February 23, 2010
LOS ANGELES – In the last year and a half, civil liberties groups and business travel leaders have complained about U.S. Border Patrol agentsâ€™ broad authority to search and seize laptops and other electronic gadgets carried by international travellers. But new information details the extent to which this has happened.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Debate over the searches picked up steam in July 2008 when federal officials issued a policy directive that makes clear that agents at airports and borders can look into your electronic devices without first establishing suspicion of wrongdoing.
In a recent nine-month period, U.S. Customs and Border Protection searched and seized 1,644 devices from travelers entering and leaving the country, according to data the American Civil Liberties Union obtained through a lawsuit.
The most common target: cellphones.