A federal appeals court has ruled that border guards may search and seize the contents of laptop computer files without probable cause, even if the contraband material — in this case child pornography — is contained only in the computer’s temporary cache memory.

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expands the notion of possession and control of computer material, in a boon to prosecutorial power to win convictions in cases of Internet child pornography possession.

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