Border Device Searches Continue To Increase, Threatening More Than Just The 4th Amendment

from the nothing-to-hide,-everything-to-fear dept

This administration has made it clear "securing" the borders is one of our nation's top priorities. In all honesty, the administration probably couldn't care less about the Canadian border. Almost all of its attention is focused on the southern border, but it also wants to make sure visitors/immigrants from certain countries are hassled extensively no matter where they first set foot in this country.

The nation's borders have long been a place where certain rights become privileges. Legislators and courts have done little to roll this back, usually favoring national security over individual rights. Border searches of electronic devices were already on the rise before Trump took office, jumping from 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 20,000 in 2016.

2016's gaudy record numbers will soon be overwritten, though. And we're barely three-quarters of the way through 2017.

On April 11, 2017 the CBP announced in a press release that they'd searched 14,993 electronic devices being carried by international travelers (they don't say how many were American citizens). In all of 2016 CBP says they searched 19,033 devices. In 2015, reports say they searched about 5,000.

At the rate reported, visitors and US citizens will have been on the receiving end of nearly 60,000 devices searches by the end of the year. And that's only if the last reported numbers remain steady. But there's every reason to believe these numbers will increase exponentially. The administration has actively encouraged more intrusiveness at the borders, something that has bled into potential rights violations even at our northern border, where things were generally more relaxed.

The DHS is fine with this wholesale write-off of Fourth Amendment protections. It frequently points to a 2009 Privacy Impact Assessment which bluntly states plenty of privacy will be impacted and the CBP is more than welcome to generate probable cause after the fact.

CBP will contact you by telephone when the examination of the electronic device(s) is complete, to notify you that you may pick-up the item(s) during regular business hours from the location where the item(s) was detained. If it is impractical for you to pick up the device, CBP can make arrangements to ship the device to you at our expense. CBP may retain documents or information relating to immigration, customs, and other enforcement matters only if such retention is consistent with the privacy and data protection standards of the system in which such information is retained. Otherwise, if there is no probable cause to seize information after review, CBP will not retain any copies.

But this increased focus on searching as many electronic devices as possible has the potential to do damage to rights beyond those enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Frank Miniter of The American Conservative points out so-called "routine" searches cause problems for the First Amendment.

While doing research for my novel Kill Big Brother I had off-the-record conversations with men and women from U.S. intelligence agencies. I also interviewed Dark Web types who insisted they stay on background. None of these individuals told me about secret government programs or anything at all that would make an interesting scene in a Jason Bourne movie. All I got was background and perspective—invaluable things to a journalist who wants to get things right. But recordings of some of those conversations are on my iPhone. Other sources are there, too. So I’ve password protected the encrypted data. It will automatically erase all the texts, audio and more if someone tries to guess their way into my phone.

That’s my reason for being concerned that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the power to disregard my Fourth Amendment rights and to demand I give them access to my digital devices if I fly internationally or even decide to drive to Montreal.

I’m a journalist and I must protect my sources, but I also don’t think my private photos, my social media, my texts and more are the government’s business.

A couple pieces of legislation aimed at creating a border search warrant requirement have been introduced, but will be facing more opposition than usual. The DOJ and DHS have never welcomed new warrant requirements and, given the directives issued during the first few months of the Trump presidency, will certainly feel any such requirement would undermine their ability to carry out the president's orders.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:03am

    Contact me how?

    "CBP will contact you by telephone when the examination of the electronic device(s) is complete"

    If they seize my cell phone, how are they going to contact me by telephone when they have my telephone?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:24am

      Re: Contact me how?

      Easy, just get a new phone, and put your cell number on the new phone.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: Contact me how?

        So I'm expected to pay hundreds of dollars unnecessarily, just because the government wanted to root around in my phone for no good reason? Can I send them the bill?

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

        • identicon
          bob, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Contact me how?

          No, I think they expect something more of a physical position for you to enter while they root around in your phone.

          Saves them time for the next search of your person.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: Contact me how?

          Buying a new phone has an advantage. Most phone companies will "brick" your previous. So when you buy your new phone, just request your old phone be "bricked", so that CPB investigators will be locked out of the phone, problem solved.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:16am

    They are encouraging people to not bring any items with them, I guess one should then ship those items ahead of time.

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

    • icon
      Advocate (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:01pm

      Re:

      Noop. The "search" way more of the mail than they do of people, like 100%.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Rex, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:02pm

      Re: Ship it first.

      After having my luggage tossed every time and my phone & laptop being "screened" for hours on end after overseas business I put all my clothes in a box and take it to fedex and ship it two weeks before I get there, and I keep a phone and laptop in a storage locker in London. Shipping my stuff is way cheaper than checking it and I know it got there before I even leave for the airport.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:31am

    Close, but not quite right

    The DOJ and DHS have never welcomed new warrant requirements...

    I'd remove one of those words accuracy.

    The DOJ and DHS have never welcomed warrant requirements...

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

    • icon
      ThatFatMan (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:37am

      Re: Close, but not quite right

      Totally right, and kinda baffling too. I'm pretty sure they all took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. The same Constitution that is pretty clear on the matter:

      Amendment IV

      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.

