Have Your Devices Or Accounts Been Searched At The Border?

Image courtesy of 713 Avenue

When entering the United States, have agents taken away your computer or other devices, or have they demanded social media passwords? The Electronic Frontier Foundation is gathering stories from people who have had to surrender their devices or their social media account information at the border when it’s not clear what the feds are doing with this information.

“We’re concerned that this indicates an expansion of the already invasive digital practices of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” the EFF explains, noting that the searches are focused on people traveling to the U.S. from countries in the Middle East, and that requests to search devices have reportedly increased since an executive order suspending travel to the U.S. for residents of seven countries.

Searches may be becoming more invasive, with agents searching the contents of devices and social media postings. Worse, the EFF wants to know whether any of the travelers being searched have been threatened or told that the searches are mandatory. They may have requested a mobile phone passcode to access all of your data at once, including your posts to social media accounts.

If CBP took your devices or asked for your account information, contact the EFF at borders@eff.org or call +1-415-436-9333. The email address accepts messages encrypted with PGP.

The EFF is especially interested in these questions, if your device or account details were taken:

  • Your legal status in the U.S. (citizen, permanent resident, visa holder).
  • What airport or border crossing you were at.
  • What devices you had with you.
  • What border agents specifically demanded (including social media handles and passcodes) or what they specifically looked through.
  • Whether border agents recorded any information.
  • Whether border agents stated or suggested that compliance with their demands was voluntary or mandatory.
  • Whether border agents threatened you in any way.
  • Whether border agents stated any reasons for their demands.
  • They’re especially interested in hearing from green card holders and U.S. citizens.

    (via BoingBoing)

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