Did You Know DHS Can Seize And Search Your Electronic Devices Without Any Suspicion, For Any Reason, Within 100 Miles Of A Border?

(ht WeaselZippers)   The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.

The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.

The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.

hadenough-1The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.  (continue reading)

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14 Responses to Did You Know DHS Can Seize And Search Your Electronic Devices Without Any Suspicion, For Any Reason, Within 100 Miles Of A Border?

  1. ytz4mee says:

    Yes, you can also be stopped by Border Patrol within 100 miles of the border and have your citizenship or right to be in the US challenged.

    Internal checkpoints have been in place in Arizona, New Mexico and just north of San Diego, CA for quite some time now. They are now being expanded to the northern border. In New York State, just outside of the Indian reservation near Massena, NY border patrol has a regular road block set up and every car , without exception, seeking passage through town is stopped and challenged.

    Somehow the Progs will explain to us just how important this is for our own safety.
    Zeigen Sie mir Ihre Unterlagen, bitte!

    The new Reich is here. Long live the new Reich. /s/


  2. Eric says:

    I remember a couple years ago (after 9-11, visiting a friend within 10-15 miles of Ft. Bragg. The night we left, our car was searched up, down, left, and right for “suspicious materials”. However, those guards forgot one little area…a very big cooler in the backseat. While it was nothing more than a container full of pork bbq and other food items, they let us go through.

    I would hate to see us go through that same checkpoint now:

    Guard: “Oh, you have food supplies in here that are fattening?”
    Me: “Yes, I do. Tastes good too.”
    Guard: “Sorry, sir we will have to confiscate this as this is protocol from Michelle and the Obama administration. WE JUST CAN’T HAVE FAT PEOPLE LIVING HAPPY.”


  3. elvischupacabra says:

    That’s affects what, 70% of the US population?

    We have us a nasty lil’ ol’ Po-lice State cropping up.


  4. JAS says:

    Four and a half words: Time to De-fund DHS

    DHS is now a para-military “department” for which Posse Comitatus does not apply. Perfect go-around against the Constitution.


  5. czarowniczy says:

    Guess what, if DHS works with the FCC they can use an old law to bust into your house WITHOUT a warrant to look for illegal transmitting devices. Those devices can include anything from a cell phone to a baby monitor to a garage door opener and if the FCC claims that it may be ‘malfunctioning’ and/or off-frequency, too high a transmitting power, or whatever. They can bust your door down without a warrant to look for that ‘illegal’ transmitter – not that they’d ever use the ‘illegal transmitter’ excuse to do na illegal search. The law’s been there for decades, they say forgotten and I say held in reserve, but you can add that possibility to their arsenal.


  6. czarowniczy says:

    Ummm…something else pops into mind. If DHS is using the Border Search Exception as justification for this action than electronic communications devices are not the only thing covered by the Exception. When you are physically searched by a Customs agent (damn near anyone in DHS or the Coast Guard) at a US border or international airport they are fondling you under the same Exception. Could DHS and the Puddle Pirates (sorry Coasties, Navy guy sitting here having a beer with me told me to say that) then say they had right to stop and frisk anyone within 100 miles of the border? I gotta consider wearing clean undies more often.


    • ytz4mee says:

      Nah. Wrong approach. Just go commando.


      • czarowniczy says:

        Why make it easy for them?

        As I quickly scan the USc and CFR I can see that they may well be using the section(s) that give them the right to stop and search and pat-down anyone within 100 miles of any US border AND with (cough cough) reasonable reasons extend that ‘right’ beyond 100 miles. Only exception I’m seeing to the exception is they can’t enter a private dwelling without a warrant or other accepted and established reasons for entry sans warrant. No time left, beddie-bye, gotta get up early early to plant spring cruciforms and secure equipment before two-plus days of expected rain.

        Three people shot on Bourbon street tonite – no further details.


        • ytz4mee says:


          I can safely assume from the careful avoidance of any names and/or physical descriptors of the “victims” that everyone involved is black?


          • czarowniczy says:

            Just got more definitive report from local news. Shooting occurred in 400 block (very ‘bar heavy’ area) after a ‘verbal altercation’ twixt shooters and shootees. Four shot, three stable one in guarded condition post-surgery. Suspects (on cell phone camera) three black males, all between late teens and early twenties. Couple of aggravated rapes last few days but as they were local on both sides of the charge news isn’t making a big ‘whoop’ about it. Worst one was three black teens (15,16,18) abducted a woman uptown area at gun point, robbed beat and raped her as they drove around in her car. Luckily she lived (they were new at this) and one hoodie-wearing thug got his pic taken (looks like at ATM) so his family ID’d him and turned him in, he ratted out bro’s. Just another Mardi Gras. City used to judge success of Mardi Gras by tonnage of trash picked up off streets but now it’s largely by the crime rate.


            • ytz4mee says:

              Sad, isn’t it? The minute the media refuses to provide a physical description and/or photo, you KNOW the perp is black.
              They’re so predictable. Prog logic.


              • czarowniczy says:

                We just don’t have that many white shooters or rapists in the city, don’t know why but even post-Katrina with the demographic shift and the TV trying hard as they can to just make all crimes as crimes without distinction, they have to at some point show the pix to have the public help to find the perps or show the footage from the security cameras. Cannot remember when the last time was we had a group of white teenagers hose down a block party with an AK, do a drive-by or rob a gas station.


  7. Mike says:

    The Bush administration started this police state after 9/11. Many pro freedom patriots were derided by conservatives when they opposed the Patriot Act 10 years ago. They knew that the laws could always be used against them when a leftist administration was in power. But, by golly since idiot George was president we would never have to worry again.


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