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US Federal agents may take a traveller's laptop or other electronic device to an offsite location for an unspecified period without any suspicion of wrongdoing as part of border search policies, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently disclosed and may share copies of a laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or "other reasons", according to the policies issued by 2 DHS agencies, the US Customs and Border Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  DHS officials say the new policies apply to anyone entering the country (this includes US citizens) and are necessary to prevent terrorism.  An increasing number of international travellers report that their laptops, cellphones and other digital devices are being taken.  Policies cover "any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form," including hard drive, flash drive, cellphone, iPod, video and audio tapes and "all papers and other written documentation," even books and those "written materials commonly referred to as 'pocket litter'."

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