Monday, February 20, 2017

Senator questions DHS' seizure of phone records

From a news release:
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today asked the Department of Homeland Security to explain reports of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents demanding access to Americans’ locked phones and other digital devices when crossing the U.S. border. Wyden also asked about the department’s plans to require visitors to the United States to turn over their private social medial passwords as a condition of entry.

“These digital dragnet border search practices weaken our national and economic security. Indiscriminate digital searches distract CBP from its core mission and needlessly divert agency resources away from those who truly threaten our nation,” Wyden wrote to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Read the full letter here.

Specifically, Wyden asked:

--What legal authority permits CBP to ask for or demand, as a condition of entry, that a U.S. person disclose their social media or email account password?
--How is CBP use of a traveler’s password to gain access to data stored in the cloud consistent with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?
--What legal authority permits CBP to ask for or demand, as a condition of entry, that a U.S. person turn over their device PIN or password to gain access to encrypted data? How are such demands consistent with the Fifth Amendment?
--How many times in each calendar year 2012-2016 did CBP personnel ask for or demand, as a condition of entry, that a U.S. person disclose a smartphone or computer password, or otherwise provide access to a locked smartphone or computer? How many times has this occurred since January 20, 2017?
--How many times in each calendar year 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 did CBP personnel ask for or demand, as a condition of entry, that a U.S. person disclose a social media or email account password, or otherwise provide CBP personnel access to data stored in an online account? How many times has this occurred since January 20, 2017?

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