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Court: Border search of laptops without cause permissible by law

EFF IN THE NEWS
April 25, 2008

In a decision that could anger some privacy advocates, a US appeals court said that border and airport security agents can search laptops without cause.

Surprisingly, the unanimous 3-0 decision came from the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has otherwise been a target of criticism for its alleged liberal bias.

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed an amicus brief in support of Arnold's case, disagreed that laptop searches were any different from other common border searches.

"Fourth Amendment law constrains police from conducting arbitrary searches, implements respect for social privacy norms, and seeks to maintain traditional privacy rights in the face of technological changes," EFF civil liberties director Jennifer Granic said. "This Arnold opinion fails to protect travelers in these traditional Fourth Amendment ways."

Thursday, April 24, 2008
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