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Monday, July 28, 2008

Critics say laptop searches at border cross the line

Jawad Khaki, a corporate executive from Sammamish, Wash., was returning home from a business trip to Ireland and Germany last year when a customs agent at the airport asked him to turn on his cell phone.

He already had told the agent in detail where he had traveled and why, so when the agent began looking over the to-do list and calendar in his phone, Khaki was shocked.

"It was an invasion of privacy," he said. "I thought it was going too far."

Khaki's story joins what seem to be growing numbers of similar reports from people - many of them Muslims or of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent - who say that their laptops, cell phones or other electronic devices were searched or seized at airports or U.S. border crossings, and that they've been questioned extensively.

The heightened scrutiny is prompting concern and raising questions among a diverse array of groups, from Muslim associations to law firms, corporate groups and technology organizations. [Link]

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1 Comments:
Blogger cat bao le [At 7:49 PM]:

Please contact the Asian Law Caucus about Questioning and Searches by Customs Agents

The Asian Law Caucus and Stanford Law School Immigrants Rights Clinic are documenting instances in which U.S. citizens or residents have been subject to intrusive questioning or searches by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents when returning to the country after traveling abroad.

Please contact us if you have experienced excessive or repeated searches or questioning or believe you were singled out by Customs agents because of your ethnicity, religion, or other similar reason. For example, we are interested in hearing from people who were questioned about their religion or politics or whose laptop computer was searched. We would also like to hear your story if your company or organization has been affected by Customs and Border Protection policies. Please call the Asian Law Caucus at (415) 848-7714 or email shirins@asianlawcaucus.org.
For further information about our work on this issue, please visit www.asianlawcaucus.org.

 
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