Goodbye Fourth Ammendment: DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border

Free Zone

“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.”


DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border

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.

The 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.

Rest here…

100 miles today, 1,000 miles tomorrow, and the entire nation the day after. Though no need: as the above map also from Wired shows, the “borders” in question include maritime as well, and with the bulk of the US population concentrated along the coasts, the “constitution free” zone of the US includes virtually everyone living on the two seaboards: some 66% of the US population!

First they came for your iPad, and nobody said anything…


5 Responses to “Goodbye Fourth Ammendment: DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border”
  1. withament says:

    Who precisely is the so called Watch Dog ? for this Orange Lining ? Does this also apply to the Banks and Corporations and Campaign Contributors that have installed the Criminals We call leaders ? I suggest ALL of us Watch Dogs POW WOW and begin to accomplish OUR PURPOSE. Please Join us at PLEASE PASS THE WORD … We Together Must Fufill Our Mission as We are The People. ……..

  2. David says:

    We are now calling the entire area or in orange the border so even if its not an actual border then thats great so all bets are off and might as well send out the drones to every city and state in the United States because everyone thats not a pension for life gov employee from janitors to toll booth slackers is a target.Waite whats the population of this country?Somewhere around 315 mil,good forkin luck folks,ie strict gun rules,Wall Street,gov cronies and the supreme actor all have lost there marbles.Theres not too many smart folks ruining I mean running the country is there?If they think people in other countries are animals there more nut because there is more crazy ruthless,wacked out Americans than anywhere[and thats a compliment]they are all just waiting to awake and smell the stench but when it happens god help those soft guys and gals on Wall street and over in dc and pretty much anyone in gov positions because you cant give all 300 mil gov jobs,there trying but its not happenin.We messed up re-electing stalin or lenin or whoever this guy is today.

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