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Court: Laptops may be searched

California in Brief / SAN FRANCISCO

April 22, 2008|From Reuters

A U.S. Customs inspection of a laptop computer that yielded child pornography does not constitute an unreasonable search and seizure, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled Monday.

Michael Arnold argued that the U.S. Constitution's protections against searches without reasonable suspicion should have barred a 2005 search of his laptop at Los Angeles International Airport after he had returned from the Philippines.

He was later charged with possession of child pornography and related crimes.

A lower court had agreed with Arnold, but on Monday the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision.

It said reasonable suspicion was not necessary to check laptops or other electronic devices coming over border checkpoints.

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