The American Customs and Border Protection body has been under the scanner lately. From seeking social media handles from certain individuals to being able to look into your phones (except for the data stored in the cloud). Now, the same agency will be facing trial in court against 11 individuals, which includes an engineer from NASA, for wrongful searches of their electronic devices.
The lawsuit is being backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the ACLU of Massachusetts. Searching electronic devices at the customs is being described, by the lawsuit, as a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution. Sidd Bikkannavar, the engineer from NASA, was returning from Chile when an official at the Houston airport demanded his phone password while searching his device.
ACLU attorney Esha Bhandari said in a statement:
"The government cannot use the border as a dragnet to search through our private data. Our electronic devices contain massive amounts of information that can paint a detailed picture of our personal lives, including emails, texts, contact lists, photos, work documents, and medical or financial records."
One plaintiff, an independent filmmaker by the name of Akram Shibly, was even assaulted when he declined to give a CBP officer access to his phone (they had already checked his phone three days earlier).