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Laptop, Phone Searches at Border Limited by Federal Court

Nov. 12, 2019, 11:06 PM

Airport and border searches of travelers’ laptops and smartphones face a higher legal hurdle in order to be justified, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

Privacy groups are hailing the ruling as a win for travelers’ civil rights. The number of devices searched at airports and entry and exit points to the U.S. rose 60% during the first year of the Trump administration, according to data kept by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The ruling, from the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, says the border agency and Immigration and Customs Enforcement now need “reasonable suspicion” of contraband, such as child pornography, ...