Border Patrol Stops Journalist From Heading To Dakota Pipeline Protests, Searches All Of His Electronic Devices

from the border-town-of-Chilling-Effects,-USA dept

If you're having trouble quelling dissent at ground zero, maybe the next move is to limit the coverage. We've already seen local authorities issue arrest warrants for journalists covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Now, we're seeing something more proactive, courtesy of Customs and Border Protection.

Award-winning Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou has had plenty of scary border experiences while reporting from the Middle East for the past decade. But his most disturbing encounter was with U.S. Customs and Border Protection last month, he said.

On Oct. 1, customs agents detained Ou for more than six hours and briefly confiscated his mobile phones and other reporting materials before denying him entry to the United States, according to Ou. He was on his way to cover the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline on behalf of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.

Welcome to the Constitution-Free Zone, Canadians! Whatever protections you might have on your side of the border matter just as little as the protections we have on our side. You have to travel ~100 miles inland before your rights are respected. For Ed Ou, this meant a lengthy detention and an attempted strip search of his electronics -- all before being told he wasn't going any further than the Canadian border. From the letter the ACLU sent to the CBP demanding a few answers [PDF]:

After Mr. Ou applied for admission to the United States at the Vancouver airport, he was redirected to secondary inspection, where he clearly identified himself as a journalist. CBP officers nonetheless detained him for more than six hours and subjected him to four separate rounds of intrusive interrogation. The officers questioned him at length about his work as a journalist and his prior professional travel in the Middle East. They also questioned him extensively about dissidents and “extremists” whom he had encountered or interviewed as a journalist. Mr. Ou answered the agents’ questions fully and forthrightly and explained many times that he was a journalist whose credentials and background could be verified easily. The officers declined to inspect his press credentials.

CBP officers also conducted an unduly intrusive search of Mr. Ou’s belongings. In the course of this search, they made photocopies of his personal papers, including of pages from his handwritten personal diary. They also confiscated, examined, and searched—or at least attempted to search—his mobile phones. The CBP officers asked Mr. Ou to unlock the three mobile phones he carries to enable him to communicate in different locations worldwide. When Mr. Ou declined with an apology, citing his ethical obligation as a journalist to protect his newsgathering materials, including his confidential sources, the officers removed the phones from Mr. Ou’s presence. When the officers returned the phones to him several hours later, it was evident that their SIM cards had been temporarily removed because tamper tape covering the cards had been destroyed or altered.

The CBP's statement in response to journalists' questions is nothing more than the expected assertion that these actions were all within its rights. As it points out, anyone arriving in the US is subject to additional searches, which can encompass the contents of their electronic devices. The CBP generally has to have an articulable reason (but not anything rising to the level of "suspicion") to do this, but a large majority of these intrusive searches go unchallenged and chanting "national security" -- as the CBP does here -- tends to make most complaints evaporate.

“Keeping America safe and enforcing our nation's laws in an increasingly digital world depends on our ability to lawfully examine all materials entering the U.S.,” the statement said.

The CBP, however, seems less sure of its reasons for detaining the photojournalist. One agent said Ou was a "person of interest" wanted by an unnamed law enforcement agency, while another said his "person of interest" status had nothing to do with his detainment. That same officer also told Ou that his refusal to unlock his phones wasn't going to help convince the CBP that he should be let into the country.

It did, however, scare up some paperwork citing a nonexistent legal authority for its refusal to admit him into the US.

The officers did provide Mr. Ou with a Form I-275 Withdrawal of Application for Admission stating that he had been found inadmissible pursuant to Section 212(a)(7)(A)(I)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). However, that is not a valid citation to the INA; indeed, the cited subsection does not exist. Section 212(a)(7)(A), moreover, pertains to those who seek admission as “immigrants”—persons intending to reside permanently in the United States. Mr. Ou plainly was not seeking admission as an “immigrant,” and neither the Form I-275 nor the questions the CBP officers asked Mr. Ou suggested any basis for concluding otherwise.

