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A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone (theverge.com)
956 points by smb06 132 days ago | hide | past | web | 437 comments | favorite

Their point about how other countries will take the US's stance as a cue is somewhat scary.

If you try and cross any border it will be relinquishing access to all accounts.

I'm assuming email also comes along with 'social media', since communication is by its definition social.

So how do you protect yourself? I think just going with "Don't have any social media" isn't a good answer because the relationship that children growing up today with the internet is almost completely different to even people 10-15 years older than them.

Someone having carte blanche access to a person's phone will find something if they want to.

Imagine you're in a few group chats, someone mentions doing some drug. And you've just entered a country where that's an instant prison sentence.

Maybe some off colour jokes about politicians? Proof to kick you out or at least detain.

I imagine we're at the cusp of something much more unsettling. The technology to reverse image search a face is available today. It's pretty easy to make you appear associated with anything, anyone, etc.

> So how do you protect yourself?

I don't believe any of the technical solutions mentioned in this thread; using a dumb phone, multiple identities and/or false data for plausible deniability, wiping the phone before passing the border, is viable for a larger number of people. They also fail once a border agent insists on accessing an email account for which they know you have the password.

The only protection is through protecting people legally. Once the border agencies can insist on accessing your email and cloud storage before letting you enter the country it seems like any arbitrary thought crime can deny you access.

> So how do you protect yourself?

"Sorry, sir, I use a password keeper and left the password file at home. I do not have any passwords with me."

That's not a lie, and I would love for them to explain to the judge if they did ever choose to detain you as to how this is not a valid and legal excuse and non-cooperation in any way.

And if you are in doubt about saying something like this, actually use a password keeper, it's a good security practice.

Further, do not bring any electronic device with you.

Meanwhile on HN: "man jailed indefinitely for not decrypting hard drives": https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13629728

That's a different issue. When a court orders you to do something, then they would tell you to go back home and get the passwords or allow you the ability to do that. It's not reasonable for border security to expect you to carry your passwords with you at all time for all the services you use. It's a security risk to you, from third parties which might want to steal your data. Like for instance robbers that might force you to divulge your banking information at gun point.

What does "reasonable" have to do with CBP? They can detain you for a surprisingly long time or deport you (complete with banning you from further entry if you're not actually a US national) for failure to comply.

Except you probably have a password manager client app on your phone so you can look up and enter any passwords you need for your own convenience.

Except I don't have my phone. Why don't I have my phone? Because I don't want it to be stolen and I have no need for it where I am going. I want to unplug and relax, not be on call all the time.

Wrong answer, citizen, the state requires you to carry a phone!

Since you probably have such an app, then you possibly don't have it.

Or just say you forgot the password.

Just don't give them any passwords or unlock anything if you are a US citizen. Let them try to detain a US citizen indefinitely for it.

CBP have deported US citizens in the past. 'Accidentally,' of course. Fun fact: if you are mistakenly placed in immigration detention, you're not automatically entitled to a hearing until 6 months have passed, so you'd better hope someone knows to file a habeas petition on your behalf.

In fact you're not automatically entitled to a hearing at all, but that was the working compromise established last time this ended up in court. Given the new administration's adversarial posture towards the judicial branch on the question of immigration reviewability, this is likely to change for the worse.

. https://www.law360.com/articles/720066/2nd-circ-sets-6-month...

> CBP have deported US citizens in the past. 'Accidentally,' of course.

And to think that there are actually still people attracted to such a system and wanting to immigrate. It is amazing.

The US (and a large number of companies built around helping people emigrate to the US) puts a lot of effort into marketing, and frankly speaking, it's not a lot worse than most places people emigrate to the US from.

Exactly. It's your constitutional right as a US citizen to tell any Law Enforcement agent to go fuck themselves.

1. They need a warrant to search your phone if you don't voluntary give them access.

2. Even if they have a warrant, you can plead 5th and just not give them the pin.

The American way is all about not trusting the government, believing in conspiracy theories, and stocking up on ammo.

Nope. I was flagged for "secondary inspection" at the southern border. (Mind you, I am as white as you can get). Long story, short. I acted like a bit of an entitled jerk, and was surrounded by 15 CBP agents, had my head slammed on a metal table, cuffed, phone and wallet taken, and then I was taken to a windowless room (with a couple of older Hispanic guys who I remember thinking could be "disappeared" fairly easily without anyone knowing). I asked for my phone to make a call, but was denied. When I demanded rights, an agent told me that they didn't apply at the border and referred me to some Patriot Act notices on the wall. I felt powerless, and completely at their mercy. The agents told me that they would be searching my car without me authorizing it or being present (I remember thinking that they could plant something and notify CHP to pick me up a few miles up the road). After discussing things with the supervisor, I was let go but had my SENTRI pass revoked. Later, I contacted some lawyers who all advised that at the border, I didn't have the same rights, and that I had no case of any sort. Now, I am grateful it happened to me (because I stopped acting like an entitled asshole), but it left me feeling a whole lot less free, and it makes me feel more uncomfortable to travel internationally, which is a shame.

You are correct that you pretty much have no rights at the border.

The moment you step outside the US, you can be killed by US a drone strike, or the CPB agent can simply shoot you if they wish.

It's a broken hole in our system that needs to change, but don't expect any change for at least 2-4 years.

>Why didn't Obama do anything about it?

Responding to the above, Obama did do something: he presided over the first extrajudicial assassination of a US citizen by drone strike.

One that pledged allegiance to a foreign "state" that engages in violence?

I fail to see the problem

The fifth amendment is of course broad, but is it so broad that the president signing a piece of paper can be considered due process?

Even if everyone has perfect intentions (doubtful), you need checks and balances to prevent human error.

I'm sure the area where US laws apply can be discussed to greater lengths, but they're not applicable outside of the (geographical) US, regardless if you're a citizen or not. Even if the subject of the action is an US citizen. (except for the taxation of non-resident citizens, which is a whole can of worms I'm sure)

This is for better or worse.

Extra-judicial killings happen a lot. In the case of self-defense for example. "Cop thought the suspect had a gun" is a mistake that happens often, but it can be legitimate as well.

I don't know why you think your constitutional rights disappear outside the geographic US. That is not the case. Constitutional rights protect citizens from our government regardless of their physical location. Indeed, geography was not a part of the Obama administration's justification.

As for your other point, self defense is a long established affirmative defense for murder, yes. However that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

If the government has a case to kill a citizen, that case needs to be made in court and evaluated by a jury of peers.

> Constitutional rights protect citizens from our government regardless of their physical location.

Well, the constitution is the rules and limits that apply to the US Government mainly (for the benefit of not only the US citizens).

However the Constitution is pretty much defined as the Law of the Land (Article VI https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_St... )

And if the case is as you describe then it seems it's a case for a federal prosecutor to make in Court.

By your logic, it's acceptable for the PM of Italy to order the assassination of an Italian-American dual citizen because that Italian has pledged allegiance to a foreign state that engages in violence?

If that dual citizen is actively engaging in such violence and Italy is a (potential) target of such violence, and his activities are happening outside Italy, yes.

> "Where high-level government officials have determined that a capture operation is infeasible and that the targeted person is part of a dangerous enemy force and is engaged in activities that pose a continued and imminent threat to US persons or interests."


Because it was missing due process?

>It's a broken hole in our system that needs to change, but don't expect any change for at least 2-4 years.

Why didn't Obama do anything about it?

Frankly, despite initial campaign promises during his first campaign, hes been as bad or worse than the GWB administration in a number of ways. Why he got a pass on a lot of it is beyond me.

We get our information mainly from the media. They decide what the majority of the country knows and doesn't know, and who gets a pass and who doesn't, because most of us don't have the time or desire to obtain first-hand knowledge of what's going on in the world.

I didn't vote for President in the last election, because he became a clown with his antics and she (IMO) is a crook. I'm not partial to one side or the other: I hate all politicians equally.

I'd like to hear facts about what is happening in the new administration, but have had to stop listening to all media because it is so incredibly lopsided it's infuriating and only gets me agitated.

Whereas the media used to report primarily facts, it seems to me that now they primarily report opinions, speculations, and prophecies. We're not able to form our own opinions on issues based on facts, because we don't hear many facts, and the facts we do hear are definitely not in any kind of balance on the many sides of complex issues.

I have to agree, though I did vote, I voted libertarian (not that I really like Gary Johnson all that much either). I can't watch/read most "news" without at least half of it pissing me off in one way or another. On the one hand, I don't like Trump all that much. On the other, I don't like all the fluffed up reporting on crap that the past administration did too. Or at least the over-inflated sense of how it's so much worse now.

In general, I'd love to see us reduce our foreign military presence by 85%, and cut military spending by over 50%. Not counting other areas of the govt I'd love to see deep cuts into. End the war on drugs. End privatized prisons. The list goes on.

Sorry for the bit of a rant... I'm just kind of sick of it all, and that's only loosely following anything.

2-4 years is extremely optimistic, but I think this is an issue that (finally) has drawn more attention than usual, so there is a chance there will be some work towards its resolution.

The CPB agent can just shoot you if he wishes? That's some seriously ridiculous hyperbole. No American is getting shot by border agents on a whim.

Until it actually happens.

It's not happening now, but it would still be legal.

IIRC if you are within 100 miles of the (actual) border or an international airport then are you considered to be entering/leaving the US and can be searched without a warrant.




Remember that the ACLU is a political organization and has its own spin on things. Just like any other org like the EFF, NRA, etc.

In this case, the ACLU article on this topic is weasel worded and needs to be read carefully so you can seperate implication from fact.

can you point to an example?

In the linked ACLU post, the 2nd-5th bullets are a great example. The second bullet specifically enumerates the government position on border searches. The 4th and 5th bullets detail what the Border Patrol can do away from the immediate vicinity of the border.

But the 3rd bullet, which is key to the notion of the 100 mile "constitution free zone", is more mysterious. It states that Customs has "broad—though not limitless—powers" without detailing them.

Many readers of this ACLU post and coverage of it have come away with a false idea that Customs and Border Protection has some magic wand. The facts are very different.

Here are the referenced sections, forgive any formatting issues.

> - According to the government, however, these basic constitutional principles do not apply fully at our borders. For example, at border crossings (also called "ports of entry"), federal authorities do not need a warrant or even suspicion of wrongdoing to justify conducting what courts have called a "routine search," such as searching luggage or a vehicle.

> -Even in places far removed from the border, deep into the interior of the country, immigration officials enjoy broad—though not limitless—powers. Specifically, federal regulations give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority to operate within 100 miles of any U.S. "external boundary."

> -In this 100-mile zone, Border Patrol agents have certain extra-Constitutional powers. For instance, Border Patrol can operate immigration checkpoints.

> - Border Patrol, nevertheless, cannot pull anyone over without "reasonable suspicion" of an immigration violation or crime (reasonable suspicion is more than just a "hunch"). Similarly, Border Patrol cannot search vehicles in the 100-mile zone without a warrant or "probable cause" (a reasonable belief, based on the circumstances, that an immigration violation or crime has likely occurred).

I don't understand your point. The fourth and fifth bullet points are intended precisely to make the third bullet point concrete.

Technically they should probably have been formatted as subbullets of the third point, but other than that I don't see anything wrong.

Also, your para "Many readers … The facts are very different." — not apparently backed up by any details — is exactly the kind of weasel wording you decry. In fact, I think I'm being trolled here.

  Even if they have a warrant, you can plead 5th and just not give them the pin.
And then languish in jail for a year plus? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13629728

Not the same kind of case, since there was an issued warrant. This isn't the same type of case at all.

It's the same. The contention is that unlocking the phone yourself does not require actually providing your PIN. You're only being required to provide your phone in an unlocked state.

They do not need a warrant at the border.

Yup... there is even a case on this exact point. TLDR; drug smuggler crossed the board and went through customs. He didn't get searched. Then as he was leaving the customs area, on the U.S. side of customs, the police performed a warrant-less search. Prosecutor argued the search was legal because he was in the process of entering the country and citizens don't have a right against search upon entry to the U.S. The court said that the search would have been legal had they done the search before going through customs. But once he got through customs, the search was no longer legal as he had his 4th amendment protections at that point.

Are you sure about this? Usually you can be stopped and searched quite far inland as long as they can prove that you recently crossed the border. This is often used to take smugglers.

They need reasonable suspicion and a link to the crossing.

For example, if you were an American, white college kid crossing the Canadian border into New York at a weird time, and behave in a manner that seems nervous or evasive, You're going to attract interest. If you start heading toward the Mohawk Indian reservation, you're going to get stopped as odds are good you're smuggling something.

That not applicable at the US borders.

Believing in conspiracy theories is, ironically, a way of attributing more power to the state/elite than it actually has.

You're celebrating pathological thinking, especially when you claim that stocking up on ammo contributes to the functioning of a nation (in the loosest sense of "nation"). The days of militias are long gone.

