Fair warning for anyone who plans to travel outside the country. Upon re-entry into the U.S., border agents have full authority to seize your laptop, netbook, tablet PC, and other electronic components without a warrant, but that's not all. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that border agents also have the power to send your confiscated electronics to an offsite location for forensic inspection.
This is the second such ruling in less than a year empowering the U.S. government to conduct offsite searches of digital devices without a warrant. The first ruling came in a court in Michigan last May.
As you might imagine, none of this sits well with privacy advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) says that according to government documents, U.S. customs officials searched electronic devices belonging to some 6,600 travelers between October 2008 and June 2010, and confiscated more than 220 devices between October 2008 and June 2009.