Airport Laptop Searches by Immigration Agents Subject of ACLU FOIA Request
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the US Customs and Border Protection policy permitting CBP officers to search travelers’ laptops without suspicion of wrongdoing.
CBP, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, developed the policy in July 2008. The CBP policy allows inspectors to search the laptops, documents and other electronic devices of those entering the United States, including US citizens.
The ACLU is concerned that these suspicionless information searches violate the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and First Amendment freedoms of speech, inquiry and association.
“These highly intrusive government searches into a traveler’s most private information, without any reasonable suspicion, are a threat to the most basic privacy rights guaranteed in the Constitution,” said Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group.