US customs allowed to seize travelers' electronic devices

Laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices can now be confiscated from travelers entering the US

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By  Mark Sutton Published  August 3, 2008

US Federal agents now have the authority to seize travelers' laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices, it has been revealed.

Under new Department of Homeland Security policies US customs and other agents are able to confiscate a wide range of devices at border control points, with no need for suspicion of wrong doing. The rules apply to both visitors to the US and to US citizens.

The new regulations allow for the confiscation of laptops, mobile phones, MP3 players, pagers, flash drives, hard drives and tapes, and also allow government agencies to share the data contained on devices.

The only privacy requirements are to protect business-sensitive information and attorney-client privileged information. Any copies of data are supposed to be destroyed once a review has been completed.

4029 days ago

This is nothing new with Customs. They were never required to have probably cause to search anyone or anything entering or leaving the country. They are protected under the border search authority.

4033 days ago

This is the ultimate reason never to travel to the US ever again! Confiscating your phone or your life's work on your computer? And if you've ever seen the brainless bulldogs at all US airports, they must pick Bush's blood relatives. Freedom is now a lost concept in the US... a word with no meaning. That's too bad. it used to be a fun place.

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