Jim Garland and Katharine Goodloe of Covington & Burling write:
Two federal appellate courts are taking sharply different views on whether—and why—government agents must have some amount of suspicion to conduct forensic searches of electronic devices seized at the border.
The Fourth Circuit on May 9, 2018, held that government agents must have reasonable suspicion to conduct forensic searches of cell phones seized at the border. It said that decision was based on the Supreme Court’s recognition in Riley v. California that phones contain information with a “uniquely sensitive nature.” The Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit are the only two federal appellate courts to require reasonable suspicion for forensic border searches.
In contrast, the Eleventh Circuit on May 23, 2018, rejected that position—and held that no suspicion is required for forensic border searches of electronic devices.
Read more on Inside Privacy.