> The days of militias are long gone.

That's an interesting position, considering my state is still funding an organized state militia: http://www.vdf.virginia.gov/

I wouldn't want to be that test case for the Trump administration.

Wasn't this guy a US citizen and didn't he still feel too scared to do this?

Yes, which makes this especially abhorrent. The government insists the searches are only of "visitors."

Nobody has an obligation to refuse to comply (and be detained and/or jailed) but if put in this situation I would refuse. I'm not willingly giving up my rights without a court compelling me.

a court can't compell you to give up your rights, otherwise they wouldn't be rights.

but we already know there are nonrights at the border.

Well... sure. Problem is I don't have 6 weeks to sit in a detention cell waiting for the ACLU to clear my case.

That beats doing real time for the cleartext in your phone.


What if you simply don't have a facebook account. If I want to cross the USA border will they believe me?

Lying to, or misleading a border agent is a felony in the US.

lying to ANY federal agent is illegal.

Within Europe (ps: as a European citizen) you can go anywhere with a personal identification card (no passport) and there are no border controls (when walking or driving). There isn't even a border, just a sign: welcome to $country (ps: and maybe local driving instructions). Say what you will about the EU, but this has been a great achievement. I can go through airport security between two EU countries and security will just scan my ID and take a picture in an automated booth and I'm good to go (did exactly that several times). It's like 30 seconds to pass the security gate when entering and no personal interaction.

I'm really having difficulty to understand how the United States got from the cradle of freedom (let's say after the civil war, the colonization was not so prestigious) to the capricious and homophobic entity that it is shaping up to be.

Within the states of US you can do the same ;) EU essentially wants to be United States of Europe. Though I'm not sure all EU states yet ready to surrender as much national sovereignty as US states did.

And what anything of this has to do with homophobia?

Your first sentence is not entirely true: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights-governments-100-mile-b...

There are still no border controls between US states, even in this strange 100 mile enhanced security zone.

Please elaborate.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement asserts authority over land within 100 miles of a border (including coasts). Anyone in the US can be stopped and asked for ID and proof they're in the country legally in that 100 mile zone.

"Within the states of US"

That's implying interstate travel. Are you claiming ICE has authority to stop someone going from Georgia to Tennessee? The analogy was EU countries to US states, and specifically did not include international US borders.

Donald Trump is undoubtedly homophobic, I think he's just pointing out that for the country to be voting for him, to an extent a proportion of them must agree.

And I disagree about you saying the EU just wishes to become the United States of Europe. In almost no sense does anyone give up their "sovereignty" by joining the EU. Every country still creates it's own laws, governs how it wishes to and has full control over what happens to itself. The EU only allows free travel and trade between each of the countries within it and also a standard currency and standard regulations (to enable the free travel and trade to happen in a safe environment).

Another post already pointed out that you are probably wrong about Trump's homophobia.

But about European countries creating their own laws, the federalist movement so prevalent in Brussels these days certainly doesn't see it that way. What you describe was the EEC or the EEA. What the EU is about is different: it is not just free trade; it's about accepting laws, devised in Brussels, regulating many aspects of life - from how taxation must be organised, how economic activity may be encouraged, whether a nation may allow its subjects to chew tobacco, how wind power must or must not be subsidized, whether and what kind of hunting is permitted and whether people may own firearms... everything. Not just trade.

Also, creating a EU army is a recurring topic.

See how the Brussels is so wound up now that Britain dared to say "no thank you" to ever closer political and monetary union. There's a huge disconnect between Brussels (and European Parliament members) and the nations they are supposed to represent.

I'd be in favour of the kind of EU you imagine it is. Unfortunately that's not what we're getting, and that's why EU is disintegrating.

> Donald Trump is undoubtedly homophobic

Not true. certainly not "undoubtedly".

> for the country to be voting for him, to an extent a proportion of them must agree.

Even less true. Even if Trump were homophobic - which is most likely not true - that does not mean somebody who voted for him supports him in that. Elections concern a wide array of issues, and people choosing between the two (or four, but let's not pretend anybody but the two had any chance) candidates necessarily compromise and vote for the person who may hold different views in many areas.

It is true that some homophobic people voted for him - as, it is certainly true, some also voted against him - but we know exactly nothing about how many and in what proportion. It is not the base for saying US is a homophobic country because of that, and it is most certainly not true.

> In almost no sense does anyone give up their "sovereignty" by joining the EU

Not true, please read about laws and policy harmonization in EU. Also, US does have wide areas in which state and not federal laws are used. One can argue US states have less sovereignty than EU member states, that's probably true, but the large amount of similarity is still there.

> The EU only allows free travel and trade between each of the countries within it and also a standard currency and standard regulations

This is impossible without EU members surrendering part of their sovereignty - unless you want to pretend that so many countries having same laws (or, as you call it, "regulations"), same migration rules, same currency policy, same trade rules, etc. all happened because by chance they all independently passed exactly the same laws.

Maybe "xenophobic" was the word they wanted.

Damnit...I hate to look like I'm defending Trump, but he was also the only Republican to let an open homosexual speak on the convention stage (Thiel).

He's self-serving and contradictory (see Pence), but it's not nearly as open and shut as suggested.

Do you have any specific reasons he's homophobic?

> Do you have any specific reasons he's homophobic?

Yes, actually. He's said very homophobic things and done some very transphobic things.

1. He's on record saying "marriage is between a man and a woman."

2. He's on record saying he supports Pence's "FADA" which makes it legal to discriminate against LGBT people in any way imaginable (including denying social services such as basic policing or health care services) if a person claims a sincere belief that their religion condones such discrimination. You can read more of it here, this draft is well-circulated: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2802 (fun fact, this law also makes it illegal for the States or any Corporation to have any rules that might curtial these actions, so as a business owner a manager could fire a gay person and you couldn't punish them for it).

And then this week, we saw Trump's admin immediately pull back protections put in place to keep trans children safe and provide them life-saving medical interventions.

The White House hasn't been this overtly homophobic since Reagan's pressec and the press pit laughed at gay men dying of AIDS.

I'm not sure why the guy waves a rainbow flag once and suddenly we're all supposed to ignore his policy promises. He said he'd sign FADA and unless something dramatic changes, he's going to get the opportunity to. Claims of an anti-LGBT stance and homophobia seem fairly well founded at this point.

Not to detract from your point but you're referring to the Schengen Zone specifically. There are EU countries opted out (UK) and non-EU countries participating (e.g. Switzerland, Norway and Iceland).

> There are EU countries opted out (UK)

Not to nitpick, but the UK opted out of the EU entirely, not just the Schengen Zone.

Which is irrelevant to this topic. The UK still is in the EU and has never been in the Schengen Zone, which is the point here.

Europe varies. In the Netherlands you are supposed to carry ID at all times, and you can be fined if you don't supply it when the police ask.

Spain is the same at least for Spanish people , we have a national id card which you are supposed to take always with you

Yes. Ironically, though, the police are not allowed to ask you without due cause. "Toonplicht, geen draagplicht." A hollow comfort.

Wasn't this how the world worked up until a century ago? Anyone could walk or sail into any country, anywhere in the world, without a passport. Apparently the World Wars changed that.

Passports have been around for over 1500 years [1].

There was a brief blip in the 19th century, as railways started to cross Europe and passport checks seemed pointless [2], but that aside, passports seem to have been more common than not.

Given how much was controlled by monarchy-issued licenses and charters, I doubt it was that easy to rock up and enter a foreign country without any papers, but I'd certainly be interested to learn more.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passport#History

[2] http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/articles/destinations/a...

A century travel was much slower, more difficult and hence less common than it is now.

Yes and no.

Customs duties were a bigger source of revenue. Ships didn't just travel freely.

People were less of a problem, as most people didn't stray more than a few miles from where they were born.

a century ago one couldn't arrive to a foreign land and immediately start receiving monthly check, free housing, health and other services [savage, barbaric regimes!]. typically people arrived to a foreign country with means and purpose. why would anyone need a passport? to protect whom against whom?

wrong, at least in the case of america. This poem from 1883, this was on the St. of Liberty, which was errected in 1886 [1]. "give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses". They didn't have means. There were the people who wanted to prevent the racially inferior from coming here, like italians, before them irish, etc. We aren't that america still, in 2016. 133 years later.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Colossus

i am not clear, which part of what i said is wrong.

Really that applies if you are a "White EU Citizen". People of other ethnic origin are quite routinely stopped and questioned in the Schengen Zone at transportation points.

> there are no border controls (when walking or driving).

In practice they may not always exist, but I think Schengen member states have the authority to perform border controls in all cases (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area#Border_checks does not talk about distinctions depending on the mode of entry). In the current political climate, even as a citizen of a Schengen country, I would not cross borders within Schengen space without ID: I would not be surprised if states decided to perform border checks, and they would probably have the right to deny me passage if I do not have suitable ID.

I understand that there are some overlapping rules and regulations between EU member states and states in the Schengen Area. But you don't have to go more than a year back, when the refugee crisis peaked, to find Norway enforcing full border control on all land and sea based borders. But not by air, probably because they knew most refugees would never be allowed to board a plane or afford the tickets.

This ended up in a huge mess, but as far as I know very few were actually turned away. Mostly people ended up being fined for not being able to provide a valid ID and let back in after a manual verification. There were some controversy around this, as citizens are not legally required to carry IDs.

The temporary border controls are not there to physically stop people from entering, but to dissuade them from trying to go to Norway at all in the first place. That's the big effect, and it is of course intentional.

I've flown several times across European borders with no ID check ever. All I needed was the online ticket number. And this was in the last few years.

This wasn't true during the height of the refugee influx through Greece. I took a flight from Greece to Frankfurt and the German police inspected each passenger individually before we were allowed to the gate.

Also before any crises, when I was taking the cheap buses between copenhagen and hamburg, there was usually passports controls on entering Denmark. The police officers would be very lax with european citizens, it felt like though.

> So how do you protect yourself?

Individually? It's extremely difficult other than "try not to appear suspicious" and bring a dumbphone when crossing borders.

The real protection is collective. Stopping the current administration is only the beginning; the Democrats are merely "not as bad" on this kind of issue. Broader anti-racism and anti-racist-media action is needed, because otherwise this kind of arbitary brutal border policy will win votes.

The Mayor of Stockton, while returning from China, was forced to give up his password and then subsequently had all electronic devices seized. That was in 2015; this isn't about race, the broader issue here is privacy and where do I rights kick in.


It wasn't a random search


STOCKTON, Calif. (CN) — Stockton, Calif. Mayor Anthony Silva was arrested at his summer camp for underprivileged youth Thursday and faces multiple charges over his suspected involvement in an underage strip poker game. Silva was arrested at his camp by agents from the FBI, Stockton Police Department and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office. The incumbent mayor’s bail was set at $20,000. The FBI also recovered evidence of Silva secretly taping a conversation with a Stockton city employee, while another witness told investigators that Silva has cameras in his bedroom and at the Stockton Kid’s Club, Riebe said. The charges come amid recent revelations from the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office that a gun owned by Silva was used in the 2015 killing of a 13-year old. Investigators say a semi-automatic pistol that was stolen from Silva was used in two separate Stockton shootings. Silva says he informed authorities his gun was missing in March 2015, a month after the gun was used in the fatal shooting of Rayshawn Harris. Officers recovered the weapon during a domestic disturbance unrelated to the mayor.

Silva is no longer mayor(lost re-election for some reason), trial proceedings are still going on.

Broader anti-racism and anti-racist-media action is needed, because otherwise this kind of arbitrary brutal border policy will win votes.

This is an issue much bigger than race and as soon as we stop compartmentalizing it into that it will be better for us all.

You turn it into another about race thing and people will tune out. You make people realize they are at risk no matter who they are and they might pay attention. That might sound tone deaf but the reality is people first and foremost care about themselves and their in-group before anything else. It's hard not to.

The problem is, the reason it does win votes, and the reason a lot of people want "law and order" and "tough on crime", is because they reason it won't apply to them, but to "those people". What is "those people" defined by in their minds, at least to a first a approximation before they consciously reason about it? Race.

Now, they might think in terms of it being for thugs and terrorists, instead of black people and Muslims, but they 'know' they themselves can't possibly be mistaken for either because they 'don't look like a thug/terrorist'. While the searches are indeed applied along racial lines, it will be hard to convince them otherwise, because they are mostly right.

So, sure, this is about liberty, about forestalling totalitarianism, about our human right to privacy and our political right to protection from unreasonable search, but it is also about race and about xenophobia. I am not sure failing to acknowledge that does us any favors strategically. At risk of going full Godwin's Law, there were a lot of things wrong with Nazism besides anti-semitism, but analyzing why people allowed the rise of Nazism without talking about anti-semitism is foolish.

