Forum USA – News Desk
According to published statistics, 30,200 pieces of electronic devices were inspected by US Border personnel in 2017. This figure shows an increase of 60% compared to the 2016 inspections.
The fact that the number of US citizen travelers being searched is less than 20%, suggests that new governmental decree on refugees signed by President Trump in March 2017 has had an effect on the increase in border inspections.
US President Donald Trump, with his new governmental decree, “protection of the nation from the entry of foreign terrorists into the country,” has brought about hefty restrictions to the country’s entry to refugees and Muslims.
Electronic devices at US borders includes includes inspection of mobile phones, tablets and computers that may contain important and confidential information of the owners such as travel photos, business records, and health information. In regards to this issue, the US Department of Homeland Security stated that the authority to search for electronic devices does not cover the information stored in the cloud, and that the Customs and Border checks are carried out only within the context of national security.
The American Civil Liberties Union argued that one could place their phone in airplane mode to prevent the seeker from looking in the cloud for emails, notes, documents and files, but that’s certainly not enough.
The opening of the organization’s authorities filing a lawsuit last year against this issue is as follows:
“It is positive that CBP’s policy would at least require officers to have some level of suspicion before copying and using electronic methods to search a traveler’s electronic device. However, this policy still falls far short of what the Constitution requires — a search warrant based on probable cause.
The policy would still enable officers at the border to manually sift through a traveler’s photos, emails, documents, and other information stored on a device without individualized suspicion of any kind. Additionally, it fails to make clear that travelers should not be under any obligation to provide passcodes or other assistance to officers seeking to access their private information. Congress should continue to press CBP to improve its policy.”