It was extremely unnerving, they went through all our private pictures, messages, dropbox files, email, notes, dating apps, etc. It ruined the vacation for me, and I've stopped visiting Canada because of how disgusted I felt afterwards. I know Canada is not the only country doing that, so from now on when I cross an international border I wipe my phone (after backing up) and just have a few pictures and messages on there. Incidentally though, that's the only time it's happened to me.
I don't blame you for this at all, but I will say this is bi-directional; as a Canadian, when I travel to the US, I get the same bullshit questioning and phone snooping on occasion. The current controversy on border crossing is that, despite marijuana becoming legalized in Canada shortly, if you admit to smoking it when asked, you'll be barred from entering the US. So seems to me that both countries just love love love the opportunity to flex their power against people who have no recourse. If you want to see what cops do when they don't have to follow any rules on unreasonable searches, probable cause, reasonable suspicion, etc. then just look to our borders.
I wish our governments could get together and sort this junk out, but that would mean both agencies would have to lose some of their power to "secure the border" so it'll never go anywhere.
I'd be interested to know if they could!
That said I've travelled dozens of times in a multitude of ports of entries and the vast majority of people have no problem, they're not searched, they're not detained. I haven't seen anyone standing in front of me in line have a problem either. You can avoid 99% of the problem by being polite, answering questions truthfully, and treating the border guards with respect. Yeah, it sucks if they have a bad day and they're rude to you or they ask you invasive questions, just play along and be nice. You'll be fine. If you are suspicious or if you piss them off they will potentially make your day very very bad.
All that said, I think the land border between the US and Canada should just be open.
By the way, you can also go on vacation without a phone ;) disconnecting will make your vacation better!
The US side would nod their heads and says there was nothing to be done about it.
Which border crossing had those incidents? So those girls were on the bus with you, they came back crying, and you have no idea why? Is there more context here?
Just sort of to tie this in to current events, some guy just drove into Canada without stopping the other day:
Now by luck police spotted the vehicle in Vancouver and tried to pull it over.
If someone tried this sort of stunt going the other direction what do you think would happen?
So police in Canada can demand your unlocked phone at any point, not just at the border?
"The context of the search, and the activity that brings a person into contact with the state, can have an impact on the person’s reasonable expectation of privacy."
"The degree of personal privacy expected at borders, where travellers expect to be searched, is lower than in other enforcement situations (R. v. Simmons,  2 S.C.R. 495 at page 528; Monney at paragraph 34; R. v. Jacques,  3 S.C.R. 312 at paragraph 18).
The expectation of privacy is reduced in the school setting in relation to the responsibility of teachers and other school authorities to provide a safe environment and maintain order and discipline in the school (M.(M.R.)).
Prisons carry a decreased expectation of privacy (Weatherall; R. v. Conway,  1 S.C.R. 1659). However, the lowered expectation of privacy within a prison does not allow the seizure without a warrant of bodily samples taken as part of a medical examination (R. v. Dorfer (1996), 104 C.C.C. (3d) 528 (B.C.C.A.))."
I really like going to other countries, their customs tend to be reasonable. coming back home is always a nerve racking experience.
I haven't been asked for my phone yet, but have been asked for my camera.
I'm being drawn more and more to paying for online storage/sync solutions and clearing my phone and laptop before traveling to the USA or Canada. actually more worried about Canada.
It's a hell of a lot better than dealing with the bullshit that is CBSA.
Is it not illegal - the "snatching" part?
I had to bite my tongue to not say “I’m a citizen, you have to let me in.”
The US is always a PITA, esp. after long international flights. One time they flagged me for "smuggling halogen headlights" or something and searched ALL of my stuff. Missed my LA-DC flight because of it. And I'm a white, clean-cut US citizen.
Do you bring back any food ?
If I randomly got asked to do that, to be honest, I would rather turn around and go back instead of taking the risk that they maybe find something out of my past that can get me intro troubles.
"Travellers who refuse to hand over their phone or laptop passwords to Customs officials can now be slapped with a $5000 fine."
I'm gonna have to treat that as a "hostile border", and treat it the same as the Chinese border...
I really think these are dangerous times and for some reason I only ever expected this from the US but never from Canada or New Zealand.
It says so in the Constitution. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
That is not how it is in practice, but the Constitution is quite clear on the subject.
The power to conduct border searches, even without probable cause, is considered well-settled under the law as not contravening the Constitution. See, e.g., U.S. v. Ramsey, 431 U.S. 606 (1977).
