Border Agent Searches of Americans' Cellphones Spark Lawsuit - NBC4 Washington
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Border Agent Searches of Americans' Cellphones Spark Lawsuit

NBC News examined 25 cases where American citizens said that customs officers at airports and border crossings demanded that they hand over their phones and passwords, or unlock them

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    Border Agent Searches of Americans' Cellphones Spark Lawsuit
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    A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer checks identifications as people cross into the United States from Mexico on September 23, 2016 in San Ysidro, California.

    An advocacy group is suing the Department of Homeland Security to release details about every time United States border officers have searched travelers' electronic devices over the past five years, NBC News reported.

    The Knight First Amendment Institute alleges in documents filed Monday that recent reporting by NBC News shows that U.S. border officers are acting unconstitutionally, violating both the First and Fourth Amendments, by demanding that travelers present their cellphones for searches.

    In an investigation published earlier this month, NBC News examined 25 cases where American citizens said that customs officers at airports and border crossings demanded that they hand over their phones and passwords, or unlock them. The practice increased substantially between 2015 and 2016, according to U.S. officials.