Jan 142014
 January 14, 2014  Posted by  Court, Laws, Surveillance

Jaikumar Vijayan reports:

In a boost for civil rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that requires U.S. border agents to have at least some cause for searching electronic devices belonging to travelers at the nation’s borders.

The court on Monday declined to review a 2013 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case involving Howard Cotterman, who was accused of possessing and transporting child pornography.

Read more on Computerworld. Over on Wired, David Kravets reports:

A convicted sex offender’s loss at the Supreme Court today was indirectly a boost to the privacy rights of travelers crossing the border to the United States.

Without issuing a ruling, the justices let stand an appeals court’s decision that U.S. border agents may indeed undertake a search of a traveler’s gadgets content on a whim, just like they could with a suitcase or a vehicle. That is known as the ”border search exception” of United States law, where travelers can be searched without a warrant as they enter the country. The Obama administration has aggressively used this power to search travelers’ laptops, sometimes copying the hard drive before returning the computer.

Read more on Wired.

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