The ACLU's letter goes on to point out that the CBP now has copies of data it perhaps acquired illegally and should make an immediate effort to destroy/purge anything it collected during its chilling little fishing expedition. It also asks that the CBP cough up the real reason it decided to detain Ou and search his devices, considering those performing the search couldn't be bothered to come up with a coherent legal theory or an applicable statute to justify the intrusion.

This Constitutionless free-for-all at the borders is already a concern for US citizens, especially as the term "border" includes anything 100 miles inland. It's even more of a concern for journalists -- whether US citizens or not -- who can be prevented from covering controversial events for apparently wholly imaginary reasons.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 7:23am

    US Border Crossing 101

    First, probably shouldn't enter the US at all if it can be avoided, as this and similar stories make clear. If you happen to be on a 'list' somewhere for whatever reason, you look 'suspicious', or a border agent just feels like some easy entertainment at your expense you're going to have a bad or really bad couple of hours, and even then you're not guaranteed to be allowed in anyway.

    Second, if you must come to the US never bring anything you're not willing to lose.

    Buy a cheap temporary phone, new journal and/or a cheap tablet to do your work on. Do not bring your normal device, because the only thing stopping it from being searched, and/or a demand that you unlock it and provide access is the whim of the border agent(s).

    Similarly do not carry any large amount of cash if at all possible, as that is likewise one decision away from being stolen from you, either at the border or within the country by 'law enforcement', and your odds of getting any of it back are slim to none, especially if you only have a limited time to do so.

    Third, it's important to remember that as far as the border agents are concerned you have no rights. They can and will do anything they please, secure in the knowledge that so long as they claim 'Because terrorists/National Security!' the courts will back them up and agree that they acted properly.

    Having the number for a lawyer written down and/or memorized is probably a good idea, though don't expect you will be allowed to contact them in time to prevent any violations of the rights you thought you had, meaning it will mostly be an after-the-fact discussion if one takes place, where they can tell you that you've got essentially no chance at getting any form of restitution, but if you've got the money you can at least try.

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    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 7:43am

      Re: US Border Crossing 101

      "probably shouldn't enter the US at all if it can be avoided"

      I dunno, not entering the US is suspicious behavior. CPB should probably investigate...

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:27am

      Re: US Border Crossing 101

      Similarly do not carry any large amount of cash if at all possible

      Also don't bring your bank cards. As Techdirt has reported, if American police decide to suspect you of some type of crime, they're no longer limited to seizing any cash or goods on hand. They're now equipped with ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, which allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards right at the roadside.

      Of course the INS has demonstrated that a Canadian showing up at the border can be kidnapped to third country for 11 months of torture - just to check out vague suspicions - so robbing bank accounts at badgepoint is pretty minor stuff.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: US Border Crossing 101

        "Of course the INS has demonstrated that a Canadian showing up at the border can be kidnapped to third country for 11 months of torture"

        But Syria is no longer accepting torture-for-hire contracts from the US government, since the last batch obviously got them no favors in return. However, the US-backed overthrow of Assad could easily change all that.

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    • identicon
      Deputy Dickwad, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:57am

      Re: US Border Crossing 101

      That One Guy is finally correct...

      "Second, if you must come to the US never bring anything you're not willing to lose."

      Like your freedom!!!, You disease carrying CANADIAN SOCIALISTS!!!

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      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:51am

        Re: Re: US Border Crossing 101

        You disease carrying CANADIAN SOCIALISTS!!!

        There's a joke from back in 2008 when the Republicans were nationalizing all the Wall Street investment banks, bailing out a great many other banks, and bailing out the auto makers:

        The Conservatives in Canada are roughly equivalent to the more liberal Democrats in the US.

        The Liberal Party is further to the left.

        MUCH further to the left we have the have the unabashedly socialist NDP. They want to do things like spending huge amounts of public money to manipulate the national economy, and nationalize or take a large financial stake in banks and some large corporations.

