Today's lawsuit is not the first time the DHS has been pressed for more information on its policies relating to border laptop searches. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Asian Law Caucus had filed a similar FOIA lawsuit in February 2008, in which they had sought similar data from the CBP.
In response to that lawsuit, the CBP released about 600 pages worth of information on its policies relating to border laptop searches, said Marcia Hoffman, an attorney for EFF. (The documents are available on EFF's site.)
"It gave us some insight into their policies and procedures around border searches," Hoffman said. What the documents showed was that until fairly recently DHS had not thought about how policies covering other forms of searches applied to digital information, she said. Following the EFF and Asian Law Caucus lawsuit, the CBP also published a formal note describing its policy regarding border searches.