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Thread: Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers' Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional

  1. #1

    Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers' Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional

    In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled today that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.
    The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.
    “This ruling significantly advances Fourth Amendment protections for millions of international travelers who enter the United States every year,” said Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel.”
    “This is a great day for travelers who now can cross the international border without fear that the government will, in the absence of any suspicion, ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.
    The district court order puts an end to Customs and Border Control (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asserted authority to search and seize travelers’ devices for purposes far afield from the enforcement of immigration and customs laws. Border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device.

    More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/political/...constitutional
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    A Zero Hedge comment



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  3. #2
    Suspicionless
    They wouldn't be searching phones/laptops if the person wasn't at least a little bit suspicious. Have you seen people walking through the TSA's body scanners? Almost everyone in that body scanner acts nervous as hell, like they're hiding something, because they probably are.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    They wouldn't be searching phones/laptops if the person wasn't at least a little bit suspicious. Have you seen people walking through the TSA's body scanners? Almost everyone in that body scanner acts nervous as hell, like they're hiding something, because they probably are.
    Has any human ever lived who wasn't suspicious?
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Has any human ever lived who wasn't suspicious?
    Me.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    Me.
    Anyone who would make that claim about themselves is suspicious.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  7. #6

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Some good news...that's always welcome.

    Thanks.
    I find your attitude suspicious.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Anyone who would make that claim about themselves is suspicious.
    They don't even have to ask to search my phone or laptop. I unlock it and give it to them as a matter of habit.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    They don't even have to ask to search my phone or laptop. I unlock it and give it to them as a matter of habit.
    Because in your heart of hearts you know that you too are suspicious.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  12. #10
    Will Trump's DOJ appeal this liberal activist judge's ruling so that they can continue their policy of warrantless searches?
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    if we don't count the 14,000 he sent instead of declaring war on Iran he had reduced the deployed troops by about 7,555.
    "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
    H. L. Mencken

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    Will Trump's DOJ appeal this liberal activist judge's ruling so that they can continue their policy of warrantless searches?
    I don't know. But I suspect...
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I didn't vote for Trump.
    A POX ON BOTH YOUR PARTIES

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    I don't know. But I suspect...
    We'll have to see.


    There's something strange about the reporting on this court ruling, though. Zerohedge didn't mention the judge's name or who appointed them or anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    if we don't count the 14,000 he sent instead of declaring war on Iran he had reduced the deployed troops by about 7,555.
    "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
    H. L. Mencken

  15. #13
    I get the feeling this is another example of non-citizens having more rights than US citizens.

    “Search anything and everything of a citizen for no reason? Sure, that’s fine.”
    “A non-citizen? No touch, no search, no look, don’t even make eye contact.”
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TheCount View Post
    We'll have to see.


    There's something strange about the reporting on this court ruling, though. Zerohedge didn't mention the judge's name or who appointed them or anything.
    Most of what is on ZH isn't their work:

    Authored by Activist Post

    There is a link if you really care about those points:

    For the order:
    https://www.eff.org/document/alasaad...judgment-order
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    I get the feeling this is another example of non-citizens having more rights than US citizens.

    “Search anything and everything of a citizen for no reason? Sure, that’s fine.”
    “A non-citizen? No touch, no search, no look, don’t even make eye contact.”
    This ruling covers citizens too.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    This ruling covers citizens too.
    Only at ports of entry? Does it apply on a domestic rapeiscan and groping flight? Would really be nice if it applied when I am driving down the road. Or even just generally to my “persons, houses, papers, and effects”.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Only at ports of entry? Does it apply on a domestic rapeiscan and groping flight? Would really be nice if it applied when I am driving down the road. Or even just generally to my “persons, houses, papers, and effects”.
    I haven't read the details but the article says it is about suspicionless searches of electronic devices at airports and ports of entry.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Only at ports of entry? Does it apply on a domestic rapeiscan and groping flight? Would really be nice if it applied when I am driving down the road. Or even just generally to my “persons, houses, papers, and effects”.
    As a strict constitutionalist, I don't really understand this ruling. A laptop is not a "person" "house" "paper" or "effect" so I don't see how searching one would be unconstitutional.

    A phone could be a "personal effect" but to count as such the person would need to be "adorned" with their phone - e.g. an iWatch or something similar would count.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Only at ports of entry? Does it apply on a domestic rapeiscan and groping flight? Would really be nice if it applied when I am driving down the road. Or even just generally to my “persons, houses, papers, and effects”.
    It's CBP only.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    if we don't count the 14,000 he sent instead of declaring war on Iran he had reduced the deployed troops by about 7,555.
    "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
    H. L. Mencken



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