– “Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights”
“Recent detentions and seizures of phones and other material from travelers to the United States have sparked alarm. We detail what powers Customs and Border Protection officials have over you and your devices.”
“UPDATE: Mar. 13, 2017: This story has been updated to add that Customs and Border Protection agents must have probable cause of wrongdoing to make stops outside the 100-mile border zone within which they have broad search powers.”
* Doesn’t the Fourth Amendment protect us from “unreasonable searches and seizures”?
* How broad is Customs and Border Protection’s search authority?
* Does CBP’s search authority cover electronic devices like smartphones and laptops?
* Can CBP really search my electronic devices without any specific suspicion that I might have committed a crime?
* Am I legally required to disclose the password for my electronic device or social media, if CBP asks for it?
* What is some practical advice for protecting my digital information?
* Does CBP recognize any exceptions to what it can examine on electronic devices?
* Am I entitled to a lawyer if I’m detained for further questioning by CBP?
* Can I record my interaction with CBP officials?
* Does CBP’s power to stop and question people extend beyond the border and ports of entry?
* Where can CBP set up checkpoints?
* Can CBP do anything outside of the 100-mile zone?
By Patrick G. Lee, ProPublica.
– Editor’s Note:
Growing-up in the 1950’s, 1060’s and 1970’s, we were taught about the power of an absolute oligarchy’s surveillance-state operational standards, then exemplified in the former Soviet Union and China. Now, the United States has become the poster-child worldwide of such a condition, and even more so under President Trump’s Administration.
– UPDATE: April 3, 2017
“The Bill of Rights at the Border: Fourth Amendment Limits on Searching Your Data and Devices”
More than 325,000 people enter the United States via airports every day, with hundreds of thousands more crossing by land at the borders. Not only is that a lot of people, it’s also a lot of computers, smartphones, and tablets riding along in our pockets, bags, and trunks. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment protections we enjoy inside the U.S. for our devices aren’t always as strong when we’re crossing borders—and the Department of Homeland Security takes advantage of it. On the other hand, the border is not a Constitution-free zone. What are the limits to how and how much customs and immigrations officials can access our data?
To help answer those questions, we’re offering the second in our series of posts on the Constitution at the border, focusing this time on the Fourth Amendment. For Part 1 on the First Amendment, click here,” by Stephanie Lacambra, Electronic Frontier Foundation.