Dan Goodin reports:
A federal judge has thrown out key evidence in a child pornography trial because the laptop alleged to contain more than 1,000 illegal images wasn’t searched until about five months after US customs officials seized it at a US border crossing.
The ruling by US District Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern District of California is a rebuke to the federal government’s controversial search and seizure practices at US borders. Two years ago, a federal appeals court ruled customs officers had the right to rummage through electronic devices even when there was no reason to suspect the hardware held illegal contents. Last week’s ruling suggests the government’s latitude isn’t without limit.