      If you can't deal with that, you have no business being in a government position. These people need to resign immediately.

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

      • identicon
        Rex, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:30am

        ?? What 4th Amendment

        ... by now it should be obvious to intelligent people that the Federal Government does not respect nor adhere to the formal 4th Amendment !

        All 3 branches of the Federal Government have vigorously chipped away at 4A over past 50 years ... because its legal principle strongly restricts government power over the populace.

        There is now NO effective legal mechanism to enforce 4A -- courts at all levels have sided with the "government view" of expansive government powers of search & seizure.

        Abandon All Hope that some ancient ink on parchment (Constitution) will shield you from tyranny.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:11am

          Re: ?? What 4th Amendment

          That's the slippery slope in action. A little thing over time, may not have been a big deal back then, but a little over time and now it's WHAT THE F HAPPENED?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:46am

            Re: Re: ?? What 4th Amendment

            "WHAT THE F HAPPENED?"

            Can answer that for you.

            People willfully remain ignorant of how their government operates along with a very healthy disdain for the founding fathers. For many "single issue" voters, if a person was ever associated with something they feel is negative then it is a total boycott of everything they did and stood for.

            Sadly, most people are not capable of appreciating a person for doing the right thing, when they think they did something else wrong.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:59am

              Re: Re: Re: ?? What 4th Amendment

              Really!

              So, why do they hate America?

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

            • icon
              Advocate (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: ?? What 4th Amendment

              ...and yet if you do a quick reversal before they get to you, you'll be celebrated moreso than people who never believed the bullshit or did the harmful thing in the first place.

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

      • identicon
        DHS/CBP, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:05am

        Re: Re: Close, but not quite right

        I'm pretty sure they all took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution.

        So what of it? You gonna do something about it?

        If you can't deal with that, you have no business being in a government position. These people need to resign immediately.

        You don't tell US what to do. We tell YOU what to do. The tail don't wag the dog, chump.

        -- DHS/CBP

        /p

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

        • identicon
          Cowardly Lion, 23 Aug 2017 @ 6:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Close, but not quite right

          "So what of it? You gonna do something about it?"

          Once a warm, friendly destination for international travelers, the USA has become of late a hostile and unwelcoming country. As a foreigner, I will not visit the USA until it changes it's policies.

          n.b. I genuinely don't know what /p means in a forum (and search engines are no help), so I'm taking you literally. Apologies if your comment was intended as humourous. Feel free to take my response as literal.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Close, but not quite right

            I genuinely don't know what /p means in a forum (and search engines are no help)

            /p = parody

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

      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 24 Aug 2017 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re: Close, but not quite right

        The key element is that they believe that a search at the border, or otherwise pursuant to border / customs enforcement, is inherently not unreasonable - and, therefore, does not need a warrant in the first place.

        And the reason they continue to believe this after so many hears is that many courts seem to have agreed with them.

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

    • icon
      ThatFatMan (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:02am

      Re: Close, but not quite right

      Of course, on the other hand, does it even matter?

      In a day and age where you don't own your devices can you really be upset when they search Apple or Samsung's phone or HP or Lenovo's laptop?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:35am

    Close the borders and get rid of Foreign Employment visas.

    Tax the ever-loving SNOT out of companies that offshore-outsource positions while raking in the cash here.

    Enough is enough.

    When we've kicked out all of the criminal invaders and the U6 Employment numbers start looking better, we can think about opening things back up / easing off on the taxes.

    Until then tighten the screws until the pain brings results.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:18am

      Re:

      "Close the borders and get rid of Foreign Employment visas."

      ...and you think this will *increase* your GDP? Wow.

      "Tax the ever-loving SNOT out of companies that offshore-outsource positions while raking in the cash here."

      How, exactly, will preventing foreign-born people from doing business in your country stop US-based employers from offshoring? Wouldn't many of them simply move their offices away from an environment so openly hostile to a global business?

      Like most insular xenophobes, your solutions will only cause deeper problems with your economy, because you've been conditioned to believe in a boogeyman. Probably by the very people who would stand to benefit from an isolationist approach - a group that doesn't include the average working American.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      Tax the ever-loving SNOT out of companies that offshore-outsource positions while raking in the cash here.

      They're way ahead of you.

      Disney for example did NOT replace their IT staff with foreign nationals holding H-1B visas. No, they instead replaced them with American outsourcing contractor. Which used foreign nationals holding H-1B visas.

      Your "ever-loving SNOT tax" wouldn't apply to Disney, since they merely sub-contracted to an American company. It wouldn't apply to the outsourcing contractor, since those were - for them - new positions with no American workers being replaced.

      It even went to court, with claims that Disney and the contractor violated civil racketeering laws. It turned out it wasn't RICO.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      I agree, let's get rid of Americans who don't understand the basic principles of the foundation of America.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:01am

      Re:

      When we've kicked out all of the criminal invaders ....


      Are you a descendant of European relatives?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        Correct, all non-aboriginal peoples must go. Back to Europe with you scum.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Do you mean indigenous? If so, everyone born there is indigenous/aboriginal. You might be able to kick out parents/grandparents/etc, but you canna kick out the natives no matter what colour them's skin is.