Xenophobia != surveillance state or totalitarianism

For example japan or poland are fairly xenophobic and isolationist, but they don't practice a surveillance state or ask for your social media accounts at the border. Foreigners are free to enter as long as they don't overstay their welcome.

I would say that xenophobia is the natural state of homogeneous populations. Everything different is treated with suspicioun, but not necessarily overt opposition or hatred. Xenophobia only gets used as leverage by politicians to amplify and deflect other issues (such as income inequality) onto other groups. Fix those issues and some latent xenophobia isn't going to turn into problems.

I am not saying xenophobia inevitably leads to searching phones. But in the US, right now, the justification for the surveillance state is in a big part due to xenophobia and race relations. It is a major factor in the current pathology and we ignore it at our peril.

The law and order type will always find something to increase their powers. You're just trying to fix their current attack vector, which means they'll just use a different scare tomorrow. To have lasting improvements the security apparatus needs to be scaled down.

You are projecting your theoretical model of government-public relations onto the world, and ignoring the fact that race has been a major motivating factor in American politics for the last few centuries. I disagree with your claim that this is just strategic opportunism.

I think you are talking about two different groups. As in: will three letter agency type people have the incentive and the desire to expand their capabilities, independent of xenophobia and racism? Yes, absolutely. Do xenophobia and racism play a significant part on why large swats of the population are going along with this? Also, yes. A U.S. where most Americans don't fear foreigners from any part of the world is one where justifying scanners, pat downs at the airport and massive data collection becomes a lot harder for the kind of people whose core objective is to justify scanners, pat downs and massive data collection.

But this is also ignoring that there are very real reasons this is happening. Within the last couple of years we had the Bataclan, Nice, Orlando, etc, all directly from Islamic terror.

Does that mean Muslims should be discriminated against? Obviously not. However, this is a very blunt way of people trying to protect themselves (even if it's not effective or overreaching).

To wave that off as "racism" isn't really fair.

We also had significantly more deaths from things like school shootings and other violence not related to terrorism from Islamist groups, and yet we are pulling out funds for counter-extremism from all causes not related to Islamic terrorism (say, white-supremacist terrorism). By the numbers, the current counter-terrorism policies are an over-reaction, poorly thought out and unfairly target an enormous population that doesn't seem to pose in expectation a more significant risk than others:

http://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/27/14412420/terrorism-muslim... : "The study found that only 46 Muslim Americans (defined as “Muslims who lived in the US for an extended period”) were linked to violent extremism at home or abroad in 2016. The total Muslim American population is 3.3 million."

and, from https://sites.duke.edu/tcths/files/2017/01/Kurzman_Muslim-Am... : "The 54 fatalities caused by Muslim-American extremists in 2016 brought the total since 9/11 to 123. More than 240,000 Americans were murdered over the same period."

So, to prevent 46 or so crimes, affecting 54 or so people (say 300 if you think there are large numbers of wounded), we are de facto abrogating the rights of 3.3 million people, plus visitors. Nevermind that terrorism represents only 0.05% of violent crime, that violent crime itself is at its lowest in decades and that we never felt the need to become a surveillance state over said amount of crime. The only reason why people think it reasonable to do so now is that they associate Muslim with terrorist at a visceral irrational level, not because it makes sound logical sense. Hence, racism and xenophobia is a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Also keep in mind that, over time, treating any group better both at home and abroad reduces incidence of terrorism from that group. But the point is that the current incidence itself is not anywhere near the point where putting millions under surveillance is worth it.

> Orlando

Wikipedia: "Mateen was born Omar Mir Seddique[6] on November 16, 1986,[7] in New Hyde Park, New York, to Afghan parents"

(Similarly, the Bataclan attack was carried out by French/Belgian nationals)

So he was a US-born US national. Not an immigrant or green card holder.

> Does that mean Muslims should be discriminated against? Obviously not.

Yes! Exactly!

> To wave that off as "racism" isn't really fair

.. what? It's discrimination against a group of people by religion-inferred-from-ethnic-origin-or-skin-colour. That's exactly what racism is. It's not "waving it off" at all.

>The problem is, the reason it does win votes, and the reason a lot of people want "law and order" and "tough on crime", is because they reason it won't apply to them, but to "those people". What is "those people" defined by in their minds, at least to a first a approximation before they consciously reason about it? Race.

Well, race or nationality. I don't think Trump voters think American citizens will be subjected to authoritarian measures, or should be. They think their in-group is safe.

I don't know why you were downvoted; while it's true that racial minorities are targeted more often than most, many don't empathize with that. They only care once their own rights are threatened.

By making it clear that these issues harm everyone, we can prevent these actions from happening to anyone. People are willing to take away the rights of others, but generally are not willing to sacrifice their own.

Not sure why you are down-voted but this is true. Most of the anti-liberty policies come in disguise of we v/s bad guy arguments. The bad guys are often minorities.

> The bad guys are often minorities.

I've observed this pattern: 'bad guy' is part of another group? That whole group is bad. 'bad guy' is part of the group of the person speaking: That's just an individual rotten apple, but it does not say anything about all of us.

Obviously. It all boils down to which group is in power and who is powerful. Minorities are going to get a fag end here. For example I see very little talk of illegals from Canada or Europe who are in USA. But authorities will only talk about Mexicans painting them as some kind of gangsters and criminals always. Indians or Chinese aren't that active in organized crime but their education and high skill is portrayed as evil "stealing jobs" phenomenon.

Do you think that, perhaps, the fact that all the Canadian gangs keep it under the radar while Latino and Black gangs do all the "represent" game with leaving disfigured bodies, tagging cities, hanging around streets wearing gang colors etc is relevant? I am sure that Canadian cartels and gangs are just as dangerous, pushing all the contraband maple syrup and making our kids addicted to sugar, but, somehow, they figured out the PR game and keep the news of their kidnappings, executions and drive-bys out of sight.

Unfortunately, I suspect that failing to have a the ability to grant border agents access to social media or email accounts will soon become grounds for detainment and further scrutiny by itself. If you are carrying a "dumb phone" or don't have email or social media set up on your phone, then what are you trying to hide?

Exactly - and some smart people do actually have "dumb" phones.

Or sometimes I think about ditching my GUI Linux for something really basic - same reason why some people stick with dumb phones - now what happens if I hand over full control over my neat z-shell to the TSA? Will he grep around or just consider me dangerous?

They're just going to copy the data off and some software will look for things by hash.

It would not surprisee if at some point, if we leave this tyranny unchecked, we will all be forced to hand over our devices while deboarding so they can be scanned while we wait in line for initial interrogation.

The documentation that comes when you are compelled to give over keys mentions that they will retain complete copies of any disks, drives, flash card, any piece of data until it is no longer relevant (read, forever).

I suggest installing a shell OS (with a neat GUI, no hacker-ish looks) on the Notebook's first partition, the rest (where the main Linux installation is residing) will be encrypted and can be decrypted and booted into only using a USB bootloader with the missing LUKS header (which can be downloaded later using a VPN, for example).

If they ask you "is there any hidden data on this device", you would have to respond in the affirmative. Lying to a border guard is a felony, there's no cute technical solution to this. They will, according to their own paperwork, make copies of any data they find interesting for future analysis.

Hmm, what if we keep some encrypted porn in the shell OS? "Yep, there is hidden data. Do I really need to decrypt my special folder because I really wouldn't like to? OK then, the password is.."

Disclaimer: this is all being speculative, of course. I'm not suggesting to lie to or misdirect a border guard in a real-life situation.

Good work, you've just confessed to a crime. Importing pornography into the US is illegal.


I'm speechless.

For the sake of this discussion, replace porn with old passport scans and unimportant banking documents, for example.

This is a perfect example of why the correct place to fight this is at the judiciary.

Trying to outsmart the border guards essentially makes you a smuggler. Sure you're trying to smuggle your own personal data rather anything nefarious, but either way - you're trying to beat them at their own game, on their own turf, where they have every advantage, constant practice, and effectively get to write their own rules.

Every fantastic example you dream up, you have to pray no-one's thought of it before. The game's rigged.

The only real way to win is to double down on the legal position of such searches.

Misleading border guards with statements and behaviour like that is also a felony.

TrueCrypt supported plausibly deniable encrypted partitions. When using something like this it'd be possible to deny the existence of encrypted data and lab analysis wouldn't turn anything up. Or so they claimed.

The current administration? This has been going on for years under the Obama administration.

exactly, and before him too. the real enemy is the patriot act.

See this -^ ? It's a new pseudonymous account. Unless your social network has some kind of insane policy where they only allow you to have a single identity you can use that kind of feature to compartmentalize your activities.

Combine that with a phone that lets you have multiple users where you use one for banal activity which you can then show to Big Brother when he comes knocking. And others for anything important.

To me having several pseudonyms and also using throwaways is part of standard information hygiene. I also have multiple email addresses, some are set to forward to others (one-way of course), others aren't. I don't know why people aren't teaching that to their children.

I also love 4chan for that reason. I can talk to people in a totally ephemeral manner. Identity only exists for the duration of a conversation.

Or I don't know, do people also share their grindr adventures by linking that account to twitter these days?

Let me start by saying I don't begrudge your info hygiene habits at all, this isn't an attack against you. But I've seen a few suggestions lately on building tools to circumvent these awful policies.

What we need to be doing is vehemently protesting these policies and rejecting them completely. If we start building tools to deny information when someone Has physical access to your unlocked device then we normalize these policies and accept the enevitibility that our privacy is gone. This is a war we cannot win. Not everyone is going to operate with the hygienic standards you use.

That said I've never actively protested a thing in my life. I am basically guilty or complicit myself, and I hate it.

If protesting these things worked, we'd never have border searches in the first place. Nobody wants to be searched.

Ultimately most people just simply do not place any value on their privacy.

Yeah protesting hasn't really worked that well to date. But do you think people will become more upset if they're told that transiting through airports now requires you to hand over your unlocked phone to a stranger while they go through all of your email, banking, and social media accounts?

It's easy to dismiss data retention laws because they're so far away. But if someone is literally sitting across from you going through your phone? I think (hope) that image will drive the point home a lot better than it has previously.

thats not true, people simply don't understand how their privacy has been used against them. everyone still thinks this is about ads, but its much worse.

> To me having several pseudonyms and also using throwaways is part of standard information hygiene. I also have multiple email addresses, some are set to forward to others (one-way of course), others aren't. I don't know why people aren't teaching that to their children.

For aliens (people entering under ESTA, visas, etc), you are compelled to reveal any aliases or pseudonyms you operate under. There's a two page document for you to fill the details out under ESTA, presumably under under a visa as well. Lying to a border guard, or on these forms is a felony.

That must be new. It wasn't part of esta two years ago. I would be totally unable to produce all my aliases in all the services I have accounts. I wouldn't even be able to remember all the services.

I believe it's supposed to be only names you've gone under, calling yourself horsemaster88 on youtube wouldn't be included, but calling yourself Jerry Fink, lord of horses would be included. With the new laws going into place for giving up social media names I wouldn't be surprised if online pseudonyms will be included in the future though.

That falls apart with the simplest IP tracking. The government has all that data anyway, I see no reason they couldn't run a "background check" and figure out exactly who you are and what you've done.

It's a false sense of security, is it not? It's probably best to assume your opponent isn't completely dumb.

If a state intelligence agency is targeting you, there's just really not a lot you can do at that point. But ephemeral9235's suggestions should work OK to avoid handing over all your personal data at the border.

That depends on what your threat model is. I assume we're talking about random police or border searches of your phone. Not the NSA or some surveillance apparatus which can make warrantless inquiries to your ISP and social network providers at a moments notice.

If we're facing a surveillance state without any internal obstructions then yes, far stricter opsec will be needed.

In the near future I expect random border searches to include all internet traffic associated with you. It's going to get hard for the average person to evade it. Your techniques won't be nearly enough.


You're right of course.

I guess I'm wondering if border guards at any point in the future will have quick access to a database, presumably with information from a company that has either voluntarily or been forced to provide data.

Sir, we just ran your social networking accounts and according to our data you have another Facebook account that you did not provide access to...

Such a database would indicate two things a) law enforcement has access to such a database without warrants b) facebook provides such a database without warrants.

To me those would be reasons to leave the country and facebook.

A and b are both well established facts. You are, however, still allowed to leave both the country and Facebook without restriction. For now.

where have you been?

Even something like a VPN isn't really perfect, because a smart enough monitoring system could track a vpn connection coming from your system, and then compare that to traffic coming from the vpn. Tricky, but possible.

Read the Snowden docs more closely, there's an express program for automatic identification of VPN traffic patterns.

Social networks are useless with pseudonimous accounts - unless there is some link between pseudonyms. The social aspect is in building the network, having reputation, maintaining a circle of friends and acquaintances, etc. but you can't build network out of throwaway accounts. Of course, HN is not a social network - it's a news/discussion site. So if you don't care about the reputation - which is not prominent anyway, so there's not much reason to care - you can use throwaways freely. But for most social networking functions it's a no go.

