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Warrantless phone, laptop searches at the US border hit record levels

Published: January 5, 2018
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Source: ZD Net

Officials have searched a record number of phones and laptops of travelers entering the US in the past year.

New figures released Friday reveal that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers searched 30,200 devices -- an increase of about 60 percent year-over-year -- between October 2016 and September 2017.

That averages out to about 2,500 searches each month out of more than 397 million who crossed the border -- or less than 0.01 percent of all international travelers, according to the agency charged with enforcing immigration and customs rules at the nation's ports of entry.

CBP said that device searchers are necessary to combat terrorism, child pornography, and visa fraud.

But it's more than triple the number of searches conducted in 2015, when the agency searched 8,500 devices.

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