U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Border agents want to search a traveler's laptop and phone? Get a warrant

Border agents want to search a traveler's laptop and phone? Get a warrant

American travelers returning to the United States probably understand that customs officials might search their luggage looking for contraband or weapons. But many would be shocked to learn that agents also have been inspecting the contents of smartphones and laptops, devices that can contain a vast quantity of potentially sensitive personal information. And in addition to poking their noses into personal texts, emails and photos, agents can use whatever they find in such a spontaneous search to bring charges against the device’s owner, even if the allegations had nothing to do with smuggling, terrorism or any border-related crime.

Last week 11 U.S. citizens or permanent residents...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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