Washington, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) recently introduced H.R. 6588, which prevents customs officials from using the pretext of border searches to conduct groundless search and seizure of Americans’ laptops and other electronic devices when they return from overseas travel. The bill does not prevent the search or seizure of laptops or other electronic devices when legitimate law enforcement purposes justify that search or seizure.
“We live in an era where data can be worth millions or even billions,” noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “Many business travelers are now wary of traveling to and from the United States because they fear that their legitimate and proprietary business data will be seized at our borders. Further, the record of the Department of Homeland Security in protecting data is a poor one as evidenced by this weeks GAO report on government data security. Business travelers have a legitimate fear that their proprietary data maybe compromised and exploited by competitors after seizure by DHS. This legislation protects the privacy of travelers’ data, while preserving the government’s ability to search and seize electronic devices in appropriate circumstances.”
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her seventh term in Congress representing most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. She serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. She also Chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. Congresswoman Lofgren is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation consisting of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California.