Changes to search policy of laptops entering US borders

According to the Wall Street Journal, searches of laptops and other electronic devices belonging to travelers that are entering the United States will continue with just a few small changes.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that they’ll be monitoring the searches more closely and that they’ll strive to return the devices faster (the limit will be 5 days, except for Immigration and Custom searches that are limited to 30 days).

There are many privacy advocates who are still not satisfied with the policy and are the opinion that these changes haven’t touched the most important issue – that these searches are performed without standards.

The official numbers (from October 2008 to a couple of weeks ago) are these:

  • around 1000 laptops searched from more than 221 million travelers
  • from these 1000, 46 were searched in-depth.

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