        This makes them roughly equivalent to the Republican Party.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 1:20pm

      CBP to ACLU:

      "Fuck you."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Eldakka (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 2:52pm

      Re: US Border Crossing 101

      Buy a cheap temporary phone, new journal and/or a cheap tablet to do your work on.

      Unfortunately they would claim that any of the above is suspicious.

      Cheap new phone - suspicious.

      New journal that is entirely or mostly empty is suspicious.

      I mean, breathing is suspicious.

      And anyone who is not a US citizen wanting to enter the US is suspicious in the current climate...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        beltorak (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 6:19pm

        Re: Re: US Border Crossing 101

        Don't forget that not appearing suspicious is highly suspicious. Must be specifically trained to look that not-suspicious.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: US Border Crossing 101

          You're guilty of providing aide to terrorists for dissemination of tactics to avoid looking suspicious.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:17pm

      Re: US Border Crossing 101

      You're guilty of providing aide to terrorists for dissemination of tactics to avoid confiscation of assets used to fund terrorists, hiding evidence of terrorist activities and for supporting terrorist ideas of violent terrorists who associated with a certain G. Washington.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 2 Dec 2016 @ 10:39am

      Re: US Border Crossing 101

      That sounds like info on how to get through the border checkpoints of stalinist russia or nazi germany.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 7:40am

    Thought Police.

    “Keeping America safe and enforcing our nation's laws in an increasingly digital world depends on our ability to lawfully examine all materials entering the U.S.,” the statement said.

    An "increasingly digital world" has nothing to do with the goods, materials, and persons you're supposed to be inspecting at the border. You're abusing legitimate physical authority to inspect, control, and gather travelers' intangible private information.

    Are you really deciding what information is allowed into the country? Does the Government want to admit to a censorship scheme of that wide scale?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 8:34am

    100 miles

    By inference, that 100 mile 'border' zone would include international airports. So not only is there a 'border' zone along our borders, north south east, and west, there is 100 mile border around all international airports. I got a copy of that map showing the Constitution Free Zone, but they neglected to include the 100 miles around each and every international airport. By this perspective, the non Constitution Free Zone would include only a small amount of area. Would it be less than half? Certainly less than half of the population would live in a constitutionally protected local.

    Then again, the way the constitution is being treated by all law enforcement agencies, and in many cases by the courts, just where are the constitutionally protected zones?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:45am

      Re: 100 miles

      >By inference, that 100 mile 'border' zone would include international airports.

      Like all International airports in the world, oh that's right non US citizens have no constitutional rights.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Claire Rand, 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:30pm

      Re: 100 miles

      "just where are the constitutionally protected zones?"

      Right next to the free speech zones _obviously_...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 4:42pm

      Re: 100 miles

      just where are the constitutionally protected zones?

      The homes of congress members?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 8:54am

    in·al·ien·a·ble

    inˈālēənəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.
    "freedom of religion, the most inalienable of all human rights"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:53am

      Re: in·al·ien·a·ble

      Could you splain what you are getting at here?

      the guy is a Canadian citizen. The CBP of America has no oath or obligation to observe his rights. The US Government was created to Guard OUR liberty, not theirs!

      If foreigners get rights just by hitting American soil then the courts will be busy as fuck issuing arrest warrants for each at every member of an invading Army.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re: in·al·ien·a·ble

        Just like Jefferson, I feel that the rights are automatically part of being human. Unlike him however, I don't limit it to men only. Taking and searching electronics with no suspicion is tyranny. Creating a law that directly contradicts the constitution automatically makes it an invalid one.
        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: in·al·ien·a·ble

          > Just like Jefferson, I feel that the rights are automatically part of being human. Unlike him however, I don't limit it to men only.

