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The U.S. is Increasingly Searching Electronic Devices at the Border

Westlaw Today

In this article, Andrew Wise, Richard Gallena, and Annie Cho, discuss how the U.S. government is more frequently searching individuals' cell phones and other electronic devices at the border and offer practical considerations for employees who often travel abroad. The authors note that in 2023 alone, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) searched over 41,000 devices, up almost 25 percent from five years before. This can include searches with respect to traditional border-related investigations, but it can also include searches in connection with white collar investigations. The authors discuss the vulnerability of individuals, particularly corporate executives and employees traveling to and from the U.S. who are at greater risk of being stopped and searched if the individual works for a company that may be under investigation, operates in high-risk industries, or is traveling from certain countries. Wise, Gallena, and Cho conclude by outlining practical guidance for travelers and their counsel in navigating this legal landscape.

This article was originally published on Westlaw Today on April 25, 2024.