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