Laptops Are Not Searchable Like Handbags, Judge Tells Feds

Posted: May 13, 2015 in Tech


Federal agents do not have unlimited power to search laptops and other electronic devices without a warrant at the border, including airports, a federal judge in Washington said.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected prosecutors’ arguments that a laptop was like any other container that could be searched at the border without a warrant. The “border search doctrine” had limits when it came to electronic devices, Jackson wrote.

“Given the vast storage capacity of even the most basic laptops, and the capacity of computers to retain metadata and even deleted material, one cannot treat an electronic storage device like a handbag simply because you can put things in it and then carry it onto a plane,” Jackson said.

Jackson is the latest judge to confront warrantless searches of electronic devices since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Riley v. California. In Riley, the justices said police generally must get a warrant before searching a cellphone, acknowledging the vast amount of personal information those devices hold.

Full Story @ [govtslaves]


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