          If you wanna argue the point, go argue with a brick wall.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 4:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            everyone born there is indigenous/aboriginal.

            That's not the meaning of indigenous.

            If you wanna argue the point, go argue with a brick wall.

            It sounds like he already is.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 8:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Lol. Nothing better than people displaying their own ignorance because they don't understand what words mean.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:23am

    So, just wipe your devices, before coming back to America.

    I like to drive all over North America, but I wipe my devices before returning to America.

    There is no criminal charges they can bring against you for wiping your devices. Wiping your devices, before returning to America, is not a crime.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      Wiping your devices, before returning to America, is not a crime.

      Yet.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        How are they going to know that you wiped your devices? You can just wipe the device, then reinstall a few apps to make CBP think otherwise.

        Making a law against wiping a phone could be a thorny issue, because sometimes phones have problems where a Factory Reset is a must.

        And, then, like I said, there are places in your car you hide the SD cards, where CBP will never think to look for them. This way, if the device is seized, your data is safe.

        If you don't want to go through the hassle or reinstalling all your apps, hiding the SD cards, if you are driving, is an option. Where to hide them depends on what kind of car you have.

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

        • icon
          afn29129 (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Trained SD-card sniffer dogs. That would sure open a whole can of worms right there......

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            also for politicians looking to "outlaw" hidden compartments in vehicles.

            People have tried all sorts of ways to hide stuff and still get found out.

            I would give you some tips but I needs to keeps a few secrets.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Just put it into a 50 pound sack and throw it over the border onto the heads of some agents.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The place I was thinking of would not fall under "hidden compartment" law, that being hiding them behind the faeceplate of your car stereo, if you have a model where you can put in an aftermarket stereo.

              Car stereos would fall under "hidden compartment" laws.

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

            • icon
              stderric (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I've got one:

              Double-sided tape + micro SD cards = Retro-Cyberpunk Artificial Fingernails.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Or those specially trained agents who can tell when you are a criminal just by looking at you.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then you just find a way to throw the dog off. One way that will work is if you travel with a cat. Even after the cat is removed from the vehicle, the dog will smell the cat, and will want to find cat instead of the SD card.

            Travelling with a cat, for that purpose, is not illegal. Just be sure to check Canadian and Mexican laws for temporary imports of pets.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re:

        This issue for me is that I carry three cell phones, as well as a laptop. One phone is for music, and making/receiving normal phone calls, while the second is my GPS unit. I need a second phone, becuase the offline GPS programs I use need nearly all 16GB on the SD card to store maps for all of the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, meaning I need the other for my music. It takes two SD cards, so I need two phones, and the third phone is a backup, on Verizon, in case my Metro phones cannot get service. Verizon works a lot of places Metro does not.

        And the laptop I have in case I need to make a last minute hotel reservation.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Or you get a phone with a lot more storage! Get a SD card with more storage. It seems kind of silly to have 2 phones when 1 would normally be enough.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I still need the other backup phone, beuasee there are places where Verizon works and Metro does not, and vice versa

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

        • icon
          mhajicek (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Get a 32gb or 64gb card?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          One thing I can say is that running all that stuff does result in a fuse inside the cigaratte lighter being blown.

          That is seprate from the fuse in the main fuse box. The cigarette lighter has its own separete fuse. I had to put a higher amperage fuse in there so that all my stuff can run, as I run stuff from a 12 to 110 inverter. Off that inverter I run a laptop, three phones, a digital clock, becuase the clock display on my car stereo is too dim to see during the day, and one of these personal mini-stero systems, which I use to kick up the volume, just connect the main car stereo using RCA jacks.

          I LOVE it LOUD. I like to play my music loud.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:05am

      Re:

      Wiping your devices IS a crime, if they decide to accuse you of anything.

      If the RIAA accuses you of file sharing, wiping your drive will lead to a default judgement against you. And it could lead to obstruction of justice or contempt of court charges.

      Which may seem reasonable. But you risk the same thing if Prenda Law finds out that you've been using a registry cleaner. It may also apply if you defrag your hard drive.

      And don't forget, in several ways, According To The Government, Clearing Your Browser History Is A Felony.

      Refusing to hand over your smartphone password can already get you thrown in jail indefinitely. You can bet that if you wipe your phone to stop the authorities from imaging it, they can find something to charge you with.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:17am

        Re: Re:

        They can't do anything to you if you haven't been accused of anything by wiping the device before you even get to the boarder. There's no Pre-Crime here.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          yet

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

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's illegal to fortify your home in some states and provinces - even if you've never been accused of anything - because its a thing the bad guys like to do. Pre-crime laws exist.

          With the border patrol imaging devices at random, you are subject to a possible investigation with no accusation and before you get to the border.

          I'm not saying that charges would hold up in court if you could afford proper legal representation. But if authorities decide that you wiped a device to impede even a possible investigation, they could likely find something to charge you with.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If I ever get to buy a home, I fortify it, if I think it is needed, and if the local authorities don't like that, they can go to hell.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Live in any state that has extreme weather conditions, build a house to survive any level of extreme weather conditions and one may find that the house will stand up to just about anything the LEO's want to throw at it. Add in earthquake resilience as well and your doors and windows should then stop anything short of nuclear devastation.

