New bill would crack down on border phone searches without warrants


A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would make border agents get a warrant before searching Americans’ phones, and affirm that they can cross the border without handing over account passwords. The Protecting Data at the Border Act is sponsored by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in the Senate; in the House, it’s backed by Jared Polis (D-CO), Adam Smith (D-WA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Blake Farenthold (R-TX).
The proposal would prohibit law enforcement officers from accessing “electronic equipment” of a US resident without establishing probable cause. They also wouldn’t be able to deny entry or exit based on whether the person provides PINs, passwords, biometric authentication, or similar data. Customs agents would be able to disregard the ban in “emergency” situations. [Read more here...]

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