Digital Media · Public Space · Social/Politics · Technology

Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an article regarding encryption, use of clouds, backups and other advice:

Our lives are on our laptops – family photos, medical documents, banking information, details about what websites we visit, and so much more. Thanks to protections enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, the government generally can’t snoop through your laptop for no reason. But those privacy protections don’t safeguard travelers at the U.S. border, where the U.S. government can take an electronic device, search through all the files, and keep it for a while for further scrutiny – without any suspicion of wrongdoing whatsoever.

For doctors, lawyers, and many business professionals, these border searches can compromise the privacy of sensitive professional information, including trade secrets, attorney-client and doctor-patient communications, research and business strategies, some of which a traveler has legal and contractual obligations to protect. For the rest of us, searches that can reach our personal correspondence, health information, and financial records are reasonably viewed as an affront to privacy and dignity and inconsistent with the values of a free society.

Despite the lack of legal protections against the search itself, however, those concerned about the security and privacy of the information on their devices at the border can use technological measures in an effort to protect their data. They can also choose not to take private data across the border with them at all, and then use technical measures to retrieve it from abroad. As the explanations below demonstrate, some of these technical measures are simple to implement, while others are complex and require significant technical skill.

Why Can My Devices Be Searched at the Border?

Continue article HERE

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