Rand Paul and Ron Wyden introduce a bill that would stop warrantless phone searches at the border
by Jack Hunter
April 4, 2017
Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Or.) have long been two of the most outspoken privacy protection advocates in the U.S. Senate, and they are now introducing new legislation that would require law enforcement officials to get a warrant before going through American citizens’ phones or demanding their passwords when re-entering the country.
The Protecting Data at the Border Act would make it illegal for border or law enforcement officials to search or seize U.S. citizens data via their phones or other devices without probable cause. Border or state agents opening phones to flip through pictures or other information as part of a “manual search” would also be covered in this new legislation.
Sen. Paul has spent years sounding the alarm that U.S. citizens constitutional rights are constantly violated due to an increasingly intrusive and largely unrestricted mass surveillance state, and Wyden has often been a co-sponsor or supporter of legislation that would rein in such practices. This new legislation is the duo’s latest effort to protect constitutional privacy rights.