From the case's dissent: "If the Government is allowed to exercise he power it claims, the door will be open to the wholesale, secret examination of all incoming international letter mail. No notice would be necessary either before or after the search."
Viewed from a post-Snowden perspective, it sounds predictive.
Segregation, too, was once considered well-settled. That didn't make it right nor consistent with the Constitution, which has not changed its language on the subject since 1868.
Back up to iCloud
Wipe your phone
Cross the border
Restore from iCloud
- backup essentials to iCloud
- and backup pretty much everything (whatever I want) to iTunes so that I could do a full restore from a local backup.
When I put my 'megalomania cap' on, one of the first things I do is figure that people will use the cloud, which actually makes me happy. I won't have to worry about notifications, in-person confrontations and/or low-level employee error.
Same for people opting to ship their devices abroad via FedEx and the like to avoid the hassle of wiping and/or being searched.
As far as I can tell (from reading history and living), companies, no matter how beneficent they claim to be, acquiesce to "gov't" demands because the penalty of not doing so is death. Recent case in point, Google in the PRC.
But again, I fully admit that I may be wrong here. So, if I am, I hope someone will take the time to explain why. Thanks.
Unfortunately I think you'd have to have the phone activated with a different Apple account. But if they ask you questions (like "do you have any other icloud accounts") don't lie, it never makes it better. Just say that this is your travel account. This is now quite standard practice for execs when travelling to e.g. China.
The good news is that, at least in the U.S., a warrant (not a subpoena, that’s for civil matters) needs to be issued by a judge and can issue only if probable cause is provided. That’s a much higher standard than a border search, where no such limitations apply.
The law is a post-facto thing which you can use to sue if you want to lose some years of your life. It never actually helps prevent a bad situation. And to make it worse you’ll probably effectively be banned from traveling for being a troublemaker.
Do factory reset and cross the border. Then just sign in to your travel phone just like you did when you bought it and switched on for the first time, and it pulls all apps/messages/passwords from the cloud. You'll get at least 95% of your real phone synced to the travel phone.
Back at home, your real phone is untouched and you can just switch back to it without having to set up anything, or losing any local settings. Then stash the travel phone until the next trip.
Is that realistic? Would they actually be able to "crack" the encryption of a modern iPhone or Android phone?
There's a fairly high-profile Israeli company that specializes in finding or buying zero-day exploits and reselling them in script-kiddie form to law enforcement agencies at high prices.
Generally I wouldn't characterise the customs people as goons. Like most LE jobs they see some nasty stuff. I'm talking paedophilia and violent pornography. They also deal with some really sketchy characters and if you trigger that detection you are definitely getting extra scrutiny.
>It ruined the vacation for me...
So what was the lesson?
Are you looking for:
* Don't leave the country?
* Refuse and have the phone cracked anyway?
* Refuse letting go of the phone and get arrested?
The more you travel, the more common it is.
The phone thing is somewhat new, ever since certain companies started selling devices to governments that let them crack, examine, and archive your phone.
But being hassled at the border has always been a risk. Before it was terrorism, it was drugs, or just the change in culture.
I've had problems getting into Japan because of my heart medication.
I've read that if you have stamps in your passport from certain Middle Eastern countries, you can't get into some other Middle Eastern countries.
I've also read quite extensively recently that it's become very difficult for Indians to get into Georgia. Entire families, and even planeloads of people have been turned away, if you believe what you read on TripAdvisor.
Right, I'm aware of this, and borders in general suck. I've had a fair few bizarre experiences at borders, some of them funny (like the Lebanese border guard who insisted on speaking Spanish to me) and some quite shitty (lookin at you, Israel). But to me, the above story is quite the outlier in terms of sheer hostility, from a country that I didn't think of as being particularly draconian at the border.
Normally you can get two/three passports for that reason.
Previously the Israelis stapled a piece of paper with a stamp on it, you take it out before you go to the GCC. Now its not even stapled. (They photograph your passport & stamp pages though...) https://www.touristisrael.com/the-israeli-passport-stamp/974...
Two of them are British, as am I. I looked into the process, but then changed the focus of my work and didn't need to travel so intensely. Essentially, I would have sent in a normal passport renewal form, and attached a letter saying "I'm going to X countries in the last Y months, so need a second passport". "I'm going to X as well as Y" is an equally valid reason.
Germany and I think most other EU countries with heavy industries absolutely do this, because it is necessary to do business in the middle east.
Learn something new on HN every day :-)
Oh yea, I have no illusions about this, and I met more than a few people during my travels who deprioritize going to the US for tourism because of this, in the same way I'm discussing Canada here.
