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"Sterilizing" electronic equipment before coming thru CBP?

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Old Mar 14, 17, 9:52 am
  #61
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
There are some interesting numbers in there:

Some 5,000 such searches in all of 2015 recorded by DHS; then some 25,000 such searches in 2016; and then in just one very short month of February 2017, DHS does some 5,000 such searches?

That means we may be looking at over 55k such searches in 2017.

Should we take this as a sign that the government has been buying lots of software/hardware to pry even further into the daily lives of ordinary US citizens? Either way, there are plenty of other signs that 1984 was off by a few decades.
Originally Posted by From the article linked previously
The more aggressive tactics of the past two years, two senior intelligence officials told NBC News, were sparked by a string of domestic incidents in 2015 and 2016 in which the watch list system and the FBI failed to stop American citizens from conducting attacks. The searches also reflect new abilities to extract contact lists, travel patterns and other data from phones very quickly.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 10:00 am
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This says it about expanded capabilities:

https://www.dhs.gov/publication/mobi...ce-acquisition

They say "if you build it, they will come". We should say, "if they buy it, they will use it".
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Old Mar 14, 17, 10:57 am
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I recently saw this story about cell phone searches and it brought me to this thread.

The erosion of our civil rights and liberties is so sad.

We have become such a fascist state.

Phone please is the modern version of "Papiere, Bitte." (Translation: "Papers, Please.")

Last edited by KenTarmac; Mar 14, 17 at 11:07 am
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Old Mar 14, 17, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
This says it about expanded capabilities:

https://www.dhs.gov/publication/mobi...ce-acquisition

They say "if you build it, they will come". We should say, "if they buy it, they will use it".
Perfect example of giving an inch and government taking a mile.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 12:44 pm
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The ACLU posted this summary today.

From the link:

...The Supreme Court recognized this reality when it ruled in 2014 that the Constitution requires the police to obtain a warrant to search the smartphone of someone under arrest....
Does that case apply to CBP? CBP has the authority to make arrests. It seems illogical that a citizen would have more protections after an arrest than before an arrest. Also, IANAL.

Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
If I were a CBP officer, before any search of a passenger's phone, I would ask the passenger "Have you deleted any data, apps, emails, or photos from this phone in anticipation of your arrival in the USA?"

Consider what you would do if asked that. Lie to the officer? That's a felony.
Before a vacation, I usually transfer photos from my phone to an external hard drive simply to make more room for new photos.

Last edited by TWA884; Mar 14, 17 at 5:45 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts
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Old Mar 14, 17, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Schmurrr View Post
The ACLU posted this summary today.

From the link:



Does that case apply to CBP? CBP has the authority to make arrests. It seems illogical that a citizen would have more protections after an arrest than before an arrest. Also, IANAL.
If you bring the device through the border, CBP can search it. If CBP arrests you at the border, they can still search your device. You don't get greater rights if you're arrested at the border.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 2:08 pm
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So based upon the NBC article (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...h-your-n732746), does this mean that things from one's phone's past are never really deleted, even with Apple phones? What if someone purchased a used phone--are they then responsible for everything that the past user may have done (their geographic coordinates, content on phone, etc)?

Thus there is no way for one to sterilize one's phone?
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Old Mar 14, 17, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
If you bring the device through the border, CBP can search it. If CBP arrests you at the border, they can still search your device. You don't get greater rights if you're arrested at the border.
If a person is arrested at the border, they have some rights applicable that weren't applicable prior to being arrested at the border.

The more extreme CBP goes, the more likely there will be opportunities for the government to see its power formally limited due to abuse of border crossing Americans getting to the courts.

Last edited by GUWonder; Mar 14, 17 at 2:24 pm
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Old Mar 14, 17, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by guflyer View Post
So based upon the NBC article (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...h-your-n732746), does this mean that things from one's phone's past are never really deleted, even with Apple phones? What if someone purchased a used phone--are they then responsible for everything that the past user may have done (their geographic coordinates, content on phone, etc)?

Thus there is no way for one to sterilize one's phone?
From the various articles that I have read recently there seem to be tools in the hands of government that can recover data from phones and other personal electronics that most would think would be unrecoverable. Even wiping (what, like with a cloth or something) the device does not clear the data. If data has ever been present on the device then assume it is still there.

Assuming you have nothing of a criminal nature then all you are protecting is your right to privacy which I believe is worth protecting. If you have information that is classified or company sensitive then I see no reason to help disclose that information. Figure out how best to safeguard your data that may likely be viewed by others when crossing the border.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 4:03 pm
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Thanks for verifying this. My concern is that many on this forum who discuss deleting everything before traveling are giving themselves a false sense of security as their data can be accessed even after the deletion.

I am surprised that no company has come out with a phone/tablet device that really deletes data, making it completely irretrievable. It seems like there would be a significant market for this right now.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by guflyer View Post
Thanks for verifying this. My concern is that many on this forum who discuss deleting everything before traveling are giving themselves a false sense of security as their data can be accessed even after the deletion.

I am surprised that no company has come out with a phone/tablet device that really deletes data, making it completely irretrievable. It seems like there would be a significant market for this right now.
I am no expert, but understand, it is very specialized tools that can recover data from a device that has been purposely cleaned. I don't know if CBP would go to that kind of trouble, or if it is available to them, unless a really strong reason was presented. I would be more concerned with the addition of software by government.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 4:57 pm
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There are ways to irrecoverably delete data but But, if Edward Snowed showed us anything, it's that all these companies are in bed with the NSA either by choice or by duress. As a result of that coerced NSA access the CBP and other agencies now have the same access.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by guflyer View Post
Thanks for verifying this. My concern is that many on this forum who discuss deleting everything before traveling are giving themselves a false sense of security as their data can be accessed even after the deletion.

I am surprised that no company has come out with a phone/tablet device that really deletes data, making it completely irretrievable. It seems like there would be a significant market for this right now.
There are ways to delete data on devices and utilize those devices such that it makes it very difficult to impossible for the government to recover deleted data. But there is something to be said about "less is more" when it comes to what you carry across borders or how you use "smartphones", a super-surveillance tool if ever there were one before. If the device or software makers are compromised even before getting the product out of the factory or distributed, it's game over whenever the government thinks it important enough to pursue the matter and risk getting its sources/methods exposed or to recreate an investigative trail (i.e., make up a story/excuse on how the target became a target/suspect) and risk that being exposed.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by KenTarmac View Post
There are ways to irrecoverably delete data but But, if Edward Snowed showed us anything, it's that all these companies are in bed with the NSA either by choice or by duress. As a result of that coerced NSA access the CBP and other agencies now have the same access.
As I have stated I'm no expert but some of the bits and pieces from the latest wikileaks data trove might give question to your statement.
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Old Mar 15, 17, 11:26 am
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Another article describing what CBP can do at the border.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/heres-us-c...014200934.html
Here's what US Customs and Border Protection agents can and can't do with your devices
The section of giving up passwords is interesting. Take the article for what it's worth.

I think the bottom line is that if a person enters the U.S. then any electronic device a person may have is subject to inspection.
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