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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, September 16, 2022

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) "routinely conducts warrantless searches of Americans' devices" every year, in a number of cases downloading texts, photos, call logs, and more into a central database where it's stored for 15 years and searchable by some 2,700 federal employees.

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...This, according to US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who on Thursday sent a letter [PDF] to the federal agency urging it to end this practice, which he called an "egregious violation of Americans' rights."

While the US Supreme Court requires law enforcement to show probable cause before obtaining a search warrant for someone's electronic devices, CBP abuses the so-called border-search exception to the Fourth Amendment to search phones and laptops without suspecting the traveler of committing a crime, Wyden said.

This type of "basic search" allows border patrol agents to view people's text messages and photos as they travel into the United States.

If the agent has "reasonable suspicion" that someone has broken the law or poses a "national security concern," then, with a supervisor's approval, the border cop can escalate to an advanced search: downloading, if possible, data from the device into this sizable database that Department of Homeland Security staff can search.

According to the Beaver State senator, CBP doesn't keep records on the number of basic versus advanced searches, how many times its agents download data into its central database, nor how frequently Homeland Security searches this database....

[emphasis mine]


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-09-16 11:56 AM | Reply

"the so-called border-search exception"

IIRC the "border" per this legislation is defined as being anything within 100 miles of the actual physical border, which accounts for about 70% of the US population.

#2 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-09-16 12:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#2 The Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to 70% of Americans, and the Supreme Court is fine with that.

Our Republic has a few too many bananas in charge.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-09-16 04:31 PM | Reply

That must be how they kept such close tabs on AOC.

This organization must be shut down entirely. What a crapfest of cop corruption and contractors.

#4 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2022-09-18 11:34 AM | Reply

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