Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ars Technica Live: What to do when border officials ask for your passwords

Ars Live #10, filmed by Chris Schodt and produced by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

Under President Trump in the United States, we're seeing a dramatic shift in border regulation and the treatment of immigrants. What exactly are your rights at the border, and should you really hand over your social media passwords to a customs agent? UC Hastings law professor Ahmed Ghappour, an expert in national security and cybersecurity, recently talked to Cyrus Farivar and me about the answers in all their complexity.

Outside of legal circles, most people don't realize that your Fourth Amendment right to not be subjected to "unreasonable search" is suspended at the borders. Ghappour explained this gives border agents a lot of leeway in terms of how much they search and detain people crossing into the US. He talked to Ars about recent cases where people have been asked to hand over the passwords to their phones and computers, as well as other personal items. During the discussion above, we also touch upon surveillance at the border and what's likely to come next in terms of sensors, drones, and data mining for "national security threats."

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