I didn't imagine that Canada was the _only_ country that did stuff like this, since I assumed we (and a couple other famous outliers like Israel) had similar stories. I was just wondering how common it was overall.
Or wipe your phone, restore backup from cloud on arrival.
I'd wager the agents could legitimately (for some deranged, modern usage of that word) require that you either surrender your phone anyway or restore it immediately so they can review what you're clearly planning on bringing into the country.
It's easy to come up with new stasi operation techniques if there are no civil liberties.
If it's at a border crossing, assume that they're using forensic tools to dump your entire phone, which will bypass any user-profile shenanigans you might try to do.
Isn't border patrol (US, Canadian, pick a country, I'll wait) wonderful?
I have found practical success by booting from an encrypted Linux partition that has absolutely nothing relevant on it, with a weak password I can always enter when requested by big guys with guns. Unbeknown to them on the same partition there sits another encrypted volume, at some offset from the outer's partition start. If I fail to enter the correct password for the outer partition, Ubuntu drops into the command line of the initrd, that is equiped with all the tools you need to mount the real, offset partition:
cryptsetup -o 100000000 create boot /dev/sdc3
It's impossible for any court forensic team, let alone an airport goon, to prove there is actually another partition inside the outer encrypted partition, unless you mount common volumes and cross-contaminate. An important caveat is to properly defragment the outer partition and fiddle with the offset and the size of the inner partition to prevent any conflicts, then avoid writing in the outer partition.
Customs staff typically don't know to prove there is, they just need reasonable suspicion to seize goods for further investigation. The fact you've booted into a 50GB partition on a 500GB disk may well be considered reasonable suspicion to seize the goods for the sake of further investigation.
In the free space of the large data partition there lives the sensitive hidden root. It's maybe 250GB, with a 100GB offset from the start of the decoy data, and 50GB guard space at the back, where ext4 writes all sorts of crap. So you get to use about 50% of your raw disk capacity inside the sensitive environment, as a single encrypted root.
The beatings will continue until you decrypt it. Hopefully you can and it's not actually just random data...
Another caveat here is that the inner volume must use the implicit encryption parameters of cryptsetup, or that the correct parameters are supplied in the command line. A LUKS header should absolutely not be used, as it will be plainly visible inside the partition, and would indicate, at the very least, that some other encrypted data was stored in the past on the disk leading to new questions about its password etc., killing plausible deniability.
"This means that if you have a large set of random-looking data, they can already lock you up."
In the UK, with RIPA legislation, there is a real risk of someone dropping a USB key full of random data on you, telling the cops there's child porn in it, then you get locked up for 5 years for failing to decrypt it.
Sure, once in the hands of the Russian FSB, Italian Mafia or Nicolas Maduro, any detectable amount of random data could result in torture - just to be on the safe side, maybe there is a hidden volume there after all.
But in any state where rule of law is observed, the prosecution must establish probable cause and, once in court, prove beyond reasonable doubt that the illegal act was indeed committed - in this case, failure to disclose the encryption key of a locked volume. So there must exist corroborating evidence that should exclude any reasonable accidental or normal situation that could produce the random data. For example, a border agent could testify that he saw illegal material on your device's screen and a random file could be found in your home directory. In your device history, traces to a missing volume or partition could remain etc. The defense can easily explain away a partition initialized to random, if that's what standard system tools produce in their normal configuration and no other corroborating evidence exits.
A LUKS header is a clear indication that another encryption configuration was/is used on the computer, so you would then be compelled to give explanation about it's presence, it's password, the provenance of the laptop etc. The explanations given in the FAQ (experiment, random swap) are unconvincing if they are not corroborated by other patterns, for example modification timestamps on /etc/fstab and /etc/crypttab and so on.
So the absence of the LUKS header really does fill a practical gap, and it happens that most legal systems today are squeezing harder and harder into that gap. Unlike the dubious claims in that FAQ entry, Truecrypt hidden volumes actually have established legal precedent.
Continued by VeraCrypt: https://www.veracrypt.fr/
This regulation is clearly made by people who don't understand the technology and capabilities of these devices. A waste of time and money; who is going to train customs officials to search through phones?
Why can't you just take a new phone and say, "it's empty because I got a new phone"?
Staying ahead of them with a technological trick is only a partial, temporary solution, though. Eventually you can expect that there will be an attack, whether purchased (see GreyKey) or legislated, on the workaround. What should happen is that the whole arms race should be nipped in the bud by outlawing this kind of data collection coercion. But I don't have a lot of hope about getting that genie back into the bottle.
the only safe harbor will be one you don't carry with you except as a device which can guarantee secure access to that remote information.
