Sales Hill Testimony Cited in New York Times

Testimony provided by Professor Nathan Sales concerning the actions of federal border officials with respect to travelers' laptops and other electronic devices was cited in a New York Times article that focused heavily on criticism of the government's actions in examining such devices without suspicion of wrongdoing.

"The reason the home has enjoyed uniquely robust privacy protections in the Anglo-American legal tradition is because it is a sanctuary into which the owner can withdraw from the government's watchful eye. Crossing an international border is in many ways the opposite of this kind of withdrawal," said Sales, a former official of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, providing testimony supportive of the government's need to monitor information crossing U.S. borders.

Sales' testimony took place at a June 25 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights (see related story).

Readers may be interested in an article on laptop searches written by Professor Sales and published today in the National Review.

Laptop Searches in Airports Draw Fire at Senate Hearing, The New York Times, June 26, 2008. By Austin Bogues.

"Advocacy groups and some legal experts told Congress on Wednesday that it was unreasonable for federal officials to search the laptops of United States citizens when they re-enter the country from traveling abroad.

"Civil rights groups have said certain ethnic groups have been selectively profiled in the searches by Border Patrol agents and customs officials who have the authority to inspect all luggage and cargo brought into the country without obtaining warrants or having probable cause.

"Companies whose employees travel overseas also have criticized the inspections, saying that the search of electronic devices could hurt their businesses.

"The federal government says the searches are necessary for national security and for legal action against people who bring illegal material into the country."

Read the article

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