[conspire] Court Ruling Allows US Border Patrol Agents to Seize Laptops

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun May 18 22:24:31 PDT 2008

I wrote:
> Quoting Eric De MUND (ead-conspire at ixian.com):
> > I didn't see anything in the decision about the authority of the
> > United States to hold property for an indefinite period.
> This has been established separately.  What they do is state that it's
> being held for inspection.  Owners who petition for the return of
> property tend to get simply told "no".

Jennifer Granick is Civil Liberties Director for the EFF, lecturer at
Stanford Law, head of the Center for Internet and Society, and extremely
sharp.  She's recently written for EFF a comprehensive article,
"Protecting Yourself From Suspicionless Searches While Traveling", in
response to the "US v. Arnold" border-search case about aggressive
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) searches without even a requirement for 
criminal suspicion, let alone probable cause or a warrant.  It includes:

   If, however, you don't respond to CBP's demands, the agency does have
   the authority to search, detain, and even prohibit you from entering
   the country.  CBP has more authority to turn non-citizens away than it
   does to exclude U.S. persons from entering the country, but we don't
   know how the agents are allowed to use this authority to execute
   searches or get access to password protected information.  CBP also
   has the authority to seize your property at the border.  Agents cannot
   seize anything they like (for example, your wedding ring), but we do
   not know what standards agents are told to follow to determine
   whether they can and should take your laptop but let you by.

Full article is at

More information about the conspire mailing list