Without Warrants, U.S. Border Agents Can Search Devices for Wide Range of Crimes, Lawyers Claim - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Without Warrants, U.S. Border Agents Can Search Devices for Wide Range of Crimes, Lawyers Claim

“We are alarmed by the extent to which the government is using the pretext of the border to make an end-run around the Constitution,” Nathan Freed Wessler, an ACLU attorney, said in an email

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    Without Warrants, U.S. Border Agents Can Search Devices for Wide Range of Crimes, Lawyers Claim
    John Moore/Getty Images
    In this August 17, 2016, file photo, U.S. Border Patrol agents process immigrants from Central America while taking them into custody near Roma, Texas.

    U.S. border agents can search the laptops and smartphones of U.S. citizens for evidence of a wide range of crimes without first acquiring warrants, according to allegations made in two new court filings submitted Tuesday that are part of a lawsuit against such electronic searches.

    Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union said new documents and depositions from Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that agents can search the electronic devices of travelers for “general law enforcement” purposes and communicate with other government agencies to search for evidence of crimes including tax evasion and hiding assets in bankruptcy, NBC News reports.

    The September 2017 lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, involves 10 U.S. citizens and one permanent resident who say that in recent years they were subjected to unlawful searches of their smartphones while returning home. The government argues that the “border exception” to the Fourth Amendment gives it wide latitude to search inbound U.S. citizens in the name of national security.

    Customs and Border Protection also maintains that the searches are legal and exceedingly rare. Privacy activists maintain, however, that the rate of such searches has been rising in recent years.

    Footage From 1992 Shows Trump, Epstein at Party

    [NATL] Footage From 1992 Shows Trump, Epstein at Party

    NBC released footage in its archives from 1992 of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The video shows them laughing and pointing as they appear to talk about women at the event, NBC News reported. Trump has said he knew Epstein, but “was not a fan” and they have not spoken in 15 years.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)