And ascribing too much importance to social network reputation leads to a great episode of Black Mirror, hardly a desirable world to live in though.

>So how do you protect yourself?

Here, now, today?

Set all your accounts up with auto-generated passwords, and store the whole lot in a password vault[1]. Don't bring the password vault file with you when you cross the border. Arrange to acquire it after you have entered the country[2].

Now you can honestly say you don't know any of your passwords. If enough people do this, then this law will be pointless.

Also, for the love of god stop bringing your smartphone with you when you travel. Get a $15 quad-band feature phone, and just bring a paper map with you. If you don't need your laptop then leave that behind as well.

[1] As much as I hate password managers and see them as a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist, you should probably be doing this by now anyway.

[2] The details of this can range from a pre-timed email to a physical handover from someone inside the country, depending on whether you think the border police might detain you and attempt to force you to acquire the password vault.

How about this. Make 2 email accounts. One for your stuff, one that is more or less empty. Re-set your phone to factory. Synch with the empty account. When you are in-country, reset phone, synch with first account. Done. 45 minutes or less with decent wi-fi. Of course my preference is to avoid said country on principle in the first place.

I really don't understand how they would ever enforce the "social media accounts." It's pretty easy to just have two facebook and twitter accounts. If it becomes a problem everyone affected would have multiple accounts.

  Also, for the love of god stop bringing your smartphone with you when you travel. 
Is there a risk of bringing a smartphone with no past context on it (e.g. a previously-unused refurb or new phone)? Even one that has been factory reset would give basic prying eyes nothing to find, barring the use of forensic tools.

>Is there a risk of bringing a smartphone with no past context on it (e.g. a previously-unused refurb or new phone)?

If you're willing to have two smartphones, or to backup and wipe your smartphone when you travel (don't forget the sim), then I guess not that much. I definitely couldn't be bothered though, hence the cheapie phone. Your mileage may vary if you're going for a 3 months sojourn I guess, I usually do 2-3 day trips.

However, back on the sliding scale of paranoia, the main risk of bringing your phone with you if you want next level protection from the US is that if they ever take your phone and remove it from your field if view, you might want to bin it. The US has proven very adept at modifying circuitry of devices to monitor them[1]. A cheap feature phone can be binned without thought.

[1] https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/photos-of-an-nsa...

factory reset will do the job even for forensic tools- the border-class forensic tools- cellebrite, magnet forensics aquire, oxygen, etc are all accessing above the flash translation layer. So deleted is deleted, in that case, on a phone. And chip off is Mossad level expertise, due to chip size/complexity, wear-leveling and said flash translation.

> So how do you protect yourself?

Wipe phone when you pass through border, restore afterwards. If you're really paranoid, if the device leaves your presence it's to be considered physically compromised.

It is bizarre that we're now having to consider the type of preparation you previously would want to consider for places like China.

I'm really not sure if I want to visit the US at all while Trump is in power. Not because I expect the chances of any severe problems are all that huge, but because the growing lack of predictability is just creating sufficient friction.

> I'm really not sure if I want to visit the US at all while Trump is in powe

I don't fancy Trump anymore than the next guy, but this started long before he got elected.

This is driven by the intelligence community for their own power grab and is 100% independent. It would be pushed through no matter who sat in the presidential seat.

Let's just say that if you try to oppose it, in the current (intolerant liberal) political climate someone has enough data on you to ruin your life and career as a politician no matter who you are.

That's a massive amount of power. Seeing how the head of NSA openly and repeatadly lies under oath to no consequence what so ever, I'd be surprised if it's not a power being misused regularly.

I agree it started before that. The difference is the lack of predictability under Trump. There's no doubt China is still far more authoritarian, for example, but it's government is fairly predictable.

We've been searching phones at the US border long before Trump: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/11/30...

You are right to be outraged, but you are wrong to be fearful of Trump. You need to be fearful and angry at the government, regardless of who's the President.

This 'there is no difference between the parties' thing is getting really old, the differences are clear. Yes a surveillance state had also flourished under the Democratic administrations and that's a Bad Thing, I'm with you on the general need to roll that back.

But don't come here telling me administrations are basically the same. And much of the surveillance state exists because of the politicians that pander to the more xenophobic demographics. Look how much of the previous 8 years they spent portraying Obama as a crypto-Muslim, bent on the the Islamicization of the United States yadda yadda. Every time he tried to dismantle or scale back any aspect of the national security state (Guantanamo being an obvious example) conservatives howled about him enabling terrorism and putting the American people in danger. To ignore those factors is to deceive yourself about the political dynamics that shape your environment.

...or perhaps the nation faces threats that are thrawrted by these measures that you speak of.

Obama managed to push affordable care act through despite republican howls. Perhaps there are other reasons for his change of heart on other topics.

all obama had to do was not renew bush's executive orders. thats it. he just had to do NOTHING. so yes, as far as privacy is concerned, both parties are equally shit.

That's what he did with troop withdrawals from Iraq - simply stick to the agreement Bush signed. And yet everyone on the right seems to think that by doing so he gave birth to ISIS. Ignoring these political realities is facile, even if you aim to overhaul the whole political system.

no. i'm not going to let you equate the complexities of withdrawing military assets from an active conflict with NOT signing a piece of paper.

You miss the part where my concern about Trump is the lack of predictability, as evidenced by the sudden travel ban.

I can deal with an authoritarian government as a visitor if I know what to avoid while visiting. Not so if the rules can change at the whim of someone who seems unstable.

We should definitely be fearful of Trump. The only good thing that can come from this is that he will take full blame, but people will finally realize how corrupt we have become. I doubt that will happen though, because I'm sure the other half is brainwashed to think the Democrats can do no harm either.

I found this comment by educar from HN a few days ago very interesting and true:

> If you still think of the world as divided into good and evil, then I have to break it to you that you have been played. Brainwashed by years and years of media programming.

> One man's terrorist is another man's hero. The U.S routinely bombs other sovereign countries and this is show cased as a "hero" activity. If the bombed people retaliate, they are terrorists. The truth is not black/white. Same way U.S data surveillance is OK but same thing done by China is seen as backward regime.

from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13596218

It's only bizarre because we've been brainwashed in our youth years into thinking highly of USA, and our adult selves still mourn the loss of simple ethical compass, but that was always only imaginary.

I don't think I've been brainwashed much with that respect - I spent my youth involved in left wing political organizations that just a few years earlier would have barred me from entry to the US, to the point that I called the US embassy to check before my first entry (they stopped caring after the Soviet Union collapsed), and that means there's almost certainly a file on me with Norwegian security services. I've been highly critical of US governments most of my life.

The reason I find it bizarre is that I've visited the US about two dozen times over many years, and while I know there are plenty of issues for many visitors, it used to be fairly predictable who would get stopped, and I used to feel safe that I would not get pulled aside and face more invasive questioning or searches.

As I've noted elsewhere, part of what is changing is that it appears this predictability is out of the window: Things like NASA employees stopped or how a few days ago a former Norwegian Prime Minister travelling on a diplomatic passport was stopped. And so.

In a way, I suppose, I get to finally experience the uncertainty people from less favoured countries and/or darker skinned/with a muslim sounding name have dealt with for much longer. That is perhaps the only benefit of this mess: It's finally affecting groups of people that may cause it to become politically untenable over time.

pretty sure this is common in many countries. I know here in NZ they have had that right. Though, there was a bit of a backlash against that and they (government) were looking at changing so that there are reasonable grounds for search. Quick search seems to indicate UK and Australia is similar.

That is true, and while it is bad, a large part of the difference is to what extent it is likely to affect you as a regular visitor. The US has always been stricter than most places in my experience - I've gotten far more scrutiny on entering the US than China, or anywhere else other than perhaps Canada.

But what has changed is the predictability and the extent of use of these types of powers.

I used to feel safe that I would not get taken aside and have to deal with this type of thing, but now I see no reason to any more, because there seems to be no reason to assume that the rules won't suddenly change overnight.

On entering the UK on the other hand, I still feel reasonably safe that though I know they can, the odds that they will are extremely low.

It used to be that I'd consider what to clean off my laptop before entering places like China. Now I'm not sure I'll even want to bring my regular laptop to the US.

How about a lockdown feature that sends the unlock code to a trusted 3rd party? For corporate phones that should work quite nicely, especially if unlocking would require physical connection to the trusted network.

That way you could simply put it into lockdown mode before you enter border checks and not use the phone except for minimal calling features.

Nah you just whack it.

Most MDMs can wipe the phone or data on it in the event you leave the country.

Wouldn't it make more sense to stop the “Wait and see” approach and organize action against the problem?

It strikes me that yielding to unjust approaches is fundamentally problematic on two fronts:

- The action of forcing legal citizens to unlock their personal information certainly is questionable constitutionally.

- The idea that one can perform these sorts of workarounds is likely biased with privilege.

This is actually what I'll be doing when I visit Hawaii later this year. Same with my laptop.

Visiting the US now demands exactly the same measures as visiting China.

Assuming you're going to a place with fast internet. If you're not, it can be a pain.

You can restore using iTunes backups stored on an encrypted hard drive in a secret volume. Plausible deniability even after decryption. TrueCrypt does this.

Be sure that as such powers increase they'll obtain more sophisticated tools to help them catch smart alecks.

There's also the possibility of seizure -- not getting your encrypted hard drive back because you refused to co-operate.

But they won't know whether anyone refused to cooperate or not

Otherwise you get rubber hose cryptanalysis: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13629728

Bruce Shneier's advice: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/07/laptop_securi...

> So how do you protect yourself?

We need a "kill code" on secured devices: A separate password that silently resets the device to a saved state suggesting mild use and offering nothing of substance.

Alarm systems have these: A code you only enter under duress, that looks like a regular disarm code, but silently summons help. So where are Apple and Google on something similar for our digital privacy?

Unless this wipes the device, it serves no use. They don't want your pin to browse through the phone - CBP policy is to take a full disk image, which would not work without the real pin as I understand it. This was the case in the OP article as well - CBP took a full copy of the phone.

If they take the phone apart to get to the storage, they don't need your pin, unless the entire storage is encrypted, in which case an alternate pin should probably not decrypt the entire storage.

If they access it through the phone, they can only access what the OS allows.

I think an OS that would allow you to expose only a safe part of your phone, would be an excellent idea.

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that's destruction of evidence.

Only if you're accused of a crime, right? Which is not the case here. They just want to search your data. Although if you're not a citizen they will probably not let you enter the country.

> Only if you're accused of a crime, right?

Not really. As soon as you know there's an investigation against you, any action to purposely destroy relevant evidence can be used against you, even if there was no formal crime charge yet. For companies, they usually get special letter that instructs them to preserve evidence due to investigation ongoing or lawsuit pending. It is also common in civil cases, where there's no crime to talk about at all.

But on a personal level CBP agent saying "we need information on your phone" can be treated as informing you about necessity to preserve evidence, and they may as well just give you a printed instruction saying you have to preserve it. Once they did that, purposely destroying evidence (which is anything they could consider relevant) is a crime.

Unfortunately, you are not likely to get off on technicality with this - they know the technicalities much better than you. The whole policy of border being "rights-free zone" needs change, not finding a loophole.

Yeah. But I cannot change these policies. I am not even a US citizen. So I have to wipe all my devices clean before crossing the border. Or risk confiscation. Because there is no way (except torture) they will get any of my passwords.

I wonder if it would help if an equal amount of US citizens have to hand over their passwords at EU borders. Maybe that would help as a wake up call?

Evidence of what? Are you under arrest or a suspect?

I'll protect myself by refusing. They can detain me for as long as they want. I'll fight it in court, because I am a US citizen and god dammit they do not have the right to warrantlessly review my encrypted communications.

If we've gone so far on the path towards authoritarianism that even citizens don't have rights, I'll just never come back in.

> I'll protect myself by refusing. They can detain me for as long as they want. I'll fight it in court, because I am a US citizen and god dammit they do not have the right to warrantlessly review my encrypted communications.

While I don't agree it's a good thing, I think they do have the right to detain you indefinitely and/or search whatever they damn well please if it's on your person. I don't think asking for a password that doesn't unlock a device in your possession would pass muster, but unlocking your phone would. Your rights (as a citizen) at the border aren't the same as when you're not there.

Also, I think the definition of "at the border" includes anywhere with 100 miles of the physical end of jurisdiction (so effectively you sitting at home in most of the west or east coasts is "at the border").

> If we've gone so far on the path towards authoritarianism that even citizens don't have rights, I'll just never come back in.

FYI, I think they have the same right to search you or hold you indefinitely on the way out as well.

> I don't think asking for a password that doesn't unlock a device in your possession would pass muster, but unlocking your phone would.

