February 16, 2010 / Law Alert

New Governmental Policies on Border Searches of Electronic Devices: What Border Officials Can Do With Your Laptop And Cellular Phone

What Border Officials Can Do With Your Laptop And Cellular Phone

Having your laptop searched or detained by Customs on your way back from a business trip would be a nightmare for most business people. This scenario is quite possible under new governmental policies. In fact, it is becoming so frequent that last August, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) both issued their respective new policies on border searches of electronic devices. It was a coordinated effort of CBP and ICE to update and harmonize their border policies to detect an array of illegal activities, including terrorism, cash smuggling, contraband, child pornography, copyright, and export control violations.