Bills Introduced To Protect Laptops At Border Searches

from the restoring-the-4th-amendment dept

As was widely expected following earlier statements from politicians such as Russ Feingold, legislation has now been introduced that would curb Homeland Security's ability to randomly search laptops at the border, instead, requiring them to have a "reasonable suspicion" of illegal activity before they can search or copy a hard drive. This would be a huge step forward in terms of reasonable levels of privacy at the border. While defenders of the random search program claim that it's necessary, they give little proof. You can tell because their arguments could equally be applied to searching a random person on the street as well, as they just give vague platitudes about protecting the country from harm. Yet our country has privacy rights and probable cause for a very good reason. It's nice to actually see some politicians standing up to make sure that Homeland Security live up to those ideals.

Filed Under: border, customs, homeland security, laptops, russ feingold, searches

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  1. identicon
    Dosquatch, 1 Oct 2008 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Its legal....get used to it!

    I understand the courts have upheld this. Courts can be wrong. People can disagree with the court's decisions. Discussion about these disagreements is how a free society arrives at more equitable laws and enforcement thereof.

    These border searches are an offense to the notions of freedom and liberty, and are directly counter to what is written in the Constitution. I feel Customs, as an agent of our government, is overstepping the bounds of decency and liberty. I am not alone in this feeling.

    Speaking out is how change begins. Chanting "It's legal get used to it!" is childish and unhelpful. If you feel this is good policy, defend it on its merits. That a court has upheld bad policy (my opinion) is not a merit as such.

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