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Justices let stand appeals court decision on border searches of laptops

Jaikumar Vijayan | Jan. 14, 2014
In a boost for civil rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that requires U.S. border agents to have at least some cause for searching electronic devices belonging to travelers at the nation's borders.

The searches have raised concerns that sensitive corporate data and customer information could be exposed or compromised.

The Supreme Court's decision means a "reasonable cause" standard will continue to apply to all border searches under the appellate court's jurisdiction.

However, it still falls short of the higher "probable cause" standard that the EFF and others have said should apply to border searches of electronic devices.

"Overall we're happier with a reasonable suspicion standard than no standard at all," Fakhoury said. "[But] we'd prefer probable cause."


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