A US appeals court has ruled that Customs and Border Protection agents can conduct in-depth searches of phones and laptops, overturning an earlier legal victory for civil liberties groups. First Circuit Judge Sandra Lynch declared that both basic and “advanced” searches, which include reviewing and copying data without a warrant, fall within “permissible constitutional grounds” at the American border. […]
Civil liberties advocates argue that modern phones and computers contain an unprecedented wealth of information, especially if agents can remotely retrieve emails or other material through the device. And Lynch suggested that Congress or the White House could establish clearer rules, which “may choose to grant greater protection than required by the Constitution.” However, today’s ruling reverses a decision that was previously considered a landmark victory.
Bullshit. What a disastrous ruling by the judge. According to the US Government, if an American citizen decides to vacation outside the US, their entire digital life is subject to warrantless search. Bookmarks, texts, health data, contact lists, private photos, the Discord servers you’re part of, your YouTube viewing history, a lifetime of email. Can you imagine if the government had argued in the 80’s that citizens returning from overseas had to allow their homes to be searched, documents copied, and personal belongings photographed? It would probably be less invasive now days for most people to actually have their homes searched. I would love to see some of these younger, tech-savvy people in Congress start reviewing these border laws and update them for the digital age.