US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
Travelers beware: U.S. agents now have the authority to seize and retain laptops indefinitely, according to a new policy detailed in documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The DHS document, issued July 16, appears to state publicly a policy that has already existed. Laptops and electronic devices have been subject to search in the past, and travelers have reported not getting their devices back. The policy has drawn strong criticism from lawmakers and nonprofit groups, who charged that the searches were invasive and a violation of an individual's privacy rights. Computers contain a vast amount of private information about family, finances and health, which could be easily copied and stored in government databases, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has complained.