Lawsuit against US Border Searches of Phones Can Move Forward: Judge

(From Reuters)

A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s growing practice of conducting warrantless searches on phones and laptops of Americans stopped at the border.

U.S. District Judge Denise Capser in Boston ruled that the lawsuit by 11 travelers had raised a plausible claim that such border searches violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

While Casper described the law as unclear, she said the issue was not unlike a major privacy rights case the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2014 in which it held police must obtain a warrant to search an arrested suspect’s cellphone.

The judge said that Supreme Court ruling “indicates that electronic devices implicate privacy interests in a fundamentally different manner than searches of typical containers or even searches of a person.”

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