I don't think they can force me to give up my PIN. Not even a court can do that.

My rights as a citizen are indeed less, in that they can detain me in an attempt to force compliance. The thing is that it's never been fully tested. In all the cases I've reviewed, either the person relented or CBP eventually let them through.

If the detention lasted for days, their case would become harder and harder to make. Someone needs to make a stand.

> FYI, I think they have the same right to search you or hold you indefinitely on the way out as well.

Perhaps, but leaving is nowhere near as systematic. More importantly: if they were making giving up this info a condition of entry, I would refuse to enter. If they want to lock me up for that, I have a court case.

Do you have a job or family? How long would the former keep you employed? How long would the latter last without your support? Could you afford legal fees without employment?

It's cool to say these things, but the system is weighted against protest. You must be ready to sacrifice everything for your principles.

That's why I specifically said nobody is obligated to protest.

Personally, I'm quite well-positioned to be able to do this. I'm a young self-employed single white man with no family to support. My net worth is probably enough to pay the legal fees (though I hope that this is the sort of case the ACLU or EFF would support).

  "I don't think they can force me to give up my PIN. Not even a court can do that."
Meanwhile, on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13629728

That's for contempt of court. If a judge thinks (effectively in his sole discretion) that you're in contempt of court, they can sentence you to whatever they'd like for as long as they'd like. It's purposely vague and powerful because it's meant to be used to punish the most heinous of acts: those against the court.

CBP can't deny entry to a US citizen.

They could temporarily inconvenience you, or confiscate your belongings (or arrest you if you actually break the law)... but they would not legally be able to detain you indefinitely. A lawyer would have a field day with that.

Since there's nothing actually illegal about refusing to unlock your phone, at worst you'd lose your phone while they attempt to crack it offline.

The result of stories like this will be to chill visiting from other countries (destroying tourism in the country) and likely result in the same treatment by other countries to American citizens. I can't understand why the people who decide these policies think they are harmless.

Stories like this have been in the news for many years. Here's one from 2014:


And an EFF post from 2011:


It's also not just the US; here's one from Canada:


Finally, it's not a policy; the the general differences in due process at the border, as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court (1997, Ramsey v. United States).

How about if we reset and delete everything from the phone before crossing any international borders?

That's how some employers (mine included) already handle work-owned electronic devices: going overseas -- either leave yours behind or pick up a loaner that will be fully wiped on arrival.

people used to look at me like i was crazy because id always wipe my laptop and devices before crossing the border. but its the only way now.

That looks suspicious. Unless you are coming home to your own country, looking suspicious is a good way to get denied entry.

Maybe employers' security teams should make it known that they routinely instruct employees to do this for business or personal travel.

That would work except that it's super inconvenient.

That would mark you as suspicious (Who doesn't have anything on their phone?) and give you a person of interest treatment.


Have many accounts, some of which have a subsetof your email which is totally safe. They can even be mirrors.

Or alternatively, have all your sensitive communication on other channels which leave no trace (in browser history, for instance).


PS: It would be cool if apps let you have steganography... like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp wouldn't show ALL conversations until you entered a specific password. They could even have groups of hidden conversations. Even if cops know that, they will never be sure if you revealed everything. This may be good or bad for you.

That presupposes that you can accurately determine exactly what qualifies as "safe" in advance.

Better than nothing - which is what these apps offer now in terms of incognito sessions.

>> Their point about how other countries will take the US's stance as a cue is somewhat scary.

I don't see this happening, in Europe at least. It seems like a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression and right to family and private life so shouldn't be possible for any of the 47 members of the Council of Europe (who are bound by the ECHR).

Social media is a made word and concept to talk about online services designed to capture and collect and exploit private personal data that the users willingly give them, the "if you're not paying for it, then you're the product being sold". so email does not fall into this IMHO.

Not having social media account is the obvious answer, there is little that this will be implemented ever but having a multiple password account could be a workaround. a master password give access to all while another you could give to border guard would transparently limit the access to a sanitized version of the account. The other obvious answer to force the government and lawmakers to remove this policy.

> So how do you protect yourself?

Have all expected social media, with expected contacts (family, friends, colleagues, etc) and activity. But carry disposable stuff, because you can't trust it after it's been taken for inspection. If asked, just say they you're worried about theft ;) Or if you're on business, that it's your employer's policy. Which it should be.

For anything that you want kept private, be very careful to compartmentalize it from your meatspace identity.

> So how do you protect yourself?

It is time for all cloud services to provide plausible deniability by allowing for multiple passwords to access the same social account - but where all the passwords except the One allows for only a subset of the account.

E.g. logon to Facebook using password 'plausible1' and see only friend 1 and friend 2. Logon to facebook using password 'everything' and see friend 1 and 2 but friend 3 as well.

Are you using a system to hide information from us? Answer in the negative and you just committed a felony.

I'd suggest not even taking a phone if you are visiting the US. You can presumably buy a prepaid phone there if you need one during the trip, and connect it to your existing online accounts.

I guess you could also do a factory reset on an existing phone and set it up once you are through immigration.

Lying to a border agent can automatically be taken as grounds for refusing entry.

yes, yes, but you are not a NASA scientist so don't worry

As a EU citizen, I see these events from a bit different angle. I have visited US several times and the atmosphere and behaviour of both the customs officers and the TSA personnel gets more and more overlooking.

I have never went through such extended search but going across a US airport feels really uncomfortable, to the extent I haven't seen in another country (UK comes close, though). The thing is Trump only added a little bit. This is a process that has been evolving for some time already.

I wonder if anything would change if all US travellers to Europe would be given a leaflet explaining:

"As a reciprocal measure for ESTA or Visa process, you are obliged to pay $14 entry fee. Moreover, we will perform an extended search to every fifth American passport holder. During the search, we may seize your devices and ask for your passwords. Not complying may result in a detention up to 24 hours and/or denied entry."

I'm curious, can you tell me what bad experiences EU passport holders have, or fear to have, at UK airports?

Dilapidated arrival halls, endless lines and queues in the peak season, aggressive UK Border posters everywhere that make you feel like you're entering a prison visiting lounge, face/RFID scanners that frequently crap out, miserable/hostile border staff barking at you. I felt like a harassed cow going through an industrialised slaughter house the last time I flew in to Gatwick in the Summer.

Quite a contrast when you're used to travelling between Schengen area countries (or in my case, watching my French wife enjoy the benefits).

Will be fun to see how closely we start emulating the US once Brexit happens. Am sure my EU friends will love having all 10 of their fingers on file and a thorough "why are you here? how long for? where are you staying? when are you leaving?" questioning session every time they pass through...

My wife and I used the UK for a base last summer for a European tour. Big mistake: it doesn't matter which airport you're flying into: the lines are 80 miles long at LHR, the border agents at LGW look like it's 4:45PM on Friday no matter the day of the week, and a bottle of water costs 3 GBP at LCY.

We could have avoided all of this idiocy by simply moving our base of operations to a Schengen country -- no internal border checks, halfway competent security personnel and less stress overall.

Pity -- London was not terrible once you got into it.

Currently, when an EU citizen enters UK from the Heathrow Airport we can just scan our passports on the machine and get through. Usually there would be a nice lady to assist you if you are having trouble with the scanning.

Usually there isn't even other personnel around. I never encountered any checks or questioning.

But then again, the British tend to be very civil and I can't imagine getting a treatment similar to those we keep hearing about US borders.

I hope Brexit doesn't change this too much.

Try being a non-EU citizen using London as a base for a summer travel, and being required to interact with Border Force wankers on every transit through the country. They're invasively racist at every turn: Here's a credit card and a reservation at a niceish hotel. You aren't convinced that we won't be a burden on your ratty public purse? Alas. How about an onward ticket for tomorrow evening? No? Hmm. Ok, here's a bank statement. Is that enough zeroes for you? Great! Yes, this is our daughter. Yes, she does have a rather lovely tan. I'm originally from Bangladesh and my wife is from the US. No, you really don't need to know what our parents think of our marriage. Oh, I program for a living. Do you want to know more about functional reactive programming? Well...

This literally went on for half an hour, while our infant daughter (who was suffering from the flu) was clearly in distress. When my wife asked for a bit of privacy to nurse her, she was barked at. The interrogation eventually ended, but only after a condescending speech about how lucky we were to be allowed in.

Someone should tell the UK that not everyone dreams of casino-funded memories of Empire.

If you're not from EU then the experience of entering UK can be poor:


I was held up when I traveled to the UK years ago when I was on a work sabbatical. I came over on a one way ticket with a plan to visit old friends and travel around. I was not allowed to enter until I managed to produce bank information showing that I had enough funds to cover my trip.

Yes, but that's inside the EU. If you were traveling between States in the US, you would only need your drivers license and there's no going through customs.

UK is different from the rest of the EU, where is pretty much the same as your example of the US. On the Schengen area there is no border controls as the physical borders don't exist and to travel in EU all you need is your national ID card if you don't want to bother with a passport.

I prefer the passport, I think you can't use the ID card on the automated UK border check.

Being asked to take off my shoes every time I go there is pretty annoying.

Here's the Customs and Border Patrol policy in question [0] (see page 31).

The EFF has a nice write-up on this topic [1]. It sounds like there's a "border search exemption" that bypasses the Fourth Amendment. The rationale was to ensure duties were paid and screen for "bad guys," drugs, weapons, diseased fruit, etc.

[0] https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/privacy...

[1] https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/law-enforcement-uses-b...

Here's the ACLU's page on this, with a map of the 100 mile "constitution-free zone": https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights-governments-100-mile-b...

Note that this zone includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, etc, etc, and hence a really sizable portion of the US population.

Also note that that image is incomplete: international airports count as border crossings for CBP's purposes, so any city with one and the surrounding area in a 100 mile radius should be added.

Edit: About like this. Quick & dirty edit of the ACLU's .jpg, so the quality is poor: http://imgur.com/a/DqDeQ

Nice. And in case it wasn't already crystal clear at this point: that means the majority of Americans live in places where the government straight out claims that the Bill of Rights just doesn't fully apply.

US Census population density map by county (pdf): http://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/thematic/us_p...

On the bright side, it seems like more light is being shown on these long-standing terrible policies now that Trump is president...

> The rational was to ensure duties were paid and screen for "bad guys," drugs, weapons, diseased fruit, etc.

There's always a perfectly-sounding rationale for such giving them such powers, but in the end these are always abused.

This comment [0] claims that under the Jay Treaty [1] you're essentially given a free pass at "the border". But according to Wikipedia and this article [2], at best this only applies to the Canadian border. If this claims are true, I'm surprised that the EFF & ACLU aren't educating everyone about this exemption.



[2] https://law.seattleu.edu/Documents/ailj/Fall%20Issue/Smith%2...

If your a Canadian citizen with %50+ native blood you can apply for a green card / citizenship at the border because of the jay treaty. That's a very small amount of people although. Canada is a lot more stringent about jay treaty rights in this case although than the US. It's actually harder!

I really doubt though all of these guy's details are correct, since it would mean all native born Canadians could just apply for US citizenship on the border, and I would think there would be some CBC article about it by now.

Also if you do stuff like 'put your house under a trust' or any other corporation, then you lose things like the 250k cap gains exemption on a house you directly own and live in when you sell it.

So definitely a YMMV. This feels like all of the 'you don't actually have to pay income tax' crap if you do this magical bureaucracy incantation you see on the internet.

> If your a Canadian citizen with %50+ native blood....

> since it would mean all native born Canadians could just apply for US citizenship on the border

These are not equivalent, and so it's clear why not all native born Canadians can apply for US citizenship at the border. In particular Native-Canadian is not the same as native-born Canadian. It's like the difference between Native Americans and native-born Americans (note the difference in capitalization, if that helps).

Apple needs to implement a way where you can set up 2 separate PINs. One for your regular stuff and another that logs you into a sort of dummy state, where things look real but really are not. Heck, I'd switch to Android if something like that existed.

The crux of the matter is here:

More importantly, travelers are not legally required to unlock their devices, although agents can detain them for significant periods of time if they do not....

and here: The document given to Bikkannavar listed a series of consequences for failure to offer information that would allow CBP to copy the contents of the device. “I didn’t really want to explore all those consequences,” he says. “It mentioned detention and seizure.”

It sounds like CBP is trying to circumvent the "PIN Revealing" need by basically illegally detaining Citizens until they do.

This is grounds for "Habeas Corpus" lawsuit - should a citizen really dig their heels in.

first a citizen has to be well enough connected to even get that kind of help.

second, you need to let your connections know you need the help.

third, your still going to take a severe financial and emotional beating.

so sure, its not okay that this is happening. but not everyone is in a position to standup.

Hire a lawyer with a "dead man" instruction to instigate such action if he's not informed otherwise within 48 hours. Keep money for legal fees in escrow for that purpose. Shouldn't be difficult to set up.

dude, less than 60% of people have $1,000 in their savings account. retaining a lawyer just in case is entirely out of the question.

