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Advice for Touring Musicians on US Court Ruling Against Device Probe

Have you ever tried entered the United States and had your smartphone or laptop searched? If so that has now been disallowed.

Photograph of person using mobile phone
Searches of international travellers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment. Photo credit: Shutterstock

This past Tuesday (12 November), the American Civil Liberties Union won a Victory in the Boston Federal Court.

Nonprofit US immigration organisation Tamizdat reported:

"In a major victory for privacy rights, a federal court in Boston ruled that the government’s suspicionless searches of international travellers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment.

"The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of eleven travellers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

"The district court order puts an end to CBP and ICE’s asserted authority to search and seize travellers’ devices for purposes far afield from the enforcement of immigration and customs laws. Border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of contraband before they can search a traveller’s device."

More information on the ruling is available here.

Advice for Touring Musicians

Read more advice from the MU for touring musicians here. Touring musicians may also wish to visit the MU’s Brexit Hub for further advice and guidance on working in the EU.


Published: 18/11/2019

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