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Congress Contemplates Protecting Travelers

As Jennifer Granick noted noted in April, the Ninth Circuit has held that government agents need not have reasonable suspicion in order to search laptops or other digital devices at the border. In apparent response to this practice, legislation has recently been introduced in both chambers of Congress to raise the privacy protections of travelers. The text of the Travelers' Privacy Protection Act, introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and three co-sponsors in the Senate and Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) in the House, has not been released. As I read an ACLU press release, however, the bill would require a warrant before a search can be conducted of a travelers' personal electronic devices.

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