Brooklyn Law Review


Atanu Das


The Department of Homeland Security has instituted rules to allow Customs and Border Patrol officials to conduct a warrantless search the mobile device data, including social media accounts, of U.S. citizens entering the United States under the border search exception doctrine of the Fourth Amendment. However, U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence has found that there are limits to government interference in the freedom of association and freedom to be anonymous. This essay analyzes such jurisprudence as it applies to the warrantless border search of social media accounts accessible from a mobile device and concludes that this warrantless search infringes the freedom of association and the freedom to be anonymous, causing a chilling effect on an individual’s participation in social network groups for the purpose of expressing political speech.