Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Bill to Stop Warrantless Phone Searches at Border

A Bipartisan group of Lawmakers has introduced Legislation that would require Law Enforcement agencies to obtain a Warrant before searching the Digital devices of Americans trying to Reenter the United States.

The practice of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agents asking for Passwords to search the Digital devices of Americans seeking Entry into the United States has attracted significant media attention and raised concerns among Privacy Advocates in recent months.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced Legislation on Tuesday that cites the 2004 Supreme Court Case Riley v. California, in which the Court ruled that Law Enforcement needed a Warrant to search an Electronic device in the case of an individual's arrest.

The Bill, a version of which Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) introduced in the House, states that the principles of the Supreme Court Decision extend to searches of Americans' Digital devices at the Border.

The Legislation, called the Protecting Data at the Border Act, also states that Americans must be made aware of their Rights before they agree to give up Passwords, social Media Account Names or other digital Account Information or to hand over their Devices to Law Enforcement.

"Americans' Constitutional rights shouldn't disappear at the border," Wyden said in a statement. "By requiring a warrant to search Americans' devices and prohibiting unreasonable delay, this bill makes sure that border agents are focused on criminals and terrorists instead of wasting their time thumbing through innocent Americans' personal photos and other data."

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