US Customs and Border Protection has long considered US borders and airports a kind of loophole in the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections, one that allows them wide latitude to detain travelers and search their devices. For years, they’ve used that opportunity to hold border-crossers on the slightest suspicion, and demand access to their computers and phones with little formal cause or oversight.
This is the tricky part. American citizens can’t be deported for refusing to give up an encryption or social media password, says the ACLU’s Wessler. That means if you stand your ground and don’t reveal passwords or PINs, you may be detained and your devices confiscated—even sent off to a forensic facility—but you’ll eventually get through with your privacy far more intact than if you divulge secrets. “They can seize your device, even for months while they try to break into it,” says Wessler. “But you’re going to get home.”
Link: A Guide to Getting Past Customs With Your Digital Privacy Intact