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Documents: Why Homeland Security Agents Seized Manning Support Network Co-Founder’s Electronic Devices

The American Civil Liberties Union, which pursued a lawsuit alleging Bradley Manning Support Network (now Private Manning Support Network) co-founder David House had his rights violated when he had his electronic devices, including a laptop, searched and seized at O’Hare International Airport, has posted documents providing more details on why House was targeted. They suggest authorities may have been interested in whether he had knowledge or possessed “Afghanistan War Logs” documents that had not been published by WikiLeaks.

On November 3, 2010, when House was returning from a vacation in Mexico, he was detained by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents and missed a connecting flight to Boston. He was forced to hand over his laptop, a USB storage device, a video camera and a cellular phone. The agents did not ask if House consented to a search nor did they present House with a search warrant.

The ACLU sent a letter on December 21, 2010, to DHS, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) urging the agencies to return his electronic devices. His devices were returned the day after and on May 13, 2011, the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging the government had “targeted House solely on the basis of his lawful association with the Bradley Manning Support Network” and violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."