          If I'm not mistaken, I believe that Jefferson limited it even further to *white* men only. Jefferson was a slave owner. And yet, there are many today that believe that Jefferson was *still* too liberal with freedom.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re: in·al·ien·a·ble

        the guy is a Canadian citizen. The CBP of America has no oath or obligation to observe his rights.

        The Bill of Rights does not apply only to US citizens. Since the fourth is most relevant to this discussion:

        "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

        You could argue that "the people" means the citizens of this country, but I think that's misguided.

        If we expect aliens to obey our laws, aliens should be able to expect that we will obey our Constitution when we investigate, prosecute, and punish them.

        I'm sure you wouldn't say a foreign national visiting the US has no obligation to obey US law while here. Why, then, do we not have an obligation to obey US law when dealing with him or her?

        http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/17008-fourth-amendment-and-foreigners-do es-it-apply

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 8:59am

    It's hard to desire to be a good person when so many bad people are allowed to get away with so much evil.

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  • identicon
    Border Patrol, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:01am

    "The journalist could be a terrorist!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:03am

    Keeping America safe and enforcing our nation's laws in an increasingly digital world depends on our ability to lawfully examine all materials entering the U.S.

    That's the most vague and bullshit claim I have ever heard of.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:13am

    He was stupid to identify himself as a foreign journalist headed to a conflict zone, since in the US government's current thinking, that's barely a step below admitting to being a "terrorist". Total Information Warfare puts all reporters in the "with us or against us" category.

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    • identicon
      Ross, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      Then he risked being caught. He likely had digital things indicating his intentions and location, such as hotel reservations or similar.

      Border Patrol can demand to see where you're planning to stay in the country and require the address. If he couldn't show them any hotel reservations or other planned destinations, that would have been considered highly suspicious.

      Not to mention, if they got access to his texts or email, they could have spotted email reservations or messages indicating his plans. Lying about it would have legitimized their suspicions.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Indeed; and if he was already on the Persons of Interest list, that indicates they already knew where he was going. Probably all reporters checking into a hotel in the area were flagged.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:21am

    Someone needs to crowdsource signage at major locations that are 100 miles from the boarder stating "You are out of the Constitution Free Zone. Your rights might now be respected."

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:25am

    Serious Questions...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:38am

      Re: Serious Questions...

      I don't even now how or why that happened, but Serious question.

      How does a non-citizen have any rights? They have privileges based on treaties and agreements with other nations only.

      Here is the preamble to the Constitution.

      "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[note 1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

      It looks like only "We the People of the United States" are the ONLY people with rights when it comes to dealing with our Government. Which additionally means that there is no such thing as a Constitution Free Zone which was dreamed up out of thin air. Only Citizens have rights in regards to the US Government and those rights are in force regardless of location, including the ocean or right smack dab in the middle of Iraq! If you are an American then the American government is sworn to uphold the Constitution in all cases!

      It's funny how far we have fallen, we seek the utter destruction of this nation and do not know that we are doing it from the looks of things.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: Serious Questions...

        The preamble is stating "We the people ...do ordane and establish the constitution..." as in the power of the constitution comes from the people, not that the people of the USA are the only people covered by it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:39am

        Re: Re: Serious Questions...

        If you're asking that question, then you should consider the question in the context of "turnabout is fair play."

        That is, should Americans have any rights when visiting other countries? If mere vague suspicions lead to Americans experiencing anything from having their electronics searched or seized to being shipped to a third country for months of torture, should America have any right to complain?

        More importantly, what of Americans in America? In the couple years after 9/11 the US kidnapped over 100 people on EU soil alone, shipped them to other countries, and tortured many of them. Releasing many years later with an "er, never mind."

        If another country kidnaps an American off an American street and ships them overseas for torture, should America have any right to complain? If it's claimed that the American was suspected of ties to crime or terrorism or the company that made the drones they object to flying over their country - and a decade later there's still no trial - should America be able to say anything other than "You're right; that's how WE handle it?"

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Serious Questions...

