4th Amendment under duress

U.S. custom agents continue to ignore the 4th Amendment at airports and are still searching cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices at Ports of Entries (POE). With searches up 60% in the 2017 fiscal year, our Homeland Security Boys are staying busy protecting us

They are searching non-Americans, and American citizens. Whether this is a violation of the 4th Amendment apparently doesn’t matter. If a person comes under suspicion that person is going down. And his devices are searched.

The agency justified their warrant-less searches of 30,300 devices, from a total of 397,000,000 travelers, by saying it was only 0.007 percent of all travelers. This still does not make it OK.

practice is justified

CBP said the practice is justified and its standards have been thoroughly reviewed to ensure they are not an unreasonable violation of privacy rights.

Yes, of course, what else would they say? Do you think they would tell the truth, say they were violating your rights, so frigging what, and continue to do so? Because that is exactly what they are doing.

But hey, if the CBP said it is cool, then it is cool. Right? And if they say a hot dog is an ice cream cone, then a hot dog really is an ice cream cone. Right?

The 4th Amendment

The 4th Amendment

These are government officials tasked with keeping us safe. And if they violate our Constitutional rights, then so be it. At least we can sleep safe at night. Maybe.

The agency also said sometimes it needs information it obtains from devices to determine the admissibility of foreign visitors.

But only sometimes.

And then, some other times, on a slow day, what-the-hell, they just may need something to do and want to have some fun.

“In this digital age, border searches of electronic devices are essential to enforcing the law at the U.S. border and to protecting the American people,” CBP official John Wagner said in a statement.

Oh, ok. Gotcha, John. Thanks.

Despite international travelers expressing alarm in recent years at requests to hand over their cellphones from U.S. customs officials, the CBP continues to protect us with warrantless searches.

And it gets better:

CBP Guidelines

Under the new guidelines, travelers who are selected by its officers for additional screening could be asked to unlock their electronic devices for inspection or provide passcodes. They will be asked to disable the devices’ data transmission, according to an unnamed senior CBP official.

Only information physically stored on the device — such as photographs or phone numbers — would be subject to search, said the official, who the agency would not allow to be quoted by name. [why that? Why not allowed to be quoted by name?] CBP agents would not be allowed to seek information stored externally or on a “cloud” linked to the device.

Such inspections would constitute a “basic search,” the agency said. But in cases where officers determine they have reasonable suspicion of a criminal act or potential threat to national security, they may, with a supervisors’ authorization, conduct an “advanced search” by connecting it to other applications and potentially copying its information.

Passwords provided by travelers would be destroyed and not retained by the government, the CBP official said.

Yeah right. Been there. Done that. We don’t believe it at all.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called the new CBP guidelines “an improvement” but said they’re still too intrusive for U.S. citizens.

“Manually examining an individuals’ private photos, messages and browsing history is still extremely invasive, and should require a warrant,” he said. “I continue to believe Americans are entitled to their full constitutional rights, no matter where they are in the United States.”

Americans basically have no rights

The CBP sees this differently. At airports and other POEs, Americans basically have no rights.

Last year U.S. civil rights groups filed suit against the federal government in an attempt to curb device searches. Didn’t do any good, but we’re not surprised.

“American citizens who refuse to allow their devices to be inspected cannot be denied entry into the United States, but their devices could be retained for up to five days”, the official said. If noncitizens refuse the search, they could be denied entry and sent home.

Imagery and information that is noncriminal, including political or sexual content, can be used to determine whether to admit a foreign visitor, the CBP official said.

And this is something you should know and care about.

Step by step the USA is drifting towards a Police State and no one is paying attention. Or no one seems to care, because it is for our own good, right?

Yeah. Right.


U.S. customs agents are searching more cellphones — including those belonging to Americans