USA: ACTE and EFF seek reversal of laptop seizure decision

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have filed an amicus brief with the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to rehear and reverse a flawed decision allowing random and invasive searches of travellers’ computers (and other electronic devices) at U.S. borders. A previous ruling by the U.S. Supreme court gives U.S. Customs & Border Protection Service officials blanket authority to inspect all electronic devices, examine the contents, copy them, or seize the unit as they see fit. Suspicion of a crime need not be a factor in the decision.The amicus brief jointly filed with the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the second such effort for the two organizations. On 19 June 2007, a previous brief was filed on behalf of all travellers who would be subject to these searches and seizures crossing U.S. borders. This second amicus brief may get a better reception as Congress has taken an intererst in the issue. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution regarding “Laptop Searches and Other Violations of Privacy Faced by Americans Returning from Overseas Travel” for Wednesday, 25 June 2008.Source: ACTE press release>>.

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