          So you are saying this is not already happening? There are tons of Americans in foreign jails for crimes they did not commit on that nations soil.

          And yes, people should really fucking consider the consequences of putting their lives into the hands of a fucked up government.

          And when you leave your country, you have to accept the risk that you will be screwed by it.

          "If another country kidnaps an American off an American street and ships them overseas for torture, should America have any right to complain?"

          This is completely different. But yea lets ask this question. Since we don't even come to the rescue of a people having their rights crushed in the court of law then why even bother with it? You are screwed no matter where you go, but I can say this. If the ACLU has time and resources to waste on a foreigner when there are too many innocents here suffering then the ACLU can kiss my fucking ass because it is clear their priorities are all fucked up and serves the wrong agenda!

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          • icon
            Nop (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 12:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Serious Questions...

            There are tons of Americans in foreign jails for crimes they did not commit on that nations soil.

            [Citation needed]

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 5:04pm

        Re: Re: Serious Questions...

        How does a non-citizen have any rights?

        The Constitution doesn't grant rights to the citizens of the US. To an extent it recognizes rights all people are considered to have (insert caveats about the time of the founding fathers), but primarily it specifies and limits the powers of the federal government. For example, the 1st doesn't say that US citizens have the right to freedom of religion, speech and assembly, it says the government may not make any laws abridging such rights.

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        • icon
          beltorak (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 6:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Serious Questions...

          The Constitution doesn't grant rights to the citizens of the US. To an extent it recognizes rights all people are considered to have ..., but primarily it specifies and limits the powers of the federal government.

          This really should be taught and emphasized more. Some might think it's a pointless distinction of philosophical navel-gazing, but it really is an important philosophical underpinning of the US Constitution and how the founding fathers envisioned the role of the government in the lives of the citizenry.

          I just realized, reading your's and another's comments, that I have also fallen into the fallacy of thinking in terms of the US Constitution granting me rights. But it is really specifying the relationship the other way around. It is a statement recognizing that I as a human being have unalienable rights, and a limit on the government's authority in how far and under what circumstances it may infringe on those rights.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Serious Questions...

            More to the point, the Constitution is the contract between the people and the government where the people are granting limited rights to the government.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Serious Questions...

          For example, the 1st doesn't say that US citizens have the right to freedom of religion, speech and assembly, it says the government may not make any laws abridging such rights.

          Ahh, so that explains why cops think it's OK to violate people's rights. "It's OK, I'm just beating the crap out of this guy. I'm not passing any laws."

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        • icon
          Seegras (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 4:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Serious Questions...

          Even more. The US Constitution doesn't talk about citizens when it comes to freedom of speech and such. It talks about people. It only talks about citizens when it comes to voting. So clearly the freedom of religion, speech and assembly are meant to be for everyone. Even foreigners in foreign states.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 9:54am

    Not news

    The CBP trampling on the Constitution is not news...hell, even their "100 mile Constitution Free Zone" is no longer news.

    The real CBP news will be when they decide they have the right and duty to set up check points up to 100 miles on the other side of the border.

    I realize no nation would probably allow that to happen, but I'm sure there's some CBP employees that would love to try it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:25am

      Re: Not news

      Where in the US constitution does it afford protections to non-citizens?

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      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: Not news

        This can be rephrased as "Why should any other country afford protections to visiting US citizens?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Not news

          Good point, so why should I not run over to say... the UK and express my 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bare arms right out in public?

          Oh, that's right, because they have different laws and rights are GIVEN over there and not considered sacred like they are here... well I take that bake, America USED to consider them sacred.

          And no, other countries treat American citizens just like they want to... as tourist money bags to be over charged so they can drop off America dollars into their economies.

          Go and try peddling that shit in Syria in front of the Royalty and see how far that bullshit gets you!

          As said earlier, a foreign nationals safety and security are only viable through treaty and agreements between nations. While I have no problem with generally being amiable to foreigners, they should never be so fool as to claims rights only secured to the Citizens.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not news

            so why should I not run over to say... the UK and express my 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bare arms right out in public?

