A Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer, a California artist, a limousine driver and several other Americans have sued the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection over what they say are unconstitutional and warrantless searches of their digital devices at the United States border.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, is the first of its kind to directly challenge the government’s claim that it can demand travelers’ passwords at the border in order to search a device in the wake of a key 2014 Supreme Court decision. The plaintiffs are being represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Some of the plaintiffs’ stories have been previously reported in the media, including by Ars. In May 2017, we reported the story of Aaron Gach, who told us that border agents threatened to “be dicks” if he didn’t hand over the password to his phone upon his arrival at San Francisco International Airport.