They boot, which drops to a linux (bsd?) command line. Agent is not pleased. User sets PS1 so the prompt now looks like DOS. Agent is satisfied (they may just have been satisfied that the device worked, but this story dates from when a DOS prompt was a believable thing for someone to recognize as "computer" )
Now, dealing with the customs/pre-clearance checkpoints, that's another matter.
If it works, customs officers cannot find actual illegal contents, and criminals walk free through customs.
If customs officers somehow detects you are doing this, you risk obstructing security measures.
This forum largely believes that the balance struck by New Zealand - that you don't have the right to data privacy when traveling - is completely unacceptable, and as technologists we try to find technical countermeasures.
What if we have a "physical encryption" technology that allows encrypting physical objects so that X-ray scanners, drug detecting methods or metal detectors cannot see through them?
Would customs be allowed to ask for the decryption key? Or should the customs just ignore whatever encrypted inside?
The justice system and separation of powers acts as checks and balances from anyone (good or bad) being harassed unless there's a strong reason why. Get a warrant with a limited scope and then do the search.
No need to imagine. There are innumerable cases over the years where cops have turned into stalkers backed by the power of the government when their girlfriends dump them. It happened to one of my ex-es, but I've seen it in newspapers dozens of times over the years.
The problem is that cops are still people. And people are often messy, emotional, irregular, obsessive, mean, or just have a bad day and need someone to take it out on.
Wetware will be wetware. All we can do is advocate for better training and smarter policies.
Given some hypothetical new technology with vast societal implications, I would be forced to carefully reconsider that position, but in this case I believe privacy is a basic human right that does not simply disappear at the borders.
And I am more than happy to learn that you would re-consider your position given such hypothetical situation.
Would customs be allowed to ask for the decryption key? Or should the customs just ignore whatever is encrypted inside?
I would say the benefit is too good, weighing against privacy.
Of course, you would then request for brain scanning technology to be more widely employed and that brain scanners be installed in the subway, on buses, gas stations and any other place drug dealers and terrorists could happen to go by. I think we all know what is the end for this line of reasoning.
Anyway, it is quite apparent that we have fundamentally different views on these issues, so let's agree to disagree and call it a day.
Does that mean I am going to self-sensor my views to avoid losing karma? No. You have your rights to disagree, I have my rights to express my views.
Only if you don't mind the downvotes. For some odd reason, these 'imaginary points' end up causing me to self-censor anyways.
On further-thought, it makes me think it's just something built into us. We seek social/group approval, and it makes us regress to the mean when it comes to thought/opinion. However, I don't think it's the right way for our brains to be wired, especially with social media exposing us to the entire world.
And now with this border-search thing. If it means that the state end up having access to all your social media accounts, that now span decade+ timeframes, not even time and personal growth/regret can protect us.
No, it wouldn't. One key weakness of totalitarian systems (and that is what you are advocating for) is always that the massive power of the system attracts criminals and corruption into the system and has a major risk of the criminals ending up using the totalitarian power for themselves. If you think there is some sort of absolute solution to a social problem, you are ignoring that implementing the solution does itself build on society. If society isn't free of crime, your solution won't be free of crime either, and if society if free of crime, you don't need the solution. And if your solution isn't free of crime (so, you have corrupt police officers or judges or whatever), then you have thus given criminals the option to use a massively powerful weapon for themselves in some ways.
Furthermore, if you want to stop drug trafficking, legalize them.
If that is your argument, then I don't think anyone can convince you.
> What it would do is erode the rights and freedoms of law abiding citizens (something that terrorists seem to want).
That's not how Wikipedia (and I myself) define terrorism:
> Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a financial, political, religious or ideological aim.
Physical objects usually don't reveal this much at once and require a warrant. With a border phone search, there's no due process at all. If you're so afraid of bad actors that you're willing to subject yourself to this, you're free, but the bad actors have won.
What happens if you use the postal service to deliver your phone across a border? Are the same authorities who claim the right to search your phone if it is on your person at the border also claiming the authority to confiscate and duplicate your phone if it shipped/mailed? Do you have to put your password on a sticky note on the the front of the phone? And if you ship the physical device but transfer the data separately does that change the expectations?
It is interesting that condensing information into a digital format that can be easily duplicated and searched (before or after duplication) seems to change the expectations for the authorities and I think for individuals.
I think this is another example of the modern digital world/economy has left the legal system in the dust.
