April 21, 2017

A team of Jenner & Block attorneys recently filed a complaint for injunctive relief on behalf of our client, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, against the US Department of Homeland Security and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The complaint asks that a FOIA request submitted by the Knight Institute to each defendant on March 15 be granted expedited review.  The request seeks disclosure of records concerning suspicionless searches of individuals’ electronic devices at the nation’s borders.  Directives issued in 2009 purport to authorize the search of travelers’ electronic devices—including cell phones, tablets and laptop computers—at the US border without individualized suspicion and to detain those devices indefinitely. The number of searches of electronic devices at the borders has risen sharply since 2015, with a marked increase in the first quarter of 2017.

The Jenner & Block team includes Partners Scott B. Wilkens, Susan J. Kohlmann and Matthew S. Hellman and Associates Caroline M. DeCell, Joshua H.Rubin and Michael E. Stewart.