              No matter the laws, if you are building to the Anthropogenic Climate Change Disaster Scenario this should be allowable by any court.

              You could even build to the standard of the Zombie Apocalypse and still be allowable by the courts.

              At this time, one could even use the excuse of NK as a reason for building or even remodelling to such a high standard. There are enough reasons to do this without even having to mention the government and its toadies.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                if they arrest me for fortifying my house, I will just make bail then not appear in court. I will just simply make bail then flee the country.

                And if they put a GPS anklet on me, I will get a GPS jammer and jam it so they cannot locate me, long enough to cut the thing off and smash it pieces in the trash compactor.

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

                • icon
                  Roger Strong (profile), 24 Aug 2017 @ 8:56am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Your choices of where to flee to would be very limited and not very pleasant.

                  America has extradition agreements with most countries. Even if they didn't bother, America shares its criminal and medical data with other countries' border patrol agencies. The slightest criminal record will get you barred from those countries.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How could they do anything before you got to the border? CBP has no jurisdiction in Canada and Mexico. They can go waltzing into Mexico or Canada and start searching peoples stuff. They cannot do anything until you actually cross into US territory

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

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 24 Aug 2017 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, but eventually you *will* have to cross into US territory.

              It's no secret that you're subject to a possible investigation (even with no accusation) once you arrive at the border. So even if you erase your device ahead of time, they could accuse you of interfering with their investigation. See the links in my post further up.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What do they mean by fortify?

            Does this include anything more sturdy than a cardboard front door?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They can't do anything to you if you haven't been accused of anything by wiping the device before you even get to the boarder. There's no Pre-Crime here.

          If you are a US citizen then you can be prosecuted for violating US laws even if you were out of the country at the time. So, yeah, they could prosecute you for wiping your phone before returning to the US.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re:

        How are they going to know you wiped your computer, if you totally erase everything on the disk, and then reinstall Windows and all your programs

        It is because of laws like that that wiping programs have gotten better. If you use program that does a complete wipe and overwrite, and them reinstall windows and your programs, how are they going to know you wiped your computer.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re:

        Wiping your devices IS a crime, if they decide to accuse you of anything.

        Yep, sure is. "Destruction of evidence", "obstruction of justice", etc., etc.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you're not under any Investigation. Haven't been accused of anything yet. You can delete anything you want. If they want to Investigate you at the boarder, at that point you can't just delete anything. Before hand, hell ya you can. You aren't doing anything illegal. You haven't broken any law. Were not under investigation at that time. Haven't been accused of anything yet. Delete away!!!

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:08am

      Re:

      Actually, you're not just mistaken AC, you're dangerously mistaken. There is a charge they can hit you with for wiping your devices before crossing the border.

      Title 18, Section 1519 of the US Code makes it a crime punishable by 20 years in prison for anyone who destroys, alters or tampers with evidence that would be useful in a federal investigation, whether such an investigation exists yet or not. This law was enacted following various large corporate scandals where prosecution became impossible because all evidence had been destroyed by the company.

      When you destroy evidence, the legal system assumes the worst about what that evidence would prove.

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1519

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re:

        If there's no investigation going on with you in the first place. As in you haven't gotten to the boarder. They haven't asked you to search your phone. There is nothing they can do. There's no PRE-CRIME. That's silly. Basically what you are trying to say is you can never delete anything in your life because that would be evidence tampering and some time in the future the government may want to look at it. That is exactly what you are saying.

        After all if I delete my phone before I'm at the boarder, or even at the boarder and before I see any agent and they ask to see my phone, it's already been wiped. I wasn't under investigation before I wiped the phone. Is this a new PRE-CRIME law now?

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

        • identicon
          bob, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:53am

          Re: Re: Re: never underestimate the power of power hungry government workers.

          You'll be surprised what government agents determined to screw over someone will do.

          That includes ignoring the law, redefining the English language to alter the law, obfuscating judicial decisions, denying a defendant due process and access to information supporting their defense, fabricating evidence, using dubious sources for expert witnesses, and confiscating your resources so you can't mount a good enough defense.

          The list can go on and there are multiple examples of the government (I know it's individuals but they represent the government as a whole) bending or breaking the laws so they can win.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          18 U.S.C. § 1519

          148 Cong. Rec. 7418-9 (Friday, July 26, 2002).

          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF TITLE VIII OF HR 2673: THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002

          MR LEAHY: Mr. President, yesterday during my floor remarks on the final passage of H.R. 2673, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, I requested unanimous consent that a section by section analysis and discussion of Title VIII, the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act, which I authored, be included in the Congressional Record as part of the official legislative history of those provisions of H.R. 2673. . . . 

          This statute is specifically meant not to include any technical requirement, which some courts have read into other obstruction of justice statutes, to tie the obstructive conduct to a pending or imminent proceeding or matter by intent or otherwise. . . .

          (Emphasis added.)

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            148 Cong. Rec. 7418-9 … LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF TITLE VIII OF HR 2673: THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002

            Note—

            • Correct “7418-9” to “S7418-9”. The “S” significantly indicates that Mr Leahy's record was entered on the Senate side. That was my omission.