The boundary between what should be allowed and what should not be allowed has nothing whatsoever to do with the state of technology.
Freedom is not possible without privacy. As soon as you are in danger of privacy violation, you change your behavior. This is also known as self-censoring. You can already see it here in the forum: people report that they have nothing to hide, but they still reset their phones and use fake accounts when crossing the border.
What is particularly insidious about border control is that there is no legal checks-and-balances system behind it. Police cannot search your home without a warrant issued by a judge. Border control can search everything without any warrant.
In the past, you could yourself 'balance' this by not taking very personal things (e.g., a diary) with you when traveling abroad. But with our digital lifes, this is not possible anymore. You cannot leave your photo album at home anymore.
What makes it so much worse is that criminals can so easily circumvent this issue. They anyway use throw-away phones. They don't need to carry notebooks with them, they can just buy a new one on arrival - if needed at all - and download encrypted files from the Cloud.
So we now have established that border control has an unprecedented and uncontrolled access to our privacy. Shouldn't they be forced to prove that this pays off for our society? Please show me the cases of successful prosecution after digital search of a phone. To me, there seem extremely few of them. So it seems a high price for a marginal benefit.
I would be surprised if that's not possible for drugs or explosives in 5-10 years.
Edit: Looks like they are already possible or at least on the way:
I would very much be surprised if it becomes possible for drugs or explosives any time within my lifetime. Chemistry and physics just don't work that way.
I think google doesn't censor results based on location? So you should see the same results.
Edit: To save your time and avoid polluting your search history:
Still, you do need very specific input materials for both processes.
In the case of the latter, you basically need a spool of explosive string. You're not so much printing an explosive as you are shaping an explosive into a desired form. I'm sure it's still very useful, but I don't think it's a particularly big game changer in the "smuggling things into a country" field.
"Illegal contents", as in what? Unflattering cartoons of the president? A spreadsheet marked "cocaine delivery schedule"? Why is this on the alleged criminal's phone while she's crossing the border? Has she never heard of the internet? No real criminal could be caught by any of this buffoonery. Lots of normal people whom the state would like to harass will be harassed, while wasting a great deal of money, which is the point.
In Thailand, both tourists and locals can be severely punished for making fun of the King.
(I'd Google some links, but I'm on a dialup-speed cellular connection right now. It shouldn't be hard to find, though.)
Just another example of the different way in which speech/information is treated in different countries.
one big strong and noisy facepalm...
But a lot of the agents will have MAGA hats in their car, so I probably wouldn't have unflattering Trump cartoons on my phone. Though I would love it if EVERYONE had 'fuck trump' as their phone background.
It's a shame that people now have to guard their privacy like drugs.
No sane criminal would bring illegal electronic data with him on a physical device... He'll just download it when he gets there.
Or use same technique as Chinese fakers are using to create fake flash cards or SSD's: just reduce size of drive directly in the controller.
Not after they subpoena this HN comment. ;)
Anyone subpoenaing this comment would discover I post on HN exclusively over Tor :)
Once inside customs, i'd verify the SHA1 sum of the USB drive image vs. the one on the Debian site, and reinstall the machine, setup a VPN back home, and pull the data i need onto the machine.
Repeat the "dummy" install when leaving the country.
Secondly, high-entropy data is evident at even a courtesy glance - normal computer and filesystem operations do not produce high-entropy data on disk, therefore a large portion of high-entropy disk data is highly suspect. The author discusses this in detail in sections 2.4 and 5.2 of https://gitlab.com/cryptsetup/cryptsetup/wikis/FrequentlyAsk...
Be sure that doesn't get into your .bash_history
booting into a 50 GB partition on a 512GB SSD isn't suspicious?
Needless to say, using these schemes for SSD drives requires special consideration in regard to trimming.
It seems to me this would fix the larger problem most the time.
How would they hire enough manpower smart enough to do that?
"Hey Hank, the machine says we've got another hidden encrypted partition, go get the rubber hose..."
If this is the line of the argument, then why is the search done at all? I am perfectly fine telling an agent of the state "No sir, I do not have any illegal data on this device" - fully knowing that a lie is conducive to imprisonment. What I object to is the search itself, which by the way, is unlawful under the US constitution.
Access to physical phone/laptop is only the first step -- mark my words. Big Brother's bureaucrats are never satiated. Next, we will have demands for passwords and unrestricted access to : email, facebook, photo sharing, hacker news posts, social media, etc.
I see sudden spike in the market for burner phones. ANd a long-term opportunity for a company that can create a "burner" social media profile.
