Boston, Massachusetts—On Thursday, July 18, at 3:00 p.m., lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU will ask a federal judge to decide that the constitutional rights of 11 travelers were violated by the suspicionless, warrantless searches of their electronic devices at the border by the U.S. government.

The plaintiffs are ten U.S. citizens and a lawful permanent resident who, like many Americans, regularly travel outside the country with their cellphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Federal officers searched their devices at U.S. ports of entry without a warrant or any individualized suspicion to believe that the devices contained contraband. Federal officers also confiscated the devices of four plaintiffs after they left the border, absent probable cause of criminal activity. The judge will decide whether a trial is needed or whether the evidence is so clear that the case can be decided now.

Evidence obtained in this lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, demonstrates the unconstitutionality of the challenged searches and confiscation of traveler’s devices at the border. It also demonstrates that the plaintiffs have standing to bring these claims. At Thursday’s oral argument, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Adam Schwartz will address the standing issues, and Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, will address the merits of the claims.

Oral argument on summary judgment motion in Alasaad v. McAleenan

Adam Schwartz, EFF Senior Staff Attorney
Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

Thursday, July 18, 3:00 p.m.

John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
Courtroom 11, 5th Floor
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300
Boston, Massachusetts 02210

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