follow rules and regulations. In point of fact, the DoJ/ Dept of Treasury/ Homeland Security issues directives for customs, and that falls squarely under US Gov't. So, if you don't like how our customs agents are treating its citizens, you have the same recourse to complain as any other.

    The implied shielding for customs is equally up for challenge. I don't forfeit my rights as a US citizen when dealing with the US government, no matter where I stand in the universe. I'm 100% certain that the ACLU would defend that stance and win, assuming they don't stick me in a hole first.

    -S

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