Nitpick: in Catholic dogma purgatory is a place of purification, those in purgatory know that they are there for a reason and only for a certain time, afterwards they enter heaven. Hell on the other hand, is for eternity and ugly. That's why the two are easily distinguished in their iconography, both involve imagery of flames, but souls in purgatory look joyful and those in hell look despondent.
In a few short years, you are the ones who will be justifying any of the following on grounds that "they already do the less-invasive thing, why not one step more?"
- Mandatory fingerprinting (USA does this for foreigners in some airports)
- Declare all cash, declare all crypto (with addresses / xpubs)
- Bank account logins
- Register electronic devices / install software trackers
- Hair sample for drug testing
- Cheek swab for DNA
- Blood draw to check for diseases / drugs / DNA
They've long had your bank account information (thanks to the PATRIOT Act). They probably have trackers installed on the chipsets of devices, but ignoring that, we know they are capable of intercepting most internet traffic.
Most people have their fingerprints taken, either as the result of a run-in with the law, legitimate or otherwise (clerical error). Or because they were incentivized in some manner (TSA Precheck). Federal IDs are rolling out now too.
> I see sudden spike in the market for burner phones. ANd a long-term opportunity for a company that can create a "burner" social media profile.
Then, your online profile is going to get mined along with everyone else's, continuously, by multiple state-level organizations who cooperate with each other-- whether you've booked travel or not.
By the time folks get to a border it will just matter of diverting anyone with a "red X" next to their name.
At least they banned software patents.
That hardly seems like totalitarian overreach. In fact it seems quite restrained and pretty reasonable - and presumably must be intelligence led, since I rather doubt they are doing this at random...!
Searching for the 540 figure it appears to be mobile phones only, there was another 300 computers. So ~840 searches for 2 million people.
/* I guess adding mobile and computer searches is wrong though, since some sizable fraction of computer owners have a mobile and would thus have had both searched. So maybe 650-700 searches? Doesn't change the magnitude of the resulting figures much, I suppose. */
But yeah there wouldn't be many searches.
But if you're _actually_ crossing a border into a country where there's internet access, why would you risk carrying any data that you wouldn't put on a postcard across that border? If you need it, download it after you've got there.
They are clearly clutching at straws using the story about the rapist as a reason to want no judicial oversight for the ability to spy on all citizens. Why can't they get the messages from the teenagers phones, if they know they were sent?
...anybody wanna sell insurance?
EDIT: I do this all the time and it’s not even remotely difficult or a big deal.
Now it will only bother and waste time of people who are serious about their privacy to apply this workaround as well.
It’s easy to scoff at blunt-tool laws because you can think of a way to undermine them. But law and society are built on a patchwork of imperfect systems which can individually be broken, undermined, manipulated or worked around. In aggregate, they do achieve some semblance of a result, because they are layered together - even if each one alone provides only a marginal element of security.
I guess that helps the country's well being but hardly a violent target.
Login to a cloud server that has your backups / restores / setup scripts / data. Preferably encrypt those backups before you upload them to the cloud server.
Only reason why I don't do it more frequently is it's a pain in the ass. I've been fairly impressed with iOS's backup restoration system recently.
Only had to log in to a specific set of services for everything to be back to normal.
This system is definitely a great way to test your backup restores!
Also: Don't use email for any semblance of secure communications.
>Only reason why I don't do it more frequently is it's a pain in the ass. I've been fairly impressed with iOS's backup restoration system recently.
Interesting! My gripe is I haven't found a way to do a cloud backup of an iPhone w/o putting the data in iCloud, which I do not trust.
I'd prefer to make my own backup which I store/pull down manually... is that possible?
My assumption is that if a country is nosy enough to want access to a device, encryption is irrelevant since they'll just demand a PW, so ideally I'd like to wipe the device then pull a backup down later.
You can also use some sort of E2E backup software like arq or restic, dig through it's archives and download your iphone backup that way.
That is all a major pain in the ass and, as others have pointed out here, those that want to do harm are likely already doing this. I wouldn't expect normal folks to be able to do this, nor should they have to in order to preserve privacy.
Or are you suggesting I should camp out in the airport for a few hours to restore my phone before I can figure out where I'm going and get ahold of my contacts?
Oh let me guess. Your solution so to print those contacts and maps (oh, no GPS to figure out where I am on that map) and use a pay phone (because I still need to re-install the apps I'd normally be using to contact people). Heck, I don't actually have phone numbers for > 90% of my friends. I just have them on Facebook, Line, WhatsApp. The only people I have phone numbers for are for people who've been friends longer than about 15 years, in other words before messaging
It's absolutely possible traveling without a smartphone. I've done it plenty of times before smartphones became a thing. But smartphones make it so much easier.
