Court curbs laptop searches at U.S. border [Slaps BIG Sis hard]
Wash Times ^ | Friday, March 8, 2013 | Stephen Dinan
Posted on Saturday, March 09, 2013 11:02:28 AM by upchuck
A federal appeals court on Friday said the Border Patrol cannot confiscate or download every laptop or electronic device brought into the U.S., ruling that people have an expectation their data are private and that the government must have “reasonable suspicion” before it starts to do any intensive snooping.
In a broad ruling, the court also said merely putting password protection on information is not enough to trigger the government’s “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a more intrusive search — but can be taken into account along with other factors.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges said it was a “watershed care” that gets at what kinds of limits the government must observe when it comes to technology and privacy…
“It is little comfort to assume that the government — for now — does not have the time or resources to seize and search the millions of devices that accompany the millions of travelers who cross our borders. It is the potential unfettered dragnet effect that is troublesome,” Judge McKeown wrote.
Writing in dissent, Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. said the ruling creates a morass for border inspections and amounts to “leaving our borders open to electronically savvy terrorists and criminals who may hereafter carry their equipment and data across our borders with little fear of detection.”
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com …