Federal agents can search your phone at the US border — here’s how to protect your personal information

13 Sep , 2017 Politics

When you’re entering the United States, whether at an airport or a border crossing, federal agents have broad authority to search citizens and visitors alike.

And that can include flipping through your phone, computer, and any other electronic devices you have with you.

As the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) outlines in a tearsheet it provides to people at the border, federal agents can seize and search your phone, and even make a copy of it to have forensic experts analyze its contents off-site.

“This isn’t rogue officers; this is the official, written policy of the US government,” Adam Schwartz, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a conference call on Wednesday.

The EFF and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Homeland Security on behalf of 11 people who have had their phones and laptops searched at the border, in order to require the government get warrants before searching electronic devices.

Agents looked through just over 8,500 travelers’ devices in 2015, jumping to 19,000 in 2016, according to CBP data released in April. This year, agents have already searched nearly 15,000 devices — putting them on track …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

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