            • “HR 2673” appears to be in error in the GPO source. It probably should read as HR 3673.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It probably should read as HR 3673.

              No. I just didn't dig into the record deeply enough to understand the error. Looking at the related bills, though, makes it plain: “HR 2673” should have read as S 2673.

              Procedurally-related: Text from S.2673 was inserted into H.R.3763

              (In case anyone wonders why I'm bothering to clutter up comments here regarding an immaterial error by either GPO or Senator Leahy—it makes it easier to keyword search later.)

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If there's no investigation going on with you in the first place. As in you haven't gotten to the boarder. They haven't asked you to search your phone. There is nothing they can do.

          Even after the law has been pointed out to him, he still says that? What an idiot.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Even after the law has been pointed out to him, he still says that?

            Cut the guy a break.

            Take, for instance, something I found with a brief bit of googling around— a CLE presentation on 18 USC 1519: The Changing Face of Obstruction. Without the quotes in that presentation from Senator Leahy, does it seem plausible that Congress intended in Sarbanes-Oxley to do away with the element of nexus to a “to a pending or imminent proceeding or matter” ?

            How do you think you can convey that statutory intent to people? They should just read the statute for themselves? Everyone should just recall the Enron / Arthur-Andersen history, and just somehow know that the statute says that?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 12:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What's that IDIOT? DIPSHIT!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        However, if you are just passing through, say, an Aussie going home to Australia via LAX, coming from either Cuba or Jamaica, you would likely be back home in Australia, before they figured out what happened.

        Most Aussies travelling between Cuba and Australia, travel via LAX, coming on flights from either Jamaica, Mexico or Guatemala

        By the time they figured out what happened, said Aussie would be back home in the Great Southern Land.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:09am

        Re: Re:

        Ok, but how do they prove it?
        Is there some "evil dude" bit that gets flipped and persists over a wipe? Certainly there is a three letter acronym that is capable of using an electron microscope to see the bits that were overwritten, but that proves nothing because they are not able to date the over write ... afaik anyway - I could be wrong.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is why disk wiping programs have gotten better. With laws like Sabaanes Oxley, as well as the "perverting the course of justice" laws, like in Britain and Australia, makers of disk wiping tools have improved their products.

          By doing a complete wipe, there is no way they can date the wipe.

          I am surprised that the really advanced stuff, like KillDisk and CyberScrub, have not been totally7 banned in places like the USA and the UK, since they make it almost impossible to determine when any wipe was made, and if you repeat it 35 times, which some products allow, there is no POSSIBLE way they can determine if and when you wiped the hard disk.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Darik's boot and nuke (DBAN) works pretty good on drives, never tried it on a cell phone.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Android does not yet have the kind of forensic tools that computers have yet, which is why I don't know how they would figure out that you nuked your phone, if you reinstalled a few applications after resetting it.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 7:34pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You have no idea what kind of forensic tools the government has available to it, so please quit talking out of your ass.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How good is it? You want something that will not leave any telltale signs that you actually used it, due to Sarbanes Oxley in the USA and British laws regarding "perverting the course of justice".

              Like I said, I am surprised the USA and Britain, at the very least, have not outright banned those programs yet, because they leave no tell-tale signs you used them, and ever more so after Windows and all your programs have been re-installed.

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

          • identicon
            Cowardly Lion, 23 Aug 2017 @ 6:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Tools like those you mentioned (and others) are actually mandated in European government departments (including the UK) when it comes to wiping hard drives, esp. where personal data might have been stored, however benign. For the ultimate kill (for higher classifications), heavy degaussing is the norm followed by physical destruction.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:27am

    Another good idea is to hide the SD card from your phones, before crossing into the USA, if travelling by car. There are places you can hide the SD cards, where they will never find them.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:16am

      Re:

      Hiding evidence and getting caught is an excellent way to wind up in prison. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding?

      It's even possible for the absence of the memory card to give itself away, for example if your mobile device has a broken link to the missing card, trying to follow that link will cause an error.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:25am

        Re: Re:

        "After all, if you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding?"

        I hope you were not serious, because that statement is about as bankrupt as they come.

        You may have nothing to hide, except you are going to want to hide your politics, your possessions, your opinions, your medical history, your personal details, and anything else that can set a turd muffin officer on a hell bent for leather objective to fuck you up today, because they can.

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

        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I was serious, because that is the current federal viewpoint on the matter.

          The Sarbanes-Oxley Act criminalizes deleting anything that might be used as evidence in any federal investigation, and the Act is written broadly enough that a Customs & Border Patrol inspection qualifies as an investigation.

          When evidence is destroyed, standard court doctrine is to presume the worst. Obviously, if you were willing to risk a 20 year prison sentence to avoid the federal investigation finding what was on your device(s), then the government really NEEDS to turn every aspect of your life upside down and give it a good shake to see what falls out.

          That is what the law is in the US right now. It's stupid, it's horrifying, and it's almost certainly unconstitutional -- but the courts are perfectly willing to convict people anyway.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not if you don't show up in court. When they come to your house to arrest you, you must make bail then fleet the country.