It's honestly kind of lazy not to take precautions, particularly when it's that easy - you've already listed out exactly what I'd suggest, and it's how people muddled along for decades in the before-times, more or less successfully.
I would suggest learning how to read maps. It's really easy, especially in urban areas. Find the nearest intersection, and look where it is on the map. There you are.
There are plenty of backup tools available on the internet, this isn't really a problem with Android. Personally that's what I do each time I travel abroad. Both because I might loose my phone/laptop and because on can never be sure what software/content is legal(or not) in this or that country.
Some people got jailed abroad for content/software that would be deemed legal in my home country, on their computer.
Name one and describe the process. So far everything I have tried takes hours and often loses a bunch of settings that need to be restored manually. It requires significant amounts of work. Also it seems most tools need a rooted phone
A minor inconvenience given the legal risks. If you don't want to deal with that just get yourself cheap used gear dedicated to travel purposes.
I have used the built in backup to Google and noticed that restore takes many hours and a lot of apps lost data and settings. It took considerable effort to get back to normal. Definitely too much work to spend on my first day of vacation.
A burner phone may work but then you don't have access to all your data.
If you install TWRP recovery (root is only required for the installation, not the maintenance), you can do a full-phone backup.
I just picked up a new one for a work project at the local supermarket yesterday - $1NZD.
When I registered my last SIM, I did it online and they wanted Drivers Licence number and a lot of other info that I felt was quite a lot just so I could use a phone.
Both here and in the US, I've found that airports usually are not good places to get SIMs - there seems to be some agreement whereby the expensive ones aimed at tourists are all that's available. Supermarkets or department stores tend to be my go-to.
It automatically renews though, so I had to remember to cancel it when I left.
Are you asking which countries do demand it?
Your sovereignty argument is such an extreme interpretation of the question that it's almost certainly not what plg had in mind - if plg did have it in mind, then I find it hard to believe that question would have been asked in the first place.
Consider the question "what countries on border entry can draw and quarter entering citizens?" Your viewpoint seems to be that the correct answer is "all of them", yes?
What are you, the individual, going to do when a border agent takes your device and demands your password? “We’re just going to take this for a few minutes, what’s your password? Oh you won’t tell us? Sit in this room for 400hrs. Ok, thank you, you’re free to go, enjoy your stay.”
Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.
Lodging complaints after the fact doesn’t unviolate you.
You can be a renown children’s author and the best you can hope for is an apology.
And that from an ally. Not just any ally, Australia is the US’s best friend.
Room Temperature IQ Goon (RTG): Give me your facebook password
Me: I don't know my facebook password
RTG: How do you login?
Me: I have a service to hold all my passwords
RTG: What is that service and what is the password
Me: Lastpass, but I don't have the second password
RTG: Second password?
Me: Yes, it requires me to use a U2F token to generate a second password
RTG: What is a U2F token and give it to me
Me: I leave it at home for security
RTG: Give me your phone
Me: Hands over 3310
RTG: Your real phone
Me: I don't travel internationally with a phone that have any data on it that I care about.
Of course the real solution is that I don't travel anywhere.
> Of course the real solution is that I don't travel anywhere.
That is considerably more realistic, sadly.
"Sovereign" is a fancy word that boils down to, we have enough police- and/or military power at our disposal that we can force you to do it.
America has de facto exile due to the No Fly List:
Snowden is arguably in exile, as his passport was cancelled, but he wouldn't be refused entry :-)
Is being searched before you get on a plane or enter a customs checkpoint some kind of hideous infringement of your civil liberties? No!
There’s no problem with this in principle. The problem is that it’s silly, and it causes a privacy and security violation while not accomplishing anything.
It's not a problem for you, fine. I'd ask you to let me search you but that'd only be to prove a point, so by all means keep accepting it. But when you say it's not a problem, you do not speak for me.
It's pointless, degrading, and above all it's sad that you and many others accept it without questioning it.
I’m not thrilled by the social contract, but it’s a good deal more convenient than driving across country.
Positive example: I use Google Drive. I know full well Google could read and analyze all my shit if they wanted to. I surrender to that possibility in exchange for the very cheap and convenient online storage I get.
Negative example: Fuck the TSA and all its theatrics. Those aren't useful. Please do convince me they are; I don't see anyone even trying to pretend they are.
