Laptop Search Analysis

Document Date: January 14, 2010

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disclosed thousands of pages of documents about its searches of electronic devices at U.S. international borders. In order to make sense of some categories of these documents, it was necessary to create spreadsheets to analyze them.

The ACLU received about 100 pages of Electronic Media Reports. These documents show how many electronic devices were searched and seized in a particular week, and what kinds of devices were searched and seized. To gain an overall picture of the Department’s practices, the ACLU created the Electronic Media Examination/Detention spreadsheet and the Electonic Media Seizures spreadsheet.

The ACLU also received around 400 Document and Electronic Device Control Records. It appears that DHS agents fill out this form when they want another agency to analyze electronic devices and files they have detained from travelers. These documents provide some insight into the purpose for which DHS sends travelers’ information to third parties, and what those agencies do with the data once they receive it.

Electronic Media Examination/Detention (.xls)

Electronic Media Seizures (.xls)

Document And Electronic Device Information Control Record (.xls)

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