            You'd still get the legal protections given to UK citizens.

            they have different laws and rights are GIVEN over there and not considered sacred like they are here

            Nonsense. Laws and rights are at least as sacred in the UK as in America.

            Go and try peddling that shit in Syria in front of the Royalty and see how far that bullshit gets you!

            So you don't think that America should hold itself to a higher standard than the Syrian dictatorship?

            In any case I'm talking about the more than 100 people America kidnapped from EU soil, not from some 3rd world hellhole. Those treaties and agreements exist, and were ignored.

            If Italy or Germany or the UK kidnaps an American off an American street, and tortures and holds him indefinitely without trial, should THAT country be allowed to dismiss it with "the American doesn't get to claim rights secured only to OUR citizens?"

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          • icon
            Niall (profile), 2 Dec 2016 @ 2:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not news

            All laws apply equally to all people within a country, whether legal or illegal. Similarly, all general rights relating to the law. You'd never say "oh, she's not a US citizen, she doesn't get a fair trial" or "he's in the US illegally, we can just shoot him out of hand". Or "Oh he's a foreigner, we can just arrest him for speaking his mind"...

            While there are certain rights, benefits, perks and responsibilities pertaining to being a citizen (such as voting), the rule of law should apply fairly and equally to all.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2016 @ 6:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not news

              > You'd never say "oh, she's not a US citizen, she doesn't get a fair trial" or "he's in the US illegally, we can just shoot him out of hand". Or "Oh he's a foreigner, we can just arrest him for speaking his mind"...

              While *I* wouldn't, there are certainly those who would.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re: Not news

        Where in the US constitution does it afford protections to non-citizens?

        If people visiting don't get the protection of the laws, exactly why should they follow them other than brute force, 'We'll kill you if you don't'?

        Or, put another way, if the USG and/or it's agencies aren't going to respect the laws, why should anyone else?

        If you want to apply the law to someone you don't get to do so halfway, only applying the punishments without also applying the protections. Saying that people visiting from other countries are bound by the US laws but government agencies interacting with them aren't is just a wee bit hypocritical.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:13pm

      Re: Not news

      > The real CBP news will be when they decide they have the right and duty to set up check points up to 100 miles on the other side of the border.

      They already do this in Canada; CBP has a US zone inside each Canadian international airport. In fact, this story took place at Vancouver International Airport -- NOT on US soil.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:56pm

        Re: Re: Not news

        With limits.

        For example a decade ago, running out of space on its side of the Peace Bridge, America's Homeland Security decided to move its screening process to the Canadian side. And then demanded that the Canadian government allow it to fingerprint anyone turned away.

        The Canadian government refused. In Canada no-one can be fingerprinted without giving permission, unless that person is being charged with a criminal offence.

        I have to wonder how much the Canadian journalist's treatment required a false assumption of American authority over him. If he figured out early that he wouldn't be allowed into the US, I suspect that he could have simply ended any interrogation or search (assuming that he still had his phones by that point) by simply walking away.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Norahc (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 5:12pm

        Re: Re: Not news

        And setting up in an international airport is a far cry from some of the stuff they do on this side of the border in their 100 mile Constitution Free Zone.

        Things like sitting along highways and pulling vehicles over for no reason other than to look through them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2016 @ 4:01am

        Re: Re: Not news

        Similarly, US "pre clearance" has operated in 2 of the major airports in Ireland, it is in quite a few countries

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 2 Dec 2016 @ 12:00pm

      Re: Not news

      The US police tried that already. They wanted their cops to be above the law when visiting Canada, and the Canadian government told not going to happen. if they want to come to Canada they will be beholden to the laws of Canada

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:10am

    Inalienable rights apply to all men

    ... thus proving that Canadians are not human.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr Boyscout, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:38am

