Remember last year, when there were all those reports of border guards forcing passengers to unlock their phones so they could search through them, for no apparent cause? That wasn’t some “fake news” hysteria: US Customs and Border Protection searched nearly 60 percent more devices last year than it did in 2016, according to data from the agency released Friday. And CBP has also updated its directive on searching electronic devices to make it even clearer that the agency fully intends to keep doing so.
In 2016, CBP searched through 19,051 electronic devices, including phones, laptops, and tablets. In 2017, that number jumped to 30,200, with more than 2,000 searches every month. On Friday, CBP released an updated version of its directive on searching personal electronics, which was originally penned in 2009. While the old directive only mentioned passwords in cases where agents couldn’t access specific information and may …
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