Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Legal Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Christine E. Ekman


This paper examines the historical underpinnings, present challenges, and the critical importance of the border search exception to the warrant requirement imposed by the Fourth Amendment. The paper begins with a look at the history of the border search exception and traces it to modern day statutory law. The border search exception as it applies to electronic media is then examined to include current case law. Present challenges, or arguments against suspicionless electronic media searches, are presented and refuted. Further, arguments for maintaining a lack of individualized suspicion to conduct these searches are also explored. Finally, a brief examination of the border search laws of the United Kingdom and Canada is conducted. Ultimately, the point of the paper is to argue that despite an increase in technology, the border search exception should not be modified to create an exception for electronic media devices by requiring particularized suspicion.



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