    Social contract failure

    The basic tenant the social contract known as civilization is same as any other contract. There are two sides and two parts to the exchange. In this case; the 'sides' are authority and citizenry. The exchange is laws and rights. When we break the citizen side of the contract by breaking the law, we lose our rights(arrest, detainment, etc) when they 'those representing government' remove the rights of any citizen without that citizen breaking the law those representing the government need to lose all authority in the social contract. When only one side in a contract is following the rules the contract is void.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 12:15pm

      Re: Social contract failure

      When the side not following the rules has all the physical power in the relationship, voiding the contract means nothing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:59am

    do not know that we are doing

    this government knows exactly what it is doing. it just can't seem to disable what our forefathers built fast enough to suit them.

    those men and women knew what they were doing. where they came from, they knew the dangers, and they built a nation that wouldn't be easy to defeat. even from within.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:23am

    Wasn't there a court opinion that the border exception was legal partly because it was so infrequently used? It seems to be increasing in frequency. If so, would that be grounds for an appeal?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter, 1 Dec 2016 @ 2:13pm

    Leader of the "free" World

    I find it sad some in the western world (especially the mass media) hold the USA out as the leader of the free world yet by its actions it is anything but. I also think that the people who voted for Trump are the same people who would take up arms against a totalitarian regime. But what they don't seem to realise is that their government has become or soon will become a totalitarian regime. They aren't the target yet, so they don't realise all their rights have been eroded whilst they shout down the "free thinkers".

    This story has yet to appear in the mass media (other than the Washington Post). Journalists should be screaming from the roof tops about this but I suppose when most of them are just scribes to what ever dribble the "secret government source" hands them, we shouldn't be surprised.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:31pm

      Re: Leader of the "free" World

      But what they don't seem to realise is that their government has become or soon will become a totalitarian regime.

      I wonder how far it will go and if it will implode on itself someday. Will we have ex-republicans someday trying to hide their past like ex-nazis do today?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Niall (profile), 2 Dec 2016 @ 2:14am

        Re: Re: Leader of the "free" World

        What's scary is that this is happening under the "Soshalist Keeenyan Moooslem Atheeeist 0bummer" (even if he's only continuing Bush's ethos) and it's not even what a less-restrained Republican Administration would be like.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 2 Dec 2016 @ 12:01pm

      Re: Leader of the "free" World

      America has become a third world country in the eyes of many.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 2 Dec 2016 @ 10:36am

    What good little goose stepping border patrol agents. Stuff like this which will only cause the Canadians tourists to stop going to the US

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kanuk, 2 Dec 2016 @ 12:52pm

    Preclearance is voluntary

    US Customs in Canada is just "preclearance" to enter the United States. Ed Ou could have at any time abandoned his effort to enter the USA and walked back into Canada. Canadian law applies fully to the whole Vancouver airport, and might make it an offense to make false statements but the Canadian Preclearance Act allows individuals to end their US Customs inspection at any time by walking back and remaining in Canada (a very viable option for a Canadian citizen), thereby ending their bid to enter the US. The Americans might well log your attempt but that's it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2016 @ 1:12pm

      Re: Preclearance is voluntary

      Do you think he was informed of that? The story also says that his phones were confiscated. Confiscation is not a voluntary process.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2016 @ 1:57pm

    At this point I'm surprised they didn't just claim he was a terrorist and shoot him in the back.

    They could use the usual excuse of "he's not white, therefore we murdered him and stole his wallet".

    Oh sorry every single camera in the area malfunctioned just before 12 officers shot him from 300foot away in the back and then stamped on his corpse to be sure he was dead.

    I mean, we stopped an evil terrorism plot. Information classified.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eh?, 2 Dec 2016 @ 4:08pm

    Up against the wall scumbag

    Interesting in that a few short years ago Canada and the USSA worked out laws that allowed free passage back and forth. Quite a celebration at the time.

    This did not last long, of course. I do not recall the reason. Probably a reversal due to some staged threat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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