DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Loretta Sanchez

Sent By: Eduardo.Lerma@mail.house.gov

Date: 3/25/2009

PROTECT TRAVELER’S CIVIL LIBERTIES AT U.S. PORTS OF ENTRY

Support the Border Security Search Accountability Act of 2009

111th Original Cosponsors: Rep. Russ Carnahan, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Charles Gonzalez, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep.

Nita Lowey, Rep. Jim Moran, Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Adam Smith,

Rep. Bennie Thompson

110th Sponsors: Rep. Chris Carney, Rep. Peter Defazio, Rep. Bob Filner, Rep. Charles Gonzalez, Rep.

Brian Higgins, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Rep. Jan

Schakowsky, Rep. Bennie Thompson

Dear Colleague,

In the 110th Congress, I introduced, H.R. 6869, the Border Security Search Accountability Act of 2008. I plan on re-introducing this bi-partisan legislation in the 111th Congress and I urge you to join me as an original cosponsor. The Border Security Search Accountability Act of 2009 would create and

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define much-needed guidelines for authorized U.S. officials that conduct authorized border searches of electronic devices.

I was deeply concerned to learn about the lack of protections available to individuals when their electronic equipment is seized during a border search. Currently federal border agents may conduct border searches and seize travelers’ personal laptops and other electronic storage devices (i.e. IPods and Blackberrys) and hold these items for an unlimited amount of time. This bill would strengthen protections for U.S. citizens and their property by establishing specific guidelines concerning the retention, storage, copying and sharing of personal identity information that may be contained in seized electronic devices.

This legislation will ensure that when an individual’s property is seized at a U.S. port of entry, there is a well-defined procedure in place that will protect their electronic data. The Border Security Search Accountability Act of 2009 will also require the Department of Homeland Security to post information about individuals’ rights related to border searches in visible areas near the search points, so that individuals will understand their rights if their property is seized.

Finally the Border Security Search Accountability Act of 2009 also ensures that the Trade Secrets Act, the Privacy Act and all other governing rules and regulations pertaining to privileged and personal data such as, attorney- client and doctor-patient privileged materials will be handled with the utmost discretion.

If you have any further questions, would like a section by section or like to be an original cosponsor of this bill please contact Eduardo Lerma in my office at 5-2965 or email him at

HUEduardo.Lerma@mail.house.govU <mailto:Eduardo.Lerma@mail.house.gov> H.

Sincerely,

LORETTA SANCHEZ

Member of Congress

California