1st Circ. OKs Broad Warrantless Border Phone Search Policy

Law360 (February 10, 2021, 1:48 PM EST) -- In a first-of-its-kind ruling Tuesday, the First Circuit found that searches of cellphones and other electronic devices at the U.S. border do not require a warrant or probable cause and can be used to search for contraband.

The panel afforded broad leeway to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, finding that the government's security interests are at their "zenith" when dealing with people crossing the border and outweigh privacy concerns.

"Given the volume of travelers passing through our nation's borders, warrantless electronic device searches are essential to the border search exception's purpose of ensuring that the...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!


Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!