Can border agents legally copy all the data on your phone and laptop when you return home from a business trip?
In the past, the answer was, generally yes. In the future, the answer may be, generally, no.
The number of searches had been rising fast every year for several years.
A federal judge this week rejected the Trump Administration's policy that allowed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to search smartphones and laptops at airports and borders at their own discretion without the burden of reasonable suspicion.
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The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation supported the ruling. They both sued the federal government in 2017 (the case is: Alasaad v. McAleenan) on behalf of 11 people whose gadgets got searched while they were returning to the US.
In the past, the point of exit from or entry into the United States was treated as a Fourth Amendment "gray area," where it wasn't clear if the Constitution's prohibition on