Laptops are Searched at Miami Border Crossing

June 26, 2008 by David S. Seltzer

Imagine coming across the border into Miami having returned from a business trip. Laptop in hand, nothing to declare, and the next thing you know, your laptop is being read and reviewed by TSA. Fair? Legal?

As politicians grumble over what appears to be the latest invasion of an individuals privacy by the Bush administration, what ever happened to this country's 4th amendment right to be free of unlawful searches and seizures? What the government is seeking to do now is to search laptop computers of those who enter the country at will. It is raising a lot of red flags, as United States citizens, and I believe rightly so, are in an uproar that their constitutional rights are being violated.

Once back on United States soil, do their rights not apply? According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, TSA has the right to search laptops of those entering the country without probable cause, reasonable suspicion, all they need is a hunch and then they search. Non-US citizens, ok maybe, but even still, why are the courts giving TSA so much leeway? I understand we are at war and our safety is our highest concern. I am all for drug and bomb sniffing dogs, but the freedom to read email, search documents, etc., without reasonable suspicion, probable cause or a warrant, simply by racial profiling, I cannot agree. The Courts that we have in place to uphold our constitution, to me is making a mockery out of it. Looking for loopholes anywhere they can.

This issue is far from over. It is being address in the Senate and by Congress. For more information please see the article: Laptop Searches in Airports Draw Fire at Senate Hearing