American Journalist vs US Customs and Border Protection

this must end.

to me, the only option becomes travel without devices or reset/fresh install device with backups to encrypted cloud storage before leaving and definitely before returning, at least until we get some sanity at the borders.

it’s a long article, and a really good read imo. I’m including this (long) quote to share a bit of his story. sadly it gets much worse

"Cooperation didn’t earn me any leniency. Next up was a thorough search of my suitcase, down to unscrewing the tops of my toiletries. That much I expected. But then a third officer, whose name was Villarreal, carefully read every page of my 2019 journal, including copious notes to self on work, relationships, friends, family, and all sorts of private reflections I had happened to write down. I told him, “Sir, I know there’s nothing I can do to stop you, but I want to tell you, as one human being to another, that you’re invading my privacy right now, and I don’t appreciate it.” Villarreal acknowledged the statement and went back to reading.

That was just the beginning. The real abuse of power was a warrantless search of my phone and laptop. This is the part that affects everyone, not just reporters and people who keep journals.

In general, law enforcement agents have to get a warrant to search your electronic devices. That’s the gist of the 2014 Supreme Court case Riley v. California. But the Riley ruling only applies when the police arrest you. The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the same protections apply to American citizens reentering the United States from abroad, and federal appeals courts have issued contradictory opinions. In the absence of a controlling legal authority, CBP goes by its own rules, namely CBP Directive No. 3340-049A, pursuant to which CBP can search any person’s device, at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. If you refuse to give up your password, CBP’s policy is to seize the device."

[further down article]

I didn’t know all of this when I was being held by CBP. When the officers told me they only wanted to check my devices for child pornography, links to terrorism, and so forth, I believed them. I was completely unprepared for the digital ransacking that came next.

the rest of the mess:

also see referenced article: “It happened 33,295 times last year.”

If I didn’t answer the question asked by the “incident officer,” I wouldn’t be allowed into the United States.

This, as far as I know, is a blatant lie from the border officers. Of course you can’t prevent an American citizen from getting back in America. If he is a criminal, you might be allowed to put him straight back in jail, but you can’t keep him away from his country.

All advice I’ve read from experts on the subject is, concerning American citizens exclusively (not legal residents, and of course not foreigners) : either you surrender your passwords, or they can keep your devices (and give you a hard time for a few hours). But of course they have to let you back in.

Then, they will send back your devices to you, after having cracked them (possibly), and a few months have elapsed.

Note how this white reporter has to make a fuss about immigration and Blacks. Tying his troubles to completely unrelated issues. Of course the United States (as any country in the world) have to protect themselves against illegal immigration, and Muslim terrorists possibly trying to enter the country.