Feds Use Border Search Exception to Nab Pedophile:
Federal law enforcement officials have been using some recent Fourth Amendment caselaw to nab pedophiles who are traveling off to Thailand and other countries to engage in sexual activities with children. The strategy: using the Fourth Amendment's border exception to search through the suspect's computer and electronic storage devices.

  Recent decisions by the Fifth Circuit, Fourth Circuit, and Ninth Circuit have approved computer searches under the "border exception" to the Fourth Amendment, which permits the suspicionless search of property entering and exiting the county. The feds are taking advantage of the fact that computers store so much information, including pictures, and are searching through suspects' computers at the airport before the suspects depart on (or when they arrive from) international flights. When the feds find child pornography on the computer or any storage devices held by the suspect, they arrest the suspect on child porn charges.

  The latest example of this is an arrest at the Dulles Airport today of a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The story is here, via the AP. Conveniently for the government, the suspected decided to fly in to an airport in the Fourth Circuit; the Fourth Circuit has already approved the use of the border search exception to search a computer.