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Company Laptops Subject To Search And Seizure At U.S. Borders

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in Human Resources,Office Management

Today's business travelers have an extra concern when flying internationally: the possibility of having their laptop computers or other electronic devices searched and seized as they re-enter the U.S. What does this mean for employers? A potential data breach nightmare.


Warrantless Search And Seizure Allowed 

A 9th Circuit Court ruling confirmed the right of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service to examine and download the electronic contents of any air traveler's laptop at will, without having reasonable cause or suspicion.


The traveler was a U.S. citizen returning from a trip to the Philippines and going through Customs at Los Angeles International Airport. The man was asked to turn on his laptop, and two Customs agents proceeded to open folders entitled "Kodak Pictures" and "Kodak Memories," which contained photos of nude women. After a more thorough search revealed photos of child pornography, th...(register to read more)

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