Trump administration sued over phone searches at U.S. borders

U.S. | 9/13/2017 | Dustin Volz
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has engaged in an unconstitutional practice of searching without a warrant the phones and laptops of Americans who are stopped at the border, a lawsuit filed on Wednesday alleged.

Ten U.S. citizens and one lawful permanent resident sued the Department of Homeland Security in federal court, saying the searches and prolonged confiscation of their electronic devices violate privacy and free speech protections of the U.S. Constitution.

DHS - Comment

DHS could not be immediately reached for comment.

The lawsuit comes as the number of searches of electronic devices has surged in recent years, alarming civil rights advocates.

US - Customs - Border - Patrol - April

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported in April that searches increased from 8,500 in fiscal year 2015 to about 19,000 in fiscal year 2016. The agency has conducted nearly 15,000 in the first half of fiscal year 2017.

The suit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, is being brought by travelers including a military veteran, a NASA engineer, two journalists and a computer programmer. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, who are representing the travelers, said that several of the plaintiffs are Muslim or minorities.

Suhaib - Allababidi - US - Citizen - Texas

Suhaib Allababidi, a U.S. citizen who lives in Texas and a plaintiff in...
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