When I was a child (in central Europe), USA was seen as a heaven where everyone would like to live - and I did too. Nowadays I'm very happy I live in a "poor", speaking by numbers, but much more free republic in the middle of the old continent.

The same here. The reputation of USA changed really a lot since the end of communism and the nineties. We really appreciated their involvement in dismantling the Iron Curtain. We were also fascinated by some western goods :-).

Nowadays, people see USA as one of the superpowers in the world who influence or intervene in other countries for their own benefit. If I had to choose, I'd still prefer to live in USA over China or Russia. But thankfully, these are not the only options.

It's worse that the US policy makers intervene other countries mainly not because of their own benefit but because of they believe they are promoting the best values in the world. It's more deceptive and often supported by naive American public. Politicians pursuing pure self interest are more detectable. Hitler won't be in power again. But those who with strong ideology will be elected by American people. Similar situation also happened in Europa. NATO bombed Libya because French supported to overthrown a regime. Now waves of refugees come to Europa because of chaos and war.

Same here. I am a European who lived in the US from 2012, but I am going to move back to Europe this year. Even in 2012 I thought the US is going to be awesome, since everyone says how awesome it is. Well, after 5 years my views have certainly changed. Now I kind of dislike this place. Of course, I wish I had a chance to live in other areas of the US before judging the whole country, but that is not possible now. So Europe, here I come!

Especially with a USG-owned device, this seems like it would have been a ripe time to assert one's citizenship for entry and just let them steal the device.

The last time I traveled internationally, I purposely brought only an old laptop. To return, I zeroed the hard drive and physically removed it from the machine so the scum would have pretext to steal less of my property.

For my preparation I was rewarded with absolutely no thuggery, which is how the sheer majority of border crossings actually go. That's the insidious thing about the inverted-totalitarian threat model - these specific situations are inherently rare. If they were common, change would easily happen through democratic means. It is only through the majority of people believing that it cannot happen to them, are the injustices allowed to persist.

We really need a reboot for a modern OS model which puts cryptographic access control front and center, with support for secret splitting and the appropriate bottom-up foundation that allows for steganographic-secure machines. I can actually see this plausibly happening for proper personal computers, eventually. Unfortunately the average person's computing device has become a "cell phone" which, even ignoring the inherent pwntivity of Qualcomm integrated chips, is a software ecosystem funded primarily through commercial surveillance.

Which government agencies can detain agents of other government agencies?

An employee of an agency is not necessarily an agent.

An agent is someone who is authorized to act on behalf of someone or something ("The Agency.")

FBI Agents pass a threshold to be empowered to act with the full force of the US Government.

Most NASA employees are not NASA Agents.

Eh? I would think any agency that can detain people, can detain employees of other agencies. And priority would be resolved contextually ("jurisdiction") and through "professional courtesy" cooperation - your standard town cop and the CBP thug both believe this terrorism delusion.

My point about the ownership of the phone is that I would think NASA would be in less of a position to discipline its employees for property being stolen, especially if it were stolen by USG.

I'd encourage the same tack with private employers' phones or your own burner. But most people don't have burners and a private employer can baselessly discipline an employee for disobeying "authorituh" (although if one's IT department has a clue, they'll fully support maintaining security over saving a few hundred dollars).

There are at least four facts that should cause stuff like this to be discontinued immediately:

— It is not only possible to acquire electronic data after crossing a checkpoint but there are many ways of doing so.

— There is no possible way for the contents of a phone to be a threat to TRANSPORTATION security, which is theoretically the only reason someone should care when you’re crossing a border, boarding a plane, etc.

— Even if it were possible for data itself to be a threat (and it’s not), there are many ways to carry data. Someone could hide the data in encrypted form, or even hide it in plain sight by being clever. Also, the information crossing a border doesn’t have to be electronic at all; it could be a page in a book.

— Even if something “suspicious” is found, that is not guilt and no charges can be laid so what is the point!?

It’s long past time to shut down all of these ridiculous things. There should be a very tiny list of things that border security needs to do, and it should all fit on one hand.

> — ... threat to TRANSPORTATION security, which is theoretically the only reason someone should care when you’re crossing a border, boarding a plane, etc.

This is not a fact. Transportation security is not the reason border security exists. I think warrantless devices searches at borders should be illegal and I feel they are unconstitutional, but it's not true that border security boils down to only transportation security.

> — Even if something “suspicious” is found, that is not guilt and no charges can be laid so what is the point!?

I'm not defending this highly disturbing practice, but the point is that it's a political test. If they find anything politically disturbing on the phone, they can refuse you entry.

> If they find anything politically disturbing on the phone, they can refuse you entry.

No they can't. Refusing to allow a US citizen to (ever) re-enter the country isn't allowed. At worst they can detain you.

I am really curious: What is the reasoning to allow this to happen to US citizens?

The theory is that 4th amendment protections are relaxed at the border (but they're not entirely eliminated). [0] That allows them to search your physical property and to request digital access, but it does not override the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

However, CBP does not have the right to demand that you give up your passwords as a citizen. They can attempt to coerce you through detention (but if that detainment were prolonged you'd have a solid habeas corpus case).

[0] https://www.eff.org/wp/defending-privacy-us-border-guide-tra...

at which point, you are still fucked.

It would also seem to assist with parallel construction, along with the added bonus of security theater to support future agency funding.

Another terrifying part of this, is due to the nature of networks, when one of your "friends" becomes compromised, your private message do too. This goes way past national security, and 7 countries.

I have former coworkers from Syria, Iran, and Iraq. They're great people, and are great programmers. I friended them on Facebook many years ago, and now when one of them is caught at a border it's not just their private messages being raided... its my own anti-trump messages.

This needs to stop here.

first of all stop using FB for communication

The problem is that you usually have to use what your circle uses too. Sadly, in my circle it is FB.

Anyone should be free to use whatever service is most convenient to them for communication.

The former prime minister of Norway was recently detained at the border for previously having visited Iran. Think about that, prime minister of a NATO allied country. The border rules (even before Trump) are whack.

He was detained after Trump was elected, although it is true that CBP claimed the holdup was due to Obama-era rules.

> He was detained after Trump was elected.

So? The rules were in place before Trump were elected. Let see what else what other laws we can apply to this logic.

* [Equal pay occurs even] after Trump was elected, although it is true that [Equal Pay Act of 1963] was due to JFK-era rules.

* [National Parks exist] after Trump was elected, although it is true that [National Park Service Organic Act] was due to Woodrow Wilson-era rules.

Hes not the greatest guy by far, but don't blame Trump for the mistakes of previous administrations.

For all of you guys recommending using fake accounts, do remember that right before christmas, Obama administration signed in new rules[1], giving NSA leeway to share their collected data with 16 other agencies, including DHS, which CBP falls under. So you may get caught if you try to pull these shenanigans off. US agencies are no strangers to mission creep when it come's to sharing data, as seen recently in this article from Intercept on how FBI is building a national watchlist for companies that want to have realtime updates on whether their employees have committed any crimes while employed. [2]

Two quotes from the NYT article that I feel are important to have in the back of your head when you plan your fake accounts:

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.

Let's say CBP get's a tool in a couple of months that let's their border agent search up any passenger through the NSA raw data. That search may then produce your real accounts. Let's say they do this before questioning you, and you then provide them with your fake accounts, that will not look good.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/us/politics/nsa-gets-more... [2]https://theintercept.com/2017/02/04/the-fbi-is-building-a-na...

EDIT: Removed the part about felony, as that was blatantly wrong.

Worth noting that there are many restrictions with regards to raw SIGINT sharing by NSA. And most definitely would not be a concern for US citizens.

This CBP issue is absolutely concerning, but it may not be good to worry people further with incorrect information.

None of what you said or quoted supports your claim (that making a second account for travel is a felony).

You are of course completely right about that. I mixed up the felony for lying when trying to gain citizenship in the US. I will edit my post.

I don't see what this has to do with Trump's travel restrictions, other than it coincidentally happened at the same time. If the author is trying to imply this correlation is causation, there is no evidence in the article. That being said, no American should have to have his phone searched at the border, even with the stated border exceptions to the Fourth Amendment.

I hope you realize the job of the president is to instruct these agencies on how to conduct their operations. Don't defend people (CBP employees) which are are acting immorally, and possibly illegally. The Nazis said they were "just doing their job", and that defense did not stand up at the Nuremberg trials.

Anyone who enforces orders of questionable legality is part of the problem (such as those executing these race or religion based searches).

Edit: formatting

Who is excusing it? All people are saying is that this is a failing of previous administrations.

Bush set a lot of these rules up, and Obama strengthened them.

If he's just a poor innocent victim of his mean ol' predecessors who enacted these horrid policies, he could do away with them.

If he doesn't, then he gets to inherit all the present-day responsibility for them.

Or if you'd like I can send a microphone to you so you can record your comments. "BUT... BUT... OBAMA! BUT... BUT... OBAMA!" is going to be the bass line of my chart-topping dance track later this year.

It doesn't really matter that bush set up these rules. We will be hearing more and more about it if they're being applied more and more frequently now against US citizens, especially given the political current climate.

Sure lets critique it, but lets not blame Trump for something he inherited.

Can we not make the leap from searches at border checkpoints (a major issue in and of itself) to murdering 6 million people in every thread?

It's a valid concern but that kind of language immediately turns people off and tilts the entire discussion one way.

Well they didn't start with the ovens. In the beginning it was the branding and isolationism (them and us), then the detainments and asset seizures, then the interments. And once you run out of space for interments...ovens.

Civil liberties advocates have been gently coddling people's feels for years now in hopes of persuading people of the existence of a problem. Personally I don't feel like there's time for that any more.

Just last night I found that white nationalists are planning a 4 mile march from Oakland to Berkeley that's going to go right past my home in a few weeks. At their last big rally in sacramento last year, 10 people were stabbed, all by the neo-Nazi side. So I don't have the luxury of avoiding the comparison because it is literally coming to my doorstep.

  At their last big rally in sacramento last year, 10 people were stabbed, all by the neo-Nazi side.
That's not how it was reported. There was no violent contact until "black bloc" rioters armed with clubs rushed the cordon.[0] There were two reported stab wounds that required a trip to hospital.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/26/white-nation...

You'd be better off relying on the local paper from which this article draws, since the reporter is most familiar with their own backyard. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article86099332.html

Also, while free speech means the government (qua the police) shouldn't interfere with any group's liberty to express its ideas outside of certain very narrow contexts, members of the public are under no obligation to give people with whom they disagree a respectful hearing. Nazis aren't exactly known for becoming reasonable cooperators if their enemies would only sit down and have a cup of coffee together, are they? I'm having a hard timy buying into you considering that the self-declared Nazis may be the hapless victims here.

A really hard time. "Oh, I was just doing my Nazi thing, calling for the extermination of all those lesser races and social groups we disapprove of, when what should happen but some mean old anarchist got all up in my face and telling me how awful I am! I was just shaking in my jackboots so I had to stab him with this knife I just happened to bring with me." Won't someone please think of the poor, helpless Nazis?

The Sacbee article directly contradicts your version, stating half as many stabbing versions and clearly reporting that the "anarchists" (as you put it) initiated the violence.

That sucks, it really does.

I can only say that I attended a community college, El Centro, and it was pretty shocking for me to watch the 7/7 attacks last year and see a black supremacist gun down a cop by a pillar I used to stand against and another in an intersection I've crossed hundreds of times. Strange place for it to happen, too, because that always was a very diverse place.

Clearly something is off-kilter, but I don't think Trump is the main or only problem (his rise was only made possible by some other ugly societal things we've got going on), and I still think comparing him to Hitler does history and his victims a disservice. It also gives you nowhere to go if he's not Hitler.

If some genocidal lunatic ever does come along, people will just wave it off with "oh, like Trump? lol". I don't like defending Trump but I do believe it is crucial that we keep a level head here and make clear, honest comparisons.

Well, you can think what you like but I'm raising an alarm about this after 15 years of patient observation, so I think your equanimity is misplaced. I'm also old enough to be your parent and this isn't my first rodeo.

As you're well-educated in politics, you're well-positioned to process this: https://independent.academia.edu/JamesScaminaci

I can vouch for the bulk of this material through my own independent study over the last 15 years. RW extremism is my anthropology hobby.

Won't stop until that man is deposed.

sorry, we will keep making that leap as long as the crazy person osnpresident because we all worry some approximation of that could happen now.

If you can provide any evidence that Trump is looking to commit genocide, most people would be happy to know.

"Somebody hits us within ISIS — you wouldn`t fight back with a nuke?"

That's obviously really stupid, but John McCain jokingly sang "bomb bomb bomb Iran" about a decade ago while campaigning.

