Over 700 pounds of cocaine found hidden in furniture from Puerto Rico

Posted January 10, 2018

The Supreme Court previously found that a routine search of any persons seeking admission to the US, and their personal effects, may be performed without reasonable suspicion, probable cause or a warrant.

Providing employees with contact information for counsel when traveling internationally.

US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) issued a new policy on Friday that creates a distinction between "basic" and "advanced" searches of electronic devices.

New US customs guidelines limit agents from accessing remote data on electronic devices In response to a almost 60 percent spike in searches of electronic devices, customs agents are now prohibited from accessing information that is not stored on the device itself, such as cloud data.

Your chances of being searched at a USA border crossing are now at an all-time high.

Given this new policy, what do travelers need to know to protect their privacy at the border? . This is because the law in this area is still unclear.

According to CBP data, agents performed electronic searches on 30,200 travelers arriving in the USA in the fiscal year 2017. An officer may request the individual's assistance to access the device, i.e., ask them to unlock the device.

Learn more: Can Border Agents Search Your Electronic Devices?

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the Supreme Court decision in Riley v. California should apply in the border context. A basic search is a cursory search of the device, which most courts have said does not require any suspicion or cause. Officers might also ask the individual questions about why they will not unlock the device. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said while the directive contains "a few improvements" from the previous one, it is still, "full of loopholes and vague language that continues to allow agents to violate travelers' constitutional rights". An advanced search is any search in which an officer connects external equipment to an electronic device to review, copy, and/or analyze its contents. The threat of an extended delay, which may cause the traveler to miss their flight, could also compel some travelers to cooperate. US citizens will always be allowed to enter the USA, but their phones could be held back, generally for no more than five days. If officers are unable to conduct their search due to a locked device, they are expressly permitted to detain the device (subject to time and supervisory approval limitations) to complete their inspection.

Fortunately, the New Directive formally clarifies that a border search should include an examination of only the information on the device itself and accessible through the device's operating systems or through other software, tools or applications.

Agents are also prohibited from retrieving any information that is stored remotely, such as data stored in the cloud. Based on this policy, information privatelystored in the traveller's social media accounts should theoretically fall outside the scope of a USCBP search as well. Today many devices are passcode protected or otherwise encrypted. If information remains accessible after the device has been disconnected from the Internet, this means that a local copy has been saved on the device. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) damning the new directive with faint praise. We believe the government does not have the authority to prevent USA citizens and lawful permanent residents from entering the country exclusively for refusing to provide a device password, but be aware that if you refuse, you may be detained longer and your device may be confiscated and retained for days or weeks.