Alasaad v. Nielsen
Nate Kitch

Alasaad v. Nielsen

A lawsuit challenging warrantless searches of electronic devices at the border

On February 2, 2018, the Knight Institute and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press submitted an amicus brief in Alasaad v. Nielsen, a constitutional challenge brought by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to warrantless device searches at the border.

In response to the government's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the Knight Institute's amicus brief explained that electronic device searches invade the First Amendment rights of travelers, citing traveler complaints obtained by the Knight Institute through FOIA litigation. It also explained the particular burdens these searches place on journalists, whose cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras contain sensitive newsgathering information, including the names and communications of their confidential sources.

Status: On May 9, 2018, the district court denied the government's motion to dismiss, allowing the plaintiffs' claims to proceed.

Case Information: Alasaad v. Nielsen, No. 1:17-cv-11730 (D. Mass.).

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