Friday, June 11

Judge limits DHS laptop border searches | Politics and Law - CNET News

"A federal judge has ruled that border agents cannot seize a traveler's laptop, keep it locked up for months, and examine it for contraband files without a warrant half a year later."

Half a year? You think?
But wait... there's more.

"U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in the Northern District of California rejected the Obama administration's argument that no warrant was necessary to look through the electronic files of an American citizen who was returning home from a trip to South Korea."

"The Justice Department invoked a novel argument--which White dubbed "unpersuasive"--claiming that while Hanson was able to enter the country, his laptop remained in a kind of legal limbo where the Bill of Rights did not apply. (The Fourth Amendment generally requires a warrant for searches.)" (empahsis mine) "Until merchandise has cleared customs, it may not enter the United States," assistant U.S. attorney Owen Martikan argued. "The laptop never cleared customs and was maintained in government custody until it was searched...""

Someone at DoJ could do with a reread of the plain language of the 4th Amendment.

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