            If they put a GPS ankle bracelet on you, just jam that with a GPS jammer, so they cannot locate you.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 9:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When evidence is destroyed, standard court doctrine is to presume the worst.

            The mere lack of data on something doesn't indicate evidence of anything.

            Can you point me to a statute that states that I need to consult the federal government before attempting a wipe on a device?

            Seems like if we follow your logic, you'd see a shitload of arrests of people wiping their phones before selling/trading them because there might be something on them that the government might come looking for later.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 10:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Seems like if we follow your logic, you'd see a shitload of arrests of people wiping their phones before selling/trading them because there might be something on them that the government might come looking for later.

              You might want to look up "selective enforcement".

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 11:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              … a statute that states that I need to consult the federal government…

              Very few statutes contain a requirement to “consult” the government before acting criminally. Rather, most criminal statutes state the crime — and prohibit it. You don't get a free pass from a “consult”. Or at least, you're not supposed to.

              Seems like if we follow your logic, you'd see a shitload of arrests…

              The core problem with overbroad laws is that they vest too much discretion in government prosecutors. Yeah, theoretically they could arrest everybody and their dog too — under an overbroad law. But they don't. They never do. Not ever. Instead police and prosecutors hand out passes to their friends, but come down hard on little people who get out of line and piss them off.

              The law becomes arbitrary, unreasonable, and discriminatory.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2017 @ 9:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Very few statutes contain a requirement to “consult” the government before acting criminally.

                Rather, most criminal statutes state the crime — and prohibit it.

                The mere act of wiping your phone is not criminal.

                If it is, I'm sure you'd be willing to point out the statute that defines it, and subsequently prohibits it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:17am

        Re: Re:

        " if you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding?"

        Lame ass excuse for violating peoples rights, funny how this is never applied towards themselves.

        I should not have to hide anything as I am not doing anything wrong .. is the typical response to to asinine pov, but there are many "laws" that one can violate without even being aware of the incursion.

        So, yeah - when you live in a world where you are in violation of some law, no matter what you do, then certain coping mechanisms come into play. This is human nature, not criminal behavior.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:56am

        Re: Re:

        That is why you factory reset the phone, so that will not be found.

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

        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Two words for you: Sarbanes-Oxley.

          The DoJ interpretation of the law is that anything that would reasonably be useful in a current or future federal investigation is illegal to delete. Even if you have no knowledge of the investigation or even if it hasn't been initiated yet.

          Violators of the law are subject to large fines and/or 20 years in prison. And yes, people have been convicted under that interpretation.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 9:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The DoJ interpretation of the law is that anything that would reasonably be useful in a current or future federal investigation is illegal to delete. Even if you have no knowledge of the investigation or even if it hasn't been initiated yet.

            People are not corporations.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 10:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              People are not corporations.

              Corporations are people, according to the courts.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 11:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Corporations are people, according to the courts.

                According to Congress…

                  Title 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

                  .   Chapter 1 - RULES OF CONSTRUCTION

                  .   .   1 USC § 1 - Words denoting number, gender, and so forth

                In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise—

                             . . .

                            the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;

                If you don't like that provision, write your congressman.

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

      • identicon
        Châu, 23 Aug 2017 @ 6:07pm

        Re: Re:

        " if you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding?"

        If true, why government agents, officials, and police hide a lot?

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

  • identicon
    bob, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:16am

    New trolling game.

    If it is impractical for you to pick up the device, CBP can make arrangements to ship the device to you at our expense.

    See who can get the US government to send the largest package the farthest away. Extra bonus points if you can get them to break a $100 shipping cost.

    Double points if you can get the package delivered overseas. Triple if you can get the packaged shipped to a location in the middle east to a person with a Muslim sounding name.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 23 Aug 2017 @ 9:28am

    "where the item(s) was detained"

    People are detained. items are stolen.

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

  • identicon
    Jordan Chandler, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:15am

    Where does it say...

    That there are constitution free zones? What laws DO apply? e.g. can the border man shoot me consequence free? Why do laws against murder still work but not laws against search and seizure?

    As a Canadian permanent resident I am highly tempted to wipe my phone prior to coming back from vacation.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Where does it say...

      Google Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It doesn't matter if you're not actually being investigated, just wiping data that an investigation would use as evidence is enough for a 20 year prison sentence.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 10:33am

    Crossing the border today...

    So I'm living this today. My preparation was to leave my phone at home and forward calls and texts to a prepaid Verizon phone that I'd paid enough on to unlock.

    Unfortunately it only unlocked 4g, so I haven't been able to get a SIM card in the great white north that would get this Verizon LG phone working.

    So phone was a bust.

    For a laptop I bought a chromebook, made a new gmail/googlevoice account, and only used that while I was here, and in addition before I packed this morning, I did "powerwash" on my device.

    My SD card is pulled from my tablet (which wasn't wiped) and its traveling with my tools (and a couple other sd cards).

    We'll see how it goes.

    I've already warned my wife I might get arrested... maybe i need to grab Ken White's phone number :D

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:10am

      Re: Crossing the border today...

      Maybe you should try and hack that phone to unlock the rest of the phone. The DMCA only makes it a crime if done for some kind of financial gain.

