Court says border agents need suspicion to search cellphones

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court in Virginia has ruled that U.S. border authorities cannot search the cellphones of travelers without having some reason to believe a particular traveler has committed a crime.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in the case of a Turkish national who was arrested at Dulles International Airport after agents found firearm parts in his luggage.  A lower court judge refused to suppress evidence obtained from a warrantless search of Hamza Kolsuz’s phone.  The 4th Circuit upheld that ruling and also found that a forensic search of electronic devices requires “individualized suspicion” of wrongdoing.  The court said agents had that suspicion because Kolsuz had made two previous attempts to smuggle weapons parts out of the U.S.

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