Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Measure seeks restrictions on laptop searches

I want to follow up on yesterday's post regarding the government's recent assertion that they have the right to confiscate and then access anyone's laptop for any reason they deem necessary. It appears the first legislative attempt to restrict such searches is underway in Congress.

HS Today Reports:

In response to growing concerns about the search and seizure of laptops and other electronic devices by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at border checkpoints, a New York congressman has introduced a bill to require the
department to establish a "reasonable suspicion" of a crime before examining electronic data, the bill's sponsor said in an editorial Friday.


The legislation also would require government agents to search any electronic devices in private. Once a laptop or any electronic data were seized, DHS would have to protect the data, to keep the data for only a limited time, to restrict the sharing of the data, and to respect a traveler's right to the return of electronic devices or data.


Critics like the American Civil Liberties Union have objected to a number of recent limitations on the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects US citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, including the use of data under the reauthorization of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (PL 110-261), signed by President Bush on July 10.

Click here to read more.

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