- Associated Press - Friday, July 8, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge in New York City is questioning why laptops and smartphones should be excluded from random searches done by U.S. customs agents protecting the border.

Judge Edward Korman heard arguments Friday in Brooklyn on a lawsuit brought against the Department of Homeland Security by Pascal Abidor.

Abidor’s laptop was confiscated last year at the Canadian border while en route to New York from Montreal. He says that when it was returned, it was clear agents had looked at personal files.

Civil rights lawyers representing Abidor argue the search was unconstitutional. The government says it can search belongings at the border without cause.

The judge suggested Friday no cause is needed because the searches are meant to stop terror attacks. He will rule later on whether to dismiss the case.

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