Of course it is. We're simply used to it, because we're sheep and cowards. But it is. Searching everyone, without probable cause or reasonable suspicion of anything, is a violation of civil liberties, and of basic human decency. It's also pure theater and useless.
And because we have accepted this, other privacy agressions seem justified.
I'm willing to entertain arguments that it is a worthwhile trade-off, but we must acknowledge that it is an infringement on everyone's rights.
Every additional infringement should come with a justification, an analysis considering whether it will be effective, and a harm minimisation strategy.
Searching everything I've ever said or done online, my personal photos etc etc. is an entirely different proposition.
There are huge problems with this in principle!
No. But they are looking for items that would make the flight unsafe, as well as controlled substances.
If they are searching your bits, they are not looking for either of these things, they are looking for thought crimes. Not only now, but in your past.
There is a big difference.
We search things across borders for things our country does not want. We don't want drugs. We don't want fresh fruit (which will trip up more people than drugs).
We don't want child porn. And if a phone is a container for that content, we want to be able to explore the container.
Of course, there's a million different ways around this. Get burner phones. Store content in the cloud. Have seven firewalls. Whatever. But that doesn't change the concept of inspecting things across a border to make sure things we don't want, don't come in.
And if that's a totalitarian purgatory, then name a country (or external border for the EU) that isn't a totalitarian purgatory.
Entry to the US can be denied (for life even) if the customs agent suspects the traveler has involvement with Cannabis.
That includes having investments in Cannabis companies.
So if the take my phone and find any information on it connected to Cannabis I could be barred FOR LIFE from entry into the US.
That means that I am leaving a country where that is legal, and entering into a state that it is also legal some border gaourd can ban me for life - even if all I did was search for "Cannibis legal in Canada".
Where does it end?
Ultimately it's the law itself rather than the enforcement of it that you're objecting to.
However your scenario is inaccurate. Just as having a google search about murder weapons won’t bar you for life neither will search history about cannabis. They may ask why your interested in it... But learning about a crime is not equivalent to commiting the crime.
>Even though Znaimer didn’t admit to personally using pot,
he was given a lifetime ban anyway because of his
investments in U.S. marijuana companies, he said.
>In one case, Saunders said an Edmonton man received a
lifetime ban from entering the U.S. simply because he was a
part-owner in a Colorado building that leases space to a
So what is stopping them from denying entry due to search history?
Just as being an accessory to murder would be considered "very bad" so too would supporting cannabis use in any way. According to US law he is investing in a criminal enterprise, similar to funding a cartel in Mexico. The law doesn't match the common person's perception of severity, but the US border guards will enforce the law as written.
Again, none of this prevents you from merely learning about cannabis. It requires action of some sort to further the use of it.
And marijuana is not legal anywhere in the US at the moment. There are simply some states that don't have state level criminal laws associated with marijuana.
I could be 100% wrong, but I feel like you could check every digital device entering the country all day with 100% accuracy and have less than a 1% impact on the amount of child porn (or any other digital contraband) being trafficked.
Worse still is it's a nonconsensual, uninformed strip search of any sexual partners that person has...
I am not criticizing what you said, I am curious.
I can't use the visa waiver program to travel to the US because I was arrested once. Not convicted of any crime, mind you, just arrested. In the rest of society it's a pretty strong principle that guilt is decided in courts, not by police officers. No matter: anything that makes you seem less than the lowest possible risk is enough to deny you something. No presumption of innocence, no visa waiver program for me.
My girlfriend's mother has applied for a family visa that would allow her to immigrate to my country (where her daughter lives) permanently. The application takes several years. In the meantime she applied for a tourist visa to visit us for Christmas later this year. It was denied. We can only speculate why, but of course I suspect that since she has demonstrated a desire to immigrate permanently, the authorities consider her at risk of overstaying the visa. A mother who has done nothing wrong can't visit her daughter for Christmas because of this, and it makes me furious. She has no intention of overstaying: if this is why they rejected the visa it is again an assumption of guilt instead of one of innocence.
I wonder if there is any way to make it an election issue in any country. Parties seem to be unanimous on the topic, and most people don't travel, so it's probably not much of a pull for votes. Influential people travel more though.
And probably have sufficient influence to sidestep most such problems.
Clearly the U.S. political system isn't interested in anything that sounds like weakening border security. I think we're all going to be suffering indefinitely.
Instead, these kinds of searches catch people who don't know they're doing something illegal, or who the government finds undesirable due to their associations or business activities that are legal in their home jurisdiction. They may also be used to map out networks of contacts.
I do not want governments doing the things in the second paragraph.