Fourth Amendment be damned

With U.S. Customs agents increasingly interested in the contents of digital devices like iPhones, iPads and laptops, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued guidance for getting your mobile device across the border safely and protecting the data on it should it get seized.

With U.S. Customs agents increasingly interested in the contents of digital devices like iPhones, iPads and laptops, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued guidance for getting your mobile device across the border safely and protecting the data on it should it get seized.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects American citizens from unreasonable search and seizure – a fundamental Constitutional right that courts have interpreted as encompassing not just our bodies, but our stuff: homes, cars and these days, our electronic devices. But the 4th Amendment doesn’t extend to U.S. border crossings, where courts agree that the government has the legal authority to seize and search your car and devices, even when there’s no suspicion of wrongdoing. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a guide (.PDF) for would-be border crossers to protect their devices from seizure and protect the data they contain in the event that U.S. Customs decides to take a closer look. Here’s a look at some of their tips from “Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border.”

(Image via wonderlane‘s Flickr photostream)

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