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ACLU sues DHS over phone, laptop searches at border

In this Feb. 17, 2016, file photo an iPhone is seen in Washington. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

The ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the ACLU of Massachusetts sued the Department of Homeland Security in federal court in Massachusetts today over what they claim are unwarranted border searches of laptops and phones.

The complaint cites 11 plaintiffs, a group which includes 10 U.S. citizens and one lawful permanent resident. Each of the plaintiffs had their devices searched while returning to the U.S. from personal or business travel, including from Canada, UAE, and Chile. In one plaintiff's case, Customs and Border Patrol officers reportedly choked him and physically restrained him to obtain his phone. DHS has been holding onto one plaintiff's phone since January.