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Your Electronic Device, Please: Understanding the Border Search Exception & Electronic Devices - Whitney Merrill BSides Las Vegas 2015 (Hacking Illustrated Series InfoSec Tutorial Videos)

Your Electronic Device, Please: Understanding the Border Search Exception & Electronic Devices
Whitney Merrill

Border searches are an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. The border search exception allows government officials to search, review, copy, and detain cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices at the border without a warrant, probable cause, or any suspicion. In early 2013, the Ninth Circuit reviewed the issue of whether or not any type of suspicion was required at the border, and unlike previous courts, held reasonable suspicion is needed to conduct a forensic examination of electronic storage devices when entering the United States. This standard is currently the most protective in the U.S. This talk will discuss searches of electronic devices at the U.S. Border as well as the recent developments since the Ninth Circuit case. Specifically, it will examine the United States Supreme Court's denial of the petition for Certiorari and the Supreme Court's ruling in Riley v. California, narrowing another exception to the warrant requirement with regards to the search of electronic devices. Riley held that the police cannot search a cell phone seized incidental to the arrest of an individual without a warrant. This talk will help answer the question, 'What is the potential impact of this decision on the future of searches of electronic devices at the border?'

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