Webinar: Constitutional Challenges to Border Security Searches
The number of digital device searches at the border increased five-fold in a single year, from 4,764 in 2015 to 23,877 in 2016. In 2017, the number of such searches is on track to reach 60,000. The “border” includes the land borders with Canada and Mexico, as well as international airports and seaports. The increased frequency of such intrusions into the personal lives of travelers has renewed the public’s interest in the government’s border search authority. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents rely on the Fourth Amendment’s “border search doctrine” to conduct digital device searches absent individualized suspicion. The border search doctrine developed in the pre-digital era, when courts considered the limited privacy interests travelers have in their luggage and vehicles. However, given the unprecedented amount of personal information on smart phones, laptops, and other mobile devices, there is a serious question whether suspicionless border searches of digital devices are “reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment. This webinar will discuss the current state of the border search doctrine as it applies to digital devices and what legal arguments defense attorneys can raise to advance the law.
This is a joint webinar with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Defender Services Office Training Division