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US customs allowed to seize travelers' electronic devices

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

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.