Government officials must have reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment to search someone’s laptop at U.S. borders, according to a recent ruling in Los Angeles.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson of the Central District of California is the first within the area of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to address whether searching a person’s laptop is more than routine and therefore subject to the search and seizure protections of the Fourth Amendment. U.S. v. Arnold, No. 2:05-cr-00772 (C.D. Calif.).

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