      If and when a future President should lift the ban on North Korea travel, and you take your cell phone, unlocking the phone to use a North Korean sim card, which the DPRK requires if you want you use your phone in the DPRK, will not a crime under the DMCA, becuase unlocking the phone for the purpose of using a SIM card in another country would be for financial gain.

      Just something to note when a future (likely Democratic) Presient lifts the travel ban.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

        That depends on where he posted that from. If he posted that comment from outside the United States, then whatever hotel is staying in does not have to give any user information to US auhorities.

        A hotel, in, say, Canada, is not subject to American laws, even if any Americans are staying in any of their rooms.

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

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:29pm

        Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

        Um, you probably shouldn't give out legal advice like that, especially when it's wrong. The anti-circumvention section of the DMCA doesn't say anything of the sort -- it truly does not matter why you circumvented something or whether you made money off it, only whether you did it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

                      The DMCA only makes it a crime if done for some kind of financial gain.

          it truly does not matter why you circumvented something or whether you made money off it

          17 U.S.C. § 1204 - Criminal offenses and penalties

          (a) In General.—Any person who violates section 1201 or 1202 willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain—

                      (1) …

                      (2) …

          17 USC § 101 - Definitions

          The term “financial gain” includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

            However, I don't see how that could apply to unlocking your phone for the purpose of using your sim card in North Korea.

            However, if a future President does lift the North Korea travel ban, you would likely have to go through China.

            You could get the unlocking done in China, before boarding your DPRK-bound flight. It is not illegal in China to to do this, so US law would not be applied to either you, or whatever Chinese cell phone store you used to unlock the phone.

            While it is still 18 years away, if I go to the DPRK to observe the 2035 total solar eclipse, should the travel ban be lifted by then, I will just simply have a cell phone store in China unlock my phone, so that a DPRK sim card can be used, as that country's laws require, and neither my, or whatever cell phone store I use to unlock my phone, will be subject to prosecution in the United States, as a Chinese cell phone store is only subject to Chinese law, and the DMCA does not have any jurisdiction in China.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

          Um, you probably shouldn't give out legal advice like that, especially when it's wrong.

          Fwiw, no reasonable person obtains free “legal advice” from random anonymous (or even pseudononymous!) internet commenters.

          Reasonable people surely know that “legal advice” is given in the context of a professional relationship with a licensed practitioner who is able to competently tailor that advice to particular circumstances. It often costs money.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

          The DMCA requires that it ne for commercial or private financial gain. So I don't see how hacking your phone to unlock it so that you could, say, use North Korean SIM cards, which the North Koreans require if you are going to use your phone in their country, could be a violation of the DMCA, since it is not for commercial or private financial gain.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

            commercial or private financial gain

            Unless my eyes deceive me, the text actually reads, with added emphasis, “commercial advantage or private financial gain”.

            Iow, the phrase is structured as: { [limiting adjective] noun } disjunction [defined term]

            It's NOT structured as: { [limiting adjective] disjunction [limiting adjective] } [defined term]

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

              One thing that the DMCA does not prohibit, that I used to do before legal music was sold as MP3 files, is recording music from protected files onto cassette tapes.

              Around the turn of the millenium I would take DRM-protected music I purchased and plug a tape recorder into the back of my computer, and record them on to cassette tapes, so I could play them in my car, which had a cassette player at the time.

              Record said music onto cassette tapes so that I could listen to them in the car did NOT violate the DMCA, because the music was puchased legally, and recording onto cassette tapes for the purpose of listening to the music in my car would certainly not have been for commercial or private financial gain as I was merely converting legally purchased music to a format where I could play it in my car.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

                because … certainly not have been for commercial or private financial gain

                17 USC § 1008, which is part of Chapter 10 added by the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), appears to use the phrase “noncommercial use by a consumer”.

                I tend to think discussion of the AHRA here is straying a little far off topic.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:30am

      Re: Crossing the border today...

      So I'm living this today.

      Maybe you should just stay at home. That's what good citizens do. If you're trying to leave the country you must be up to something.

      I did "powerwash" on my device.

      Uh oh. Sounds like a possible felony. You better hope you don't get caught.

      I've already warned my wife I might get arrested... maybe i need to grab Ken White's phone number :D

      Now you've added premeditation, collusion, and conspiracy, as well as dragging your poor wife into it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:51am

        Re: Re: Crossing the border today...

        She would not get thrown in jail, unless she tried to interfere with the arrest.

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

  • identicon
    Johnny Appleseed, 23 Aug 2017 @ 11:30am

    How to deal with insane criminal "authorities."

    1. upon request for your phone, hand over two tin cans and a coil of waxed string.

    2. Abandon hope all who enter here. Welcome to Hell, pretending to be a fair and balanced civilization, where the crooks running the show are rewarded with bonuses for treason and/or criminal conduct, while "citizens" who are regarded as property (anyone with a net $ worth < fill in the blank) is murdered on the side of the road as the result of fearful reaction afrer being stopped for a crooked license plate or for straying two inches over some imaginary line, all in the name of lawn odor.

