Boston court makes historic ruling about digital privacy at US borders

Federal judge rules that ‘suspicionless electronic device searches’ at US ports of entry violate the fourth amendment

It remains to be seen what the ruling by US district court judge Denise Casper  will mean in reality

It remains to be seen what the ruling by US district court judge Denise Casper will mean in reality

 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation says an historic opinion on digital privacy at US borders has been issued. Last week a federal judge ruled that “suspicionless electronic device searches” at US ports of entry violate the fourth amendment.

This ruling follows from the Electric Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union’s case Alasaad v. McAleenan, where they represented 11 individuals against the department of homeland security, US customs and border protection, and US immigration and customs enforcement.

US district court judge Denise Casper in Boston issued this ruling along with an advisement that border agents must provide proof of reasonable suspicion before seizing or searching the electronic device of an individual at such borders. What this ruling will mean in reality remains to be seen.

The Electric Frontier Foundation says currently forensic or “advanced” device searches can be carried out by policies that “require either a vague concern about national security, or reasonable suspicion that the device contains evidence of broadly defined wrongdoing” while permitting border agents “to access any and all data resident on a device”.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/11/federal-judge-issues-historic-opinion-digital-privacy-border