From: Anthony D. Romero, ACLU [Executive_Director@aclu.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:15 PM
Subject: Don’t Let Your Privacy Get Railroaded
Just yesterday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit aimed at protecting your privacy when you travel across America’s borders.
Why this case? Because right now our government asserts the right to look through the contents of your electronic devices when you travel abroad—including your laptop, camera, and mobile phone—and to copy the contents so they can continue searching after you’ve left the border.
Not only that, they even claim the right to conduct such searches without any reason to believe the search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing. ACLU lawyers are fighting today to put an end to this unconstitutional infringement on people’s privacy.
One of our clients in this case, Pascal Abidor, a 26-year-old dual French-American citizen, was traveling from Montreal to New York on Amtrak when he had his laptop searched and confiscated by Customs and Border Patrol officers. Abidor was questioned, handcuffed, taken off the train and kept in a holding cell for several hours before being released without charge. When his laptop was returned 11 days later, there was evidence that many of his personal files, including research, photos and chats with his girlfriend, had been searched.