    Laws? What laws? We don't need no stinkin' laws. We make them up as we go along, enforced by the latest pedophile in a black robe backed by a gang of 40 or 50 Swat Thugs throwing flash stun grenades into baby cribs on a "no knock" raid on the wrong residence.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:31pm

      Re: How to deal with insane criminal "authorities."

      The really ironic thing is, the government is fond of the statement that the constitution is not a suicide pact, as a hand-wave to excuse themselves for violating the constitution -- even though doing so is a felony.

      But if the highest of laws is not a suicide pact and can be ignored when it becomes inconvenient, then any lesser law cannot be a suicide pact either.

      So you're actually right -- there are no laws any more.

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

  • icon
    tom (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 12:52pm

    Be sure to take ten 128G flash drives full of cat videos that all contain puppy videos concealed inside via steganography.

    Make sure all files are further encrypted with 1024 character keys. If asked for the keys, provide hand written paper copies.

    And you forgot which keys go with which flash drive. Oops! How silly of you.

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

    • identicon
      bob, 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      Back when the dealings of the NSA were just becoming known I purposely sent an email to a foreign family member in a foreign country that contained a single encrypted file. A picture of a cats butt.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 2:55pm

    Business cells with high-end encryption

    Last I checked, it was common practices for businesses to use robust encryption on company phones, many apps for which provide for multiple partitions.

    Essentially one partition has all the data one would expect on a business phone.

    The other has the actual data concerning the company.

    This way the phone can be unlocked for authorities as necessary. Though soon they'll just accuse everyone of having second / third / fourteenth partitions, whether or not it's supported by the cryptosoft in use. They'll be able to accuse everyone of concealing evidence the way they use detection dogs to bypass probable cause.

    For now it will probably be low risk to have your phone so encrypted so long as no officer wants to harrass you, and you have a believable partition to show them...

    ...Unless you're non-white, look Muslimish, your name is Cory Doctorow or you are known to officials who want to confiscate your land / sleep with your spouse / wreck your business. Then you're pretty much fucked the second you step into an international airport, whether you're carrying suspicious electronics or not.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Business cells with high-end encryption

      If you are fired for letting Customs look at your phone, then you just leave the company that fired you OFF the list of companies you worked for, when you go for your next job, problem solved.

      Some people don't want to give up passwords for that reason. So if are fired for that, just leave that job off your list of references when you go for your next job, problem solved.

      It is currently not a criminal offence in the USA to do that.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:38pm

      Re: Business cells with high-end encryption

      I did read once that some businesses regularly wipe and reinstall on laptops before any of their personnel are allowed to travel to the USA on business.

      The foreign companies that do that are themselves, not subject to prosecution in the United States.

      So A British company can wipe and reinstall company laptops before issuing laptops to their employees before travelling to America, and the company managers would be not subject to prosecution in the United States, because a British company's offices are only subject to British laws.

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

  • identicon
    Peter, 23 Aug 2017 @ 3:21pm

    Does not bother me in the slightest

    Seize what you like, from whom you like, and break whatever constitutional laws you like.

    I dont care because I am never travelling to America. There are more welcoming and nicer places in the world than I could possibly visit in my time left on this earth, so no hardship to me.

    (Mind you I do feel sorry for those who do have to travel there.)

    Seems that I am not alone. Check out the Tourism figures from http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2017-I-001/index.asp and look at how many of the change figures are in the red.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2017 @ 5:45pm

    If i ever got pulled for device searching at the border, I can imagine the conversation going like this.

    "Miss, please hand us your phones."
    "You're mistaken sir. I don't have a phone."
    "They are in your hand."
    *Holds up devices* "You mean these? They're not phones sir. One's a raspberry pi with a screen, it's acting as a radio. The other is an arduino board in a case... it has no screen or any buttons..."

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

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 23 Aug 2017 @ 8:44pm

    Duh

    "A couple pieces of legislation aimed at creating a border search warrant requirement have been introduced, but will be facing more opposition than usual."

    Of course there is opposition, and it's not just from the usual sources. Smart people understand that you cannot hamstring the border inspection process with the need for warrants. You start to open up the gates by saying you need a warrant for certain things, and SCOTUS will soon rule that any border search beyond your passport would need one.

    You don't want to start the train down that track... just like "Silver Streak" it ain't gotta stop until it hits a wall... HELLO Chicago!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 1:31am

    Here is another question. What happens if your phone is partway broken, and Customs cannot image it?

    I recently dropped my phone and cracked the screen, but everything else still works, except the ability to tether to a computer.

    What will happens if I travel abroad and Customs wants to image my phone, but it cannot because the phone is partway boken? Everything else works, amazingly, after dropping it, but the ability to connect computer to us to transfer data vis USB is broken, though everything else still works.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 24 Aug 2017 @ 9:15am

    Nothing will change until CBP starts routinely searching the devices of politicians.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2017 @ 10:39pm

    I would not be surprised if a US citizen were denied entry if they refused to dilvulge their password

    There is already one instance where you can be denied entry, if you are a US citizen. If you are not Sentri-approved and get in the Sentri lanes, at the Mexican border, you can be denied and turned back to Mexico, even if are an American citizen. There are even signs saying that you will be denied entry and turn back doing that, even if you are a US citizen.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.