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Court Puts Limits on Digital Search at Border

TRAVELERS’ PRIVACY—U.S.

March 19, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has voted to put limits on electronic searches at the border, ruling that customs agents must suspect criminal activity in order to conduct a "forensic examination" of a laptop hard drive, reports The Huffington Post. While manually browsing desktop files is still permitted, the court voted 8-3 that techniques such as copying data, password cracking and recovering deleted files are in violation of the Fourth Amendment, stating a "person's digital life ought not be hijacked simply by crossing a border." The minority dissenters said the decision amounts to an unworkable rule that could jeopardize border security, the report states.
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