While the administration works on getting the travel executive order out from under the boots of activists judges who are violating the separation of powers, the Trump administration is doing what it can to increase security for us. This is a good example.
As the Trump administration considers steps to implement what the president has called extreme vetting of foreigners at the border, one aspect of security screening has already been amped up.
The number of people who have been asked to hand over their cellphones and passwords by Customs and Border Protection agents has increased nearly threefold in recent years. This is happening to American citizens as well as foreign visitors.
It happened to Sidd Bikkannavar on January 30, ten days after President Trump’s inauguration. He was returning from a trip to Chile, where he took part in his hobby, racing solar-powered cars. At the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Bikkannavar was told to report to passport control by CBP officers. He was asked a series of questions, all “pretty benign and uneventful,” he tells NPR, and was then told “to hand over my phone, and give the password to unlock it.” […]
CBP maintains it has the authority to look through everyone’s phones at border crossings and airport customs checkpoints. In an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said such demands were, in general, “just like an American citizen coming in and having his bags searched, at the port of entry. Generally speaking, it’s done for a reason.”
We do give up provacy when at the airport, for a reason. They do search our bags, put us through naked machines and metal detectors. They also have the right to run their hands all over us. Yet there is a bill in Congress to eliminate the ability to look at the contents of a cell phone, to access primarily the social media history of people returning to this country.
If there was one search that could make the difference in finding terrorists or terror sympathizers in trying to enter or re-enter the country, it would be a search of one’s phone, even more so than the search of a bag. And yes, you have to give them your social media passwords, but then you can change it right after the fact.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, including Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would make it harder for Border Patrol agents to demand that American citizens unlock cellphones and computers and hand over social media passwords when traveling back into the country.
Right now, Customs and Border Protection agents are able to search U.S. citizens’ cellphones and other digital devices when those citizens cross back into the country and do not need a warrant to do so. But if the “Protecting Data at the Border Act” passes, law enforcement agents would need a warrant for those searches except in emergency circumstances…
The bill arrives at a time when electronics searches at the country’s airports and borders are becoming more common. According to an NBC report, Customs and Border Protection conducted more than 23,000 electronic searches in 2016, a more than 400 percent increase over the previous year.
In February of this year alone, Border Patrol agents conducted more than 5,000 searches. Some of those searches were of cellphones belonging to American citizens, though the Department of Homeland Security has not provided information on how frequently American citizens are targeted.
Question: How is rifling through your bag, including your underwear andeverything else you bring on a trip a-ok but looking through your phone is not? Ho wis that somehow ‘more personal’ than a stranger putting his hands on your underwear? The moment we allowed a zombie terrorist army to operate with impunity in the world and accepted a president who ushered at least 100,000 unvetted people from Islamist terror nation into this country, we put ourselves in this position.
we can extracate ourselves by annihilating the enemy. And then perhaps we can rightfully demand strangers stop looking at our stuff.