On Friday, January 5, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, released the fiscal year (FY) 2017 statistics relating to warrantless searches of electronic devices at the border; they show a significant increase in border searches—30,200 in FY 2017, up from 19,051 in FY 2016 (which was itself up from 8,503 in FY 2015).

CBP also released a new policy directive governing such searches, replacing guidance from 2009. The updated policy clarifies the standard operating procedures for searching, reviewing, and retaining information found on electronic devices.

For more information on key components of this new policy, please see Crowell’s Client Alert.