I don't want to make light of that statement or be pedantic but that's not genocide. I have no idea what Trump thinks he would nuke to target ISIS, but coming from a guy who said he'd make Mexico pay for a wall and at times is incoherent, that strikes me less as a plan and more of the kind of dumb thing he says pretty regularly.

I do believe he has enough of a traditional base around him like Pence to prevent that from happening, but that may be too optimistic.

Still haven't seen anything which suggests he wants to target a race or group of people for eradication, though.

Trump wasn't joking when he was talking about using nukes. And looking at his current senior staff Iran seems to be a reasonable target for hitting ISIS. And if he nukes Iran it is really pedantic to argue if this is a genocide or not.

> who said he'd make Mexico pay for a wall.

Why are you sure he will not do that? Could be easily done by an tax on Mexican imports. Didn't you think the Muslim ban was a joke also?

A tariff, duty, import tax, or whatever you want to call it, is paid by the domestic (US) consumer on the imported good. Out of the price paid by the US consumer for the Mexican product, the sticker price is paid to the Mexican producer, while an extra amount equal to the original price times the tariff rate is paid by the US consumer to the US government.

Yeah, pretty sure I remember seeing stories of very similar things happening with JPL-issued laptops back in the Obama era, they just didn't get much attention.


Prepare for a lot more "coincidences".

"The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial, and will not be questioned."


No, the US should not be allowed to request or demand access to a US Citizen's electronic devices for any reason whatsoever, no matter what Homeland Security says. The whole point of customs was to insure that goods were not brought into the country to avoid paying duties. The contents of an electronic device cannot be charged a duty. Anything else is beyond their authority. Of course none of this will stop a guy in a fancy uniform from demanding an illegal search anyway and making your life hell. Given the current government this will only get worse.

> just over a week into the Trump Administration.

It actually started long time before Trump. http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/3363/laptop-search...

>"Not only is he a natural-born US citizen, but he’s also enrolled in Global Entry — a program through CBP that allows individuals who have undergone background checks to have expedited entry into the country."

Incredible. The TSA and DHS is basically "theater of the absurd". Every other disturbing detail aside, this individual actually paid good money to enroll in the Global Entry program only to be detained and humiliated by this agency.

This is why we need plausibily deniable encryption. Does anyone know an Android ROM, or jailbreak app that is visually indistinguishable from the lock screen, which can be unlocked to an innocuous home screen?

Blackphone has 'Spaces' which supports multiple 'phones' on the same device. I am not personally familiar with it but this looks promising and similar to what you propose.

Does Android multi-user mode work for this?

Note to self - bring burner phone for dodgy countries...like the US.

A few years ago, for foreign travel, one used to buy a new SIM card at one's destination. These days, I'm thinking I might just bring my SIM and buy a new phone at my destination.

I did exactly that on a recent trip to the USA.

First day, I went to an AT&T shop and bought a phone + 8gb data for month for cash. No ID or credit card required.

I bought this not for anything nefarious, but just so I had a local number for hotel bookings plus a wifi hotspot if needed.

If they have access to your sim they can probably reset your passwords and possibly get TFA via SMS to most social media and email accounts....

It depends on your exact threat model, but when your attackers are state agencies you should probably be assuming that the telephone network is compromised anyway.

Using detention as a tool to extort access from people is underhanded at best. Rifling through people's digital devices should not be acceptable.

Why doesn't Apple/Google/Microsoft/Facebook et al. coordinate with organizations like EFF or ACLU and throw their weight behind a campaign to stop this bullshit?

If not companies, there's still plenty of extremely wealthy individuals in SV that one would think might care.

Because none of those companies actually care about privacy? (sans maybe Apple).

I work at a military base, I received a background check and everything, not for anything classified, but for a scientific research group stationed on a base. Now, I think I'm afraid to leave the country because I'm not white.

Here I was planning to get global entry, but it's clear it doesn't matter lick.

i don't know why skin color has anything to do with it? its a religious issue.

or worse, its a class issue in which case, all of us are pretty boned.

All the people suggesting a "duress mode" would solve this issue need to wake up.

For as long as it's not illegal to force people to open up their phones at the border, you are not under duress. In fact, the government could even warp the situation to where you'd be commiting perjury by showing a fake screen.

Unfortunately, we can't solve this problem through technology: we need to convert the broader public and fight to make the representatives we elect work for the people.

while i disagree on your point sbout duress, you are absolutely correct about this being a legislative issue, not a technology one.

Legally, duress is defined as "any unlawful threat or coercion used... to induce another to act [or not act] in a manner [they] otherwise would not [or would]".

Key word there is unlawful. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has upheld that searching and seizing your device at the border without suspicion or warrant is lawful if done for the public interest. [0] (Insane, no?)

Now want to become a purjure? Just sign a form declaring you're giving agents access, and then dump them on a fake screen.

[0]: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/law-enforcement-uses-b...

> More importantly, travelers are not legally required to unlock their devices, although agents can detain them for significant periods of time if they do not.

What kind of ridiculous technicality is that? Detainment isn't supposed to be a tool to coerce cooperation.

every government has a right to process a crime, and that takes time.

so its not unlawful until it's unlawful.

Obviously appreciating that NASA has some sensitive data but just for a second also try and appreciate how would this play out for someone who works in the financial industry, where unauthorised sharing of sensitive data is not only a breach of contract with your employer/clients but a crime(insider trading) in almost all countries.

Or imagine how the people who enforce these new regulations can exploit this.

Query from the traveller at the border what their job is, if in the financial industry request that they relinquish their email find something that could tip you off and go buy stock. If they don't you lose nothing, you deport them, you do your job.

I understand that you might want to tear this apart, but keep in mind the person that requests your data will often not be the person viewing it, so you are in no position to just "Take some names" and then ensure that your data remains confidential.

This is terrifying.

> Or imagine how the people who enforce these new regulations can exploit this.

I can imagine that perfectly: When Trump was asked about global warming he mentioned "these e-mails." "These" e-mails are the internal communication of the climate researches working at the UK University.


Now, the e-mails didn't contain anything problematic, but were still used against climate researches by the "deniers" who mischaracterised and took the phrases out of the context. Details are in the Wikipedia article above.

Now this NASA guy was "enrolled in Global Entry" meaning the border searchers already knew he works for NASA.

NASA does climate science.

And there's real chance that the searchers have copied the whole content of his phone.

And it's imaginable that again something somewhere can be used as a big media campaign based on something taken out of the context, because it already happened once.

With Trump really mentioning "these e-mails" I can imagine him using such a campaign as a pretext for even more unprecedented measures against climate scientists.

I can't say if this specific case is part of something like that, only that I can imagine something like that.

His area of research seems to be adaptive optics, not climate science. These areas are way apart at the lab where he works.

What if you're a lawyer? Isn't it possible - even likely - that you'd have confidential client communications in your phone?

or journalist.

What is the worst that can happen to a non US citizen, who is not producing the passwords they demand? Being send back immediately and all belongings seized? Or only devices they do not get the decryption passwords for? Detainment for how long? Being charged with what?

Well, the worst probably involves being abducted and tortured, but I'd expect that to be only if you were at least suspected of being a particular known person of interest.

I think the worst likely case if you're just generally noncooperative is being detained for hours/days then sent back and banned from the US for life.

If I were the US government with aspirations of complete population control, I'd be using the NSA data secretly to build a database of every single person, and producing a "risk/threat score".

Every action you take online will alter this score. Every person they are connected to would influence their score, not unlike Google PageRank.

Slowly you build up a picture of every single citizen, and anyone visiting the US would also be subject to this, possibly triggered by a visa waiver program application or a visa application.

By the time you land on US soil and your passport is scanned, the immigration agent will simply be warned that the traveller requires x, y, and z actions to be carried out.

I'll get my tinfoil hat out now.

All of teh above, being held incommunicado for up to 6 months. You can charged with anything someone feels like charging you with. You don't have to be given due process or convicted for that to justify immigration detention. Basically you have zero leverage except through your home country's diplomatic mission and/or Americans you are friends or relatives with.

Some tweets from @Pinboard feel like they want to go here:

This is a small point but important: don’t specify people are ‘US-born’; either you’re a US citizen or you’re not.

Emphasizing that someone was born in the US as a kind of super-citizenship plays into the hands of people you don’t want to be helping.

The proper term for someone born abroad who doesn’t speak English and has a brand-new US passport is: “American”

Now is the time for vendors to consider implementing a duress password. Upon entering your duress password the user is presented with a fake profile, or perhaps everything could just be wiped. I'm not sure how well this would play out in the real world, but it's one of the best things protections I could imagine if you want to carry sensitive data across borders.

I really wish mobile device vendors would add support for multiple unlock modes. E.g.:

* "Me mode" that unlocks everything.

* "Kid mode" that only allows one's kid access to pre-approved apps and features.

* A "lend to a stranger to make a call" mode that is a lot like the kid mode, but it also causes the phone to start broadcasting its GPS location frequently (and refuse to turn off [though it might fake it]) in case the stranger steals it.

* An "under duress" alternate PIN that unlocks an alternate profile full of nothing but benign activity, with no indication of (or access to) the encrypted real profile. Once in this mode, the phone cannot unlock normally without a non-phone 2-factor authentication (e.g., email).

All but the last could use the normal PIN, perhaps with different "submit" buttons. I would also love to see the same thing on ATMs, where an alternate "I'm being robbed" PIN will show a fake, low balance in the account and limit withdrawal to that value.

That idea is so good. The ATM could also sound a silent alarm, just like some home alarms do. The phone could maybe even start recording all interactions and automatically submit to something like ACLU.

The silent alarm idea is excellent. Perhaps this could also trigger the machine to scan and store the serial numbers of the dispensed bills, so the bills themselves could become evidence of the crime.

That ATM idea sounds pretty cool honestly.

Applying it to phones seems a bit unrealistic, given that so few people will actually use those features.

This happens in Canada too, unfortunately (was in the news quite a bit not too long ago, and can be seen in action on that reality TV show about border security).

Best to wipe your phone, and not bring any sensitive documents across borders period.

Yes, you should wipe your phone, but after they have been in the back room with it for an hour it is compromised and can not be used any longer.

Right. That's another reason why you should take only disposable stuff across borders.

Yes when i drive to canada as a us citizen canada has had me decrypt drives and enter email passwords etc.

Just don't take your primary phone on trips. Or any of your primary computers.

Or that. Not everyone has burner devices though.

It's cheaper to buy a burner than to throw away your expensive phone after it's been potentially compromised.

As a white man, I'm a bit concerned about coming back into my own country. The only social media accounts I have are here and reddit. Will the guards at the gate accept that I don't have a Facebook or twitter account?

I think if you don't have the apps installed they'd probably would assume you were telling the truth. As a white man, you probably don't have much to worry about.

They detained the former Prime Minister of Norway, a very white guy, because he'd been to Iran for a conference.

They actually detained him because he didn't have a Visa to be in the US, which is a requirement for anyone, even those who would not normally need a visa, who has been to Iran and a select few other countries in the last few years.

That isn't to say the entire situation wasn't bullshit, just that it wasn't the case of the Borders agent randomly stopping him for being in Iran.

Not sure what you mean by that. Norwegian nationals are covered by U.S. Visa Waiver program, they don't need a visa.

They do if they've been to Iran.

Its a relatively new rule.

What does you being a white man have to do with anything?

Don't be so naive

how considerate of you.

"You will not share your password (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account."


It would be a violation of my facebook terms and conditions to share my facebook password!

This is bullshit. The U.S. should be required to treat its citizens in a constitutional manner regardless of where they are located.

> “I asked a question, ‘Why was I chosen?’ And [the CBP agent] wouldn’t tell me,” he says.

He should file a Freedom of Information / Privacy Act request to get the reason they chose him.

FOIA can be denied on grounds of national security, pretty sure

Definitely, but it's worth asking.

Not really. Now they have another reason to push you around.

Here's gov data on device searches, from the ACLU https://www.aclu.org/government-data-about-searches-internat...

So, for a casual traveler who may have a phone with conversations peppered with unfavorable political views throughout - what is the best security hygiene in this situation?

Anyone have tips or tricks that average people can use, things that maybe don't involve having a separate phone etc?

US citizens can not be prohibited re-entry into the US.

I look forward to not unlocking my phone and taking it to court if it comes down to it next month.

If they have an actual warrant or other order signed by a judge and targeting you specifically then you should know you will likely be found in contempt and indefinitely jailed without trial, perhaps for the rest of your life.

Without a warrant though they can seize it as contraband but they can't deny you entry.

But if they have a warrant (apart from possibly a FISA issued warrant) they are legally required to show you the warrant.


We MURDERED a US citizen abroad.

The legality (indeed, constitutionality) of that action is extremely suspect. Most of the War on Terror rests on extremely tortuous legal interpretations, and large portions of it have failed to hold up in court.

