Health Care

US Customs and Border Protection Publishes New Rules for Searching Electronic Devices

US Customs and Border Protection Publishes New Rules for Searching Electronic Devices

"CBP's authority for the border search of electronic devices is and will continue to be exercised judiciously, responsibly, and consistent with the public trust". This means that anything that can not be accessed without a data connection is off-limits to police officers in a "basic" search.

CBP published the figures as it issued new guidelines formalizing the way its officers conduct searches and handle the information they obtain.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Cherry Hill are continuing to investigate the case.

"This seizure is an excellent example of how Customs and Border Protection officers leverage imaging technology to detect and intercept an vast amount of cocaine cleverly concealed in a shipment of furniture", said Casey Owen Durst, CBP's Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency's operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region. Agents are specifically forbidden from looking at any information "in the cloud" that a device could access.

"The policy would still enable officers at the border to manually sift through a traveler's photos, emails, documents, and other information stored on a device without individualized suspicion of any kind".

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Agents can ask travellers for passwords to access devices, but these passwords cannot be stored in any fashion.

Before a search, travelers may now be asked to turn off a device's connectivity to limit cloud information that is accessed. The directive comes in time with the reported rise in electronic device inspection at United States airports previous year.

Border searches of electronic devices will be limited to only the information that is resident on the device.

However, agents can detain a device for more than 15 days with the approval of the director of field operations, the chief patrol agent, the director of air operations, the director of marine operations, the special agent in charge or any other equivalent manager, all of whom can also re-approve the detention every seven days.

Agents discovered 256 bricks of cocaine in total.

. However, the agency will also keep a copy for "purposes of complying with a litigation hold or other requirements".

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Amid the continuing increase in the number and scope of warrantless searches, civil rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are challenging the legality of the inspections in court.

About 80 percent of searches are of non-U.S. citizens, said an ABC News report, noting that only diplomats are exempt.

But Cotterman was decided before US v. Riley, in which the Supreme Court required police to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before conducting a search of a cell phone seized in connection with an arrest.

The agency also updated its policies regarding electronic device searches at the USA border to further clarify what agents are allowed to view on a person's device.

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