Thursday, 23 February 2017

Taking your phone across international borders

Credit: ZDNet/Flickr

You may have read a recent post on these pages about taking your phone across international borders. Check it at:

HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech – “Why you should never take your phone out of the country”

Below, Ars Technica staff interview Ahmed Ghappour,1 UC Hastings law professor, expert in national security & cybersecurity, on taking your phone across international borders.

“If you’re a citizen, kinda stand your ground a bit, because I’d like to see what the record is for detention.” – Professor Ahmed Ghappour

Some other ideas discussed:

Mail phone to yourself in the country you are entering to avoid crossing the border with it.

Can you be provided with a computer & required to log into your Facebook (or other) account?

Ars Technica Live: “What to do when border officials ask for your passwords”

If your are a citizen of the country your are entering, your can’t be denied entry, if your can prove you are a citizen. Hower, non-citizens may find it best to give up passwords to accounts such as email & Facebook. A set of accounts created for the purpose, can give you a persona which can be handed over without compromising your privacy.

Wired – “A Guide to Getting Past Customs With Your Digital Privacy Intact”,

1 Wikipedia: “Ahmed Ghappour”,

/ how to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour Android password-level security without having to type the damn thing it in all the time review SanDisk new Lightning USB 3.0 iXpand Flash Drive easy transfers backups in I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again neither should you US Customs Border Patrol agent airport how you can encrypt your entire life in less than an hour security save you physical possession your phone laptop intimidate giving up your password what happened to a US citizen returning home from abroad Sidd Bikkannavar US-born scientist NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory flew back to Houston Texas airport Customs and Border Patrol agents searched him detained release him password unlock his phone Bikkannavar phone belonged to NASA sensitive information he eventually yielded unlocked his phone legality 30 minutes phone unlocked outside of his possession apps you have on your phone email Facebook Dropbox browser Signal history of everything you’ve ever done searched everything you’ve ever said to anyone right there in those apps we should treat personal electronic data with the same care and respect as weapons-grade plutonium  dangerous long-lasting leaked no getting it back  Cory Doctorow how many potentially incriminating things police go before a judge establish probable cause warrant to search your home anyone can be grabbed on their way through customs forced hand over the full contents of their digital life Elcomsoft forensic software suck down all your photos contacts passwords email social media accounts  customers include police forces various countries militaries private security forces tools permanently archive everything there your unlocked phone If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man I would find something in them to have him hanged Cardinal Richelieu in 1641 Customs and Border Patrol succeed in getting ahold of your unlocked phone all of the people you’ve ever called emailed all the people you’re connected with on Facebook LinkedIn chances committed a serious crime have you ever taken a photo at a protest bought a controversial book Amazon vented about an encounter with a police officer information now part of your permanent record dragged out as evidence against you in court movement within government make all data from all departments available all staff at a local state federal level more places your data ends up larger hacker attack surface more vulnerable your data security breach police station result in your data ending up in the hands of hackers used against you from the shadows for the rest of your life fourth and fifth amendment rights illegal fourth amendment protects you against unreasonable search and seizure fifth amendment protects you against self-incrimination police officer stop you on the street America ask you to unlock your phone amendments strong legal ground refusing to do so US border isn’t technically the US next time you plan to cross a border leave your phone at home /