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American Civil Liberties Union Files Amicus Brief Over Border Device Search

© AFP 2021 / PAUL J. RICHARDSAn international air traveler clears US Customs and Border Protection declarations to enter the United States
An international air traveler clears US Customs and Border Protection declarations to enter the United States - Sputnik International
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ACLU has filed an amicus brief with the US Court of Appeals for the Forth Circuit arguing that the US government should obtain a warrant to search electronic devices at the borders.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed an amicus brief with the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Monday, arguing that the US government should obtain a warrant to search electronic devices at the borders.

"This Court should hold that because searches of electronic devices seized at the border infringe deeply on privacy interests, such searches should only be permitted pursuant to a warrant or, at a minimum, probable cause," the filing stated.

The ACLU contended that border searches have spiked recently, raising serious constitutional concern. However, the Department of Homeland Security policy, that has been reaffirmed last year, states that government agents are allowed to "read and analyze information on electronic devices" without a special authorization.

The plaintiff stressed that when a traveler’s electronic device is inspected at an airport, the intrusion can be severe because any computer contains a vast amount of personal of information.

The court must also determine under which level of suspicion, US federal agents can examine computers and cell phones of travelers, the filing added.

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