In theory. In practice people have been deported despite being US citizens. https://www.aclu.org/blog/speakeasy/yes-us-wrongfully-deport...

It seems they can seize a device from a US citizen for extended inspection though.

Nobody has mentioned the "Scroogled" short story yet? I really hope this is not the future that expects us. http://www.crimeflare.com/doctorow.html

One of the best I have ever read. Does anyone now where to find more stuff like this?

What if you are judged by the password you have chosen ? You have 24 character password ? Clearly you want to hide something more sinister.

Why is your password "ResidentEvil3040" ? You intend to not return after visiting USA ?

Honest question here... can you plead the 5th amendment to avoid civil liability? I don't know if revealing company trade secrets is an actual crime (even if you work for NASA) but working for almost any company this would be breach of contract and grounds for termination...

Welcome to the USSR as we read about in school...


I feel myself discouraged from visiting the US for the next few years at least.

The Customs agent insisted he had the authority search the device.

I was thinking about this the other day, as a non-American, and I don't see how that is possible.

I work for the Australian gov't and of course cannot give out passwords or access to any of the devices which I carry which belong to the Australian gov't. How does US Border controls deal with that situation. They definitely do not have the authority to search a device owned by a foreign gov't, though it also seems they don't have the authority to search the device of an American either.


Intersting thought...since this appears to be the law of the land, and the border is controlled by the Executive Branch, what happens if somebody who works in one of the other two branches is stopped? It seems they would have a good claim that it's unconstitutional given the Separation of Powers that the constitution provides.

I would think that once a lawyer frames the possibility of this in front of a judge, that the law will be stricken down.

Supposedly the reason being analysed is his South Indian name ' Sidd Bikkannavar ' ; I'm curious to know the story behind his name being a South Indian myself. The part of the name 'annavar' is generally found in interior villages being associated with village gods but I have never come across anyone named this way, perhaps it was 'Siddarth' which got shortened to Sidd.

Use a password manager. Use long random passwords for every site.

Set your phone PIN to something 20 chars and random and text it to your friend. Write your friend's number on a slip of paper but add 1 to each non-area-code digit.

Disable biometrics. Power off phone.

You now no longer have the ability to provide the information they seek at the border.

Call your friend when you get through (from someone else's phone) and change your PIN back.

Telecommunications devices are so strongly regulated and the laws regarding privacy so systemically ignored that it's a wonder we even petition our rhetorical "ownership" of said stuff. Jokes aside, just because an airport is an "effective border" and also a big police station at the same time, that does not mean you waive your rights.

While I have visited the states many times over the years, and enjoyed the time I spent there, I will never go there again.

If this becomes common place across borders phones should come with a "fake" unlock access code - if you enter it it drops you into a plain vanilla setup with some fake contacts perhaps. Might make sense to create fake email and social media accounts too then...

This guy is a US citizen. What are they going to do if he refuses? He has the right to enter the USA. At worst they can confiscate the phone but without a court order I don't see how they can detain him indefinitely. Can they?

They harass you for a quite a while and detain your for possibly a day or more. They might even play a game of 'I don't think your actually a US citizen'. You also get a note of 'had problems at the border' and all future crossings for you and anyone travelling with you will be far more unpleasant for many years.

Not very pleasant for most people, and most people don't care about the contents of their phone that much unfortunately.

This reminds me of the guards on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that wanted to check the photos on my phone, presumably because the import of pornographic material into Uzbekistan is strictly outlawed.

Oh man, good thing the guards didn't know you were naked underneath your clothes!

Also, they have decent internet and little censoring in the country.

So, if it was NASAs phone, why not call their legal department before turning over the phone? I carry a work phone and would definitely seek legal counsel before turning it over to anyone.

And if they won't let you?

I'm a US citizen and as such I have the right to legal counsel.

Edit: yes that's I guess only technically during prosecution. But I still wouldn't turn over anything until I did.

Yes, but good luck enforcing that if they don't like your face. Of course you should always assert your rights, but the notion that this will always be sufficient suggests to me that the holder hasn't ever been in a tough situation.

I'm not having a go at you. I've seen criminal lawyers' jaws fall open when they take a class in immigration law and discover there's a whole parallel and much scarier legal system for 'other people'.

Looks like US gov is a self-eating snake. Reminds me of grave incident happened to Dr Stephen Mann, who was brutally deprived of his reality augmentation devices on the US border.

Why is this even a story? I've had the same thing happen to multiple times coming into the UK. I'm also white and British if that makes any difference.

Just because we in the UK have the awful Schedule 7, does not mean it's generally acceptable in Western democracies.

Because unlike the UK, the US has fundamental principles and values that are diametrically opposed to this.

Looks like one would need to wipe their phone before traveling to US from now on. What about laptops though? :/

This happens in other countries too. It's happened to friends of mine entering Canada from the United States.

I guess I will start packing my phone and using my ipad when I travel since it has less personal data attached.

This happens every day in western countries. It happened before Trump and it will happen after.

Could i have a dualboot jon-doe os on my phone, presenting the most boring person ever?

How does this apply when my phone belongs to my employer and has sensitive data on it ?

Standard procedure is that you comply. Your employer's job is to equip you with a burner phone and laptop that contain nothing confidential and that you can give up at border. Sensitive data is shipped by other means.

Let it happen to Thiel or Musk, see how quickly the procedure will be reversed.

Musk would like to sit down for coffee with the border guards who are detaining him and try to steer them onto a wiser course. Which will totally work super well any minute now! All he has to do is show he supports them and is willing to work with them and they'll certainly change how they operate!

Sitting congressmen were put on the no-fly list. They were removed, but the rules were not changed.


Considering that they're white and not likely to be profiled like a person of color would, I highly doubt they'd be chosen.

Great freedom, huh?

where did I put my old Nokia 8210...


Please don't post flamewar-style comments here.

You've posted a lot of uncivil and/or unsubstantive comments to HN. We ban accounts that do that, so please stop doing that.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13629908 and marked it off-topic.

Aaron died because he killed himself. As far as persecution goes, being a white male is a boon rather than a count against. One data outlier does not an argument make.

Aaron Schwartz was skewered because he made political statements and took action the gov't didn't like while doing something illegal that may have hurt a multinational corporation.

Aaron Swartz

Statistically as white person he's much less likely to be harassed than people of other ethnicities. That is the point the parent was trying to make.

where are the statistics?

This is what happens in statism. Time to wake up, slaves. Google my name and statism. Read.

> Since the phone was issued by NASA...

So it was already government property. I don't see the issue here.

Did he notify NASA Security office, or NASA OIG?

Curious what NASA OIG would have to say about this. They could determine that CBP actions were a security breach, and detain the CBP "agents" for questioning.

Their special agents have badges.


Defense Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) have been known to detain federal employees like TSA screeners over security issues.

He immediately turned the phone off and gave it to NASA security to study who were none too pleased about it. This is a breach of trust between two US Departments and likely will not go away.

So is it ok for the Fish and Wildlife service (example) to access devices, from, let's say, the WH?

I don't think so

This is really sad. As an immigrant I always thought this was coming. I never fly on a muslim airlines like Etihad to Turkish even though they are more convenient, I do not accept friend requests from muslims people on LinkedIN and Facebook.

So you are already a victim of a xenophobic control apparatus.

There's nothing Muslim about Etihad

How does that help? Aren't you passing judgment here?

Actually I would glad to have many of those people are friends I am just worried that US government will target me.

Conceivably, it's quite possible he had information which is subject to ITAR regulations, including data about sensors, mirrors. At the very least, he probably had sensor vendor specifications which are trade secrets and often covered under NDAs.

Did you bother to read the article? He was detained coming into the country.

Just call a spade a spade. Trump wrote a shitty, racist executive order and people from all walks of life who happen to have one thing in common, a Muslim sounding name, are caught up in it.

This issue has nothing to do with Trump's executive order. The Verge does a neat job of confusing the two - I believe intentionally - but the rule that devices can be searched at the border is much older.


This is not Trump, Obama or even Bush; the US Supreme Court decision is from 1997.

Then there is that questioning about social media accounts. That also isn't by Trump administration, it was Obama, last year.


Sure, call a spade a spade, but spade is not trump now. (Is this rubber bridge or what?)

How is "Sidd Bikkannavar" even remotely "Muslim sounding"? It's a Hindu name. He probably shortened it from "Siddarth" Bikkannavar to Sidd Bikkannavar like most Hindus in foreign countries do. Bikkannavar is a place in Karnataka, India. Maybe that is his parent's place of origin.

Does it sound like a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant name to you? These border cops aren't exactly the cream of the law enforcement crop, if it sounds foreign, time to search! Because ISIS will of course send people here for terrorism named "Achmed al-Jihadi" and not "Bob Smith".

Facebook created a new feature. They made an ad for it. The ad included a Sikh person.


This is the USA were talking about. Have a turban? You're probably Muslim. Funny sound, non-Latin name? Possibly Muslim.

I'm sure some family of a CBP agent or super patriot will jump in to defend them. The CBP answers to no one except the president so good luck in getting a legitimate reason from them.

One furriner is very much like another. I've had to explain to people worried about a Sikh temple that Sikhism is its own religion. Lots of people are neither well aware of nor interested in the rest of the world, they only like what they already know.

> One furriner is very much like another.

The irony of your mocking my accent while trying to cast people who share it as bigoted is not lost on me.

How could I possibly know what sort of accent you have? I know absolutely nothing about you other than your screen name and what you wrote yesterday. I don't even know what country you come from or what gender you are.

'Furriner' is a good word to describe someone whose lack of interest in the outside work is so fundamental that they aren't interested in even spelling it properly. I'm not applying it to you, I'm using it to point out that many people are xenophobic to the point of being indifferent to where foreign people come from or what differences exist between them, they're just 'not from around here' and therefore undesirable. This attitude exists and is widespread, I don't know why you're upset at me for pointing that out.

Then why does our liberal, free country (Canada) with a Liberal government do the same thing?

Do Canadians honestly believe their shit don't stink?

No, just tired of all the virtue signalling that left-wingers are doing these days, when Obama merely continued the shitty policies that Bush started (and Clinton wasn't any better), and our Liberal government is continuing most of the shitty policies the Harper government started, and is even breaking election promises already.

Canada is in general more willing to criticize our politicians on both sides, but the virtue signalling has been out of control since the US elected a president that says mean things, but is otherwise not much different than any US government of the last 35 or so years.

Edit - Should also add, I vote left more than right. I believe in progressive economic policy. However if the left doesn't get their shit together, and just keeps pretending that identity politics actually help, keeps pretending there isn't a problem with globalism and excess immigration, the result will be disastrous. Right wingers are at least seeing the problem, probably because they've been largely excluded from power in many countries for the last decades. I don't like their solutions, but burying your head in the sand doesn't help either. Sorry for the rant.

If you missed out there were a lot of lefties who didn't vote for Clinton. Paving the way for Trump. Hell, I know lots of libertarians who voted for him in protest not actually expecting him to win.

Speaking of globalism where was the right wing during the WIPO protests? So the right didn't recognize globalism would be a problem until it started to be a problem. Meanwhile the lefties, the really old ones, were out there protesting in Seattle and NYC, London.

> Speaking of globalism where was the right wing during the WIPO protests? So the right didn't recognize globalism would be a problem until it started to be a problem.

No, they didn't. Hence the rise of the 'alt-right' which, despite what CNN and Clinton say, is the 'alternative' right, and not racists with a frog meme.

Bernie was absolutely the best candidate, I just don't get why so much energy is expended protesting Trump and not trying to change the DNC so it actually represents those who it claims to, or doesn't railroad progressive candidates in the future.

The left right now should be talking about basic income, the widening gap between the working class and owners of capital, automation and AI, and supporting human rights around the world.

Instead they argue about gendered pronouns and white privilege.

There is zero indication this had anything to do with the ban, he was not held detained , but his phone was. I think it's part of his job, and the verge is creating straw men

You and I have very different definitions of detained then. 40 minutes? So everyone around him was detained in detaining room, with sleeping cots, but he wasn't? Please explain that one?

And ITAR has fuck all to do with reentering the country.

Also, the time was longer than 40 minutes. He waited that long before talking with someone following detention. He then was forced to give up his phone/password and waited another 30 minutes while it was searched.

As said in another thread: I was making an observation that he was possibly forced to divulge sensitive information, which is messed up.

40 minutes is nothing on many border crossings.

Are you implying they searched him for ITAR violations on the way back into the country? I'm confused.

They can't search him when he is leaving, so that does make sense.

No, not sure why I'm being downvoted. I was making an observation based on similar experience (with respect to sensors) that he potentially had sensitive information in emails he was forced to divulge.

He shouldn't have brought anything ITAR sensitive with him out of the country on his phone. At a previous job, we were explicitly told to get a "travel" laptop which was wiped clean.

And CBP would still not be the right agency to determine that.

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