Customs And Border Protection Clarifies: You Have No Rights While Traveling

Submitted by Sovereign Man

The government is like a poorly trained dog. If you let one bad behavior go, it just escalates until they bite.

The government has been searching electronics like cell phones and laptops at the border since early in the Bush administration. But because the 9/11 attacks were fresh, and because the practice was not widespread, it went largely unnoticed.

Fast forward to fiscal year 2015 and the Customs and Border Protection searched 8,503 airline passengers’ electronic devices. In FY 2016 they searched 19,033. And in FY 2017 CBP searched the devices of 30,200 travelers.

The CBP obtained no warrants for these searches. Many people searched were foreign travelers to the U.S. but last year over 6,000 were American citizens.

In response to growing complaints Customs and Border Protection revised their policy. Last week they issued a new directive. But in some ways, it is worse.

For starters, their guidance claims the authority to search a traveler’s electronic devices “with or without suspicion.”

The guidance now claims passengers are “obligated” to turn over their devices as well as passcodes for examination. If they fail to do so, agents can seize the device.

That is all considered a “basic search.” Agents must have suspicion in order to conduct an “advanced search.” This includes copying information from devices, or analyzing them with other equipment.

Finally, CBP agents can not “intentionally” search information stored on the cloud, versus on the device’s hard drive.

What this means:

It actually adds insult to injury that the new guidance starts: “CBP will protect the rights of individuals against unreasonable search and seizure and ensure privacy protection while accomplishing its enforcement mission.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. This is clearly a violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. This violates the privacy of everyone searched.

Then they demand you forgo your Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination. If you refuse to give out your password, they further violate the Fourth Amendment by seizing your device.

CBP agents are human. There is no inherent reason that they can be trusted with information like passwords. There is no reason why passengers should have to trust that their copied information will actually be destroyed according to CBP policy.

There is no legal justification to threaten the contacts and sensitive information that journalists might be transporting. This further adds First Amendment concerns to this intrusive policy. It could easily be used to chill free speech and freedom of the press.

Luckily there is a lawsuit in the works challenging this policy, but a ruling cannot happen quick enough.

In the meantime, prepare carefully for international travel. You may even want to travel only with “burner” devices; meaning you don’t mind if they are confiscated for refusing an unconstitutional search.


Baron von Bud stizazz Mon, 01/15/2018 - 00:07 Permalink

This federal security stuff is beyond excessive. We have to consider the black&white mindset of people who go into federal law enforcement. I learned first hand about the FBI. Some years ago I was at an IT security conference and so was a group of fbi people. I talked to two in particular - man and a woman - and we got along. They asked me go out for some Indian food that evening. So were at a nice place and I'm looking at the girl agent name Nicky, maybe 27, and she's smiling and we glance back and forth. I feel this sexual electricity. She starts talking about Minnesota chopping wood in a flannel shirt and changing out transmissions in summer for the dirt drag behind the mill yard. Then she talks about ice hockey. A light goes on in my hormonal brain and I slowly shift my gaze to Francis. He's giving me the bedroom eyes. Since then I've learned that many fbi male agents are Mormons. They let loose when off the reservation. Most single female fbi agents are dykes and the others ... well, look at the shoulders and jaw lines.

In reply to by stizazz

Faeriedust Mpizzie Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:16 Permalink

Well, it's rather metaphorically accurate.  Mormonism IS a Judeo-Christian cultus, arising out of uneducated backwoods American Protestantism.  As for growing like a cancer, have you seen their numbers?  It started as Joseph Smith "family and friends" in 1820 and is now on its way to 16 MILLION members and is worth about $30 BILLION while nearing its second century mark.  While those have been 2 centuries of phenomenal growth in just about all human activities, still, very few weird little cults based on a founder making grossly ridiculous claims get anywhere near that kind of a kick-off.

In reply to by Mpizzie

Abaco css1971 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

Those shitheads took an oath to defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  They should read the damn thing so they know what they swore to defend.  Then they can tell their superiors to fuck off since they will not obey unlawful orders since, you know, we established the precedent of hanging people who used thaat excuse.

In reply to by css1971

Abaco css1971 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:53 Permalink

Those shitheads took an oath to defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  They should read the damn thing so they know what they swore to defend.  Then they can tell their superiors to fuck off since they will not obey unlawful orders since, you know, we established the precedent of hanging people who used that excuse.

In reply to by css1971

Footprint JRobby Mon, 01/15/2018 - 08:58 Permalink

It was happening before 2001. I was detained and grilled at LaGuardia for 8 hours for no apparent reason on a trip i made to visit family in Nov. 2000. 


Never went back after that. Spooked the Shit out of me -How casually they could guide you to an isolated room and try to get you to self-incriminate on something-.

In reply to by JRobby

Captain Nemo d… stizazz Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:26 Permalink

This has nothing to do with anyone else.

Your representatives are making these rules. You get the government you deserve, on average. You can champion your right to travel freely all you want, if the sheeple on the whole do not care you will not get it. Of course companies will get their right to put as much money in any election as they want because as individuals they have the freedom of speech and speech, after all, is money.

That is why judging individuals by race does not make too much sense: people in any country live within systems created by the overall apathy and inclinations of the population.


In reply to by stizazz

Sudden Debt MozartIII Mon, 01/15/2018 - 05:43 Permalink

It's a dangerous quote.


If you don't have rights... I can rob every traveller and get away with it.

Now who has rights and where is their constitution of their own country they seem to have founded.

If Americans had any guts, and I'm telling you most don't, they would fry that entire department and fire every single one of them.

They just told America they have a confirmed police state and the idiots all took it up the ass without complainings.

You won't see the liberal left complain about that because they're mostly to dumb to realize what liberties are

In reply to by MozartIII

Faeriedust Sudden Debt Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:27 Permalink

Anyone who doesn't know that we're living in a police state by now has been asleep for a decade. As for not doing anything, it's rather difficult to dislodge the damned things without a lot of cooperation and planning and Americans lack leadership to resist more than will.  As individuals, they just don't know what to do.  The mechanisms of totalitarianism have evolved gradually over the course of a full century since WWI, and are deeply rooted in the entire legal and administrative structure -- that's why they call it the Deep State.  The populace has made multiple attempts to elect a President who will shut it down, and every one so designated comes to heel and starts taking orders from the insiders within 3 months.  The only solution is to completely overthrow and redesign the government, and that's so drastic that only a minority is willing to support it until the abuse evolves from violations of privacy to mass murder.

And yes, as old people die and young people have never known true liberty, the majority of the population becomes composed of individuals who have never known anything BUT a totalitarian state, and it seems "normal" to them.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

lincolnsteffens Lost in translation Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:59 Permalink

When you purchase an airline ticket you are agreeing to the terms of the airline which is required by the Feds for interstate and international commercial travel.  When you enter the air port grounds you are in a commercial government licensed area.

The government assumes you give up rights when you (supposedly) knew the conditions of utilizing commercial entities and the scope of interstate and international power the government is authorized to use in keeping with the delegated powers in the US Constitution.

Unfortunately most people have no clue as to why the gov. gets away with this because they never read the Constitution, know the significance of the Constitution and its limits placed upon government. The people that enrich themselves and or gather power from ignorance long ago set in motion the creation of an ever more restrictive straight jacket of a legal scam that baffles and bullies you into acceptance.

Wake up and learn something useful to maintain your rights as much as possible. Stay out of government licenses or complying with public licensed entities demands to provide private information to them. Walk away, avoid as much as possible your interaction with these privacy scams and inform anyone who will listen to you about the craven intent to fully control you.

You only have civil rights, not constitutional rights in an airport or inside someone else's airplane. You have constitutional rights in your own home or property and inside your private automobile (not a motor vehicle).


In reply to by Lost in translation

Faeriedust lincolnsteffens Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:34 Permalink

85% of government overreach is built on the improper extension of the Commerce Clause.  The rest relies on the ability to provide funds to the states out of the massive kitty originating in the Income Tax, which required a Constitutional Amendment to become law. Neither could have been reasonably foreseen by the original signatories, but together they make a complete revision of what is now legally considered "the Constitution" necessary in order to return to its original intent.  The only solution is a full and open Article V Constitutional Convention. 

In reply to by lincolnsteffens

ATM MozartIII Mon, 01/15/2018 - 09:39 Permalink

Drive? Never again. Drove to Mexico and crossing the border from the USA was like driving into Wisconsin. Just keep on going!

Driving into the USA from Mex. Fuck that. Was stopped at the border. Then was stopped again about 10 miles in. Then was stopped a 3rd time 50 miles from the border by the Border Patrol.

Seems I was profiled because I was driving a van with more than one person aboard (wife and 2 daughters.) 


I'm getting an EU passport for when I travel internationally from the USA. Not for when I leave, but for when I return. Shorter lines. No biometric scanners. No 5th degree on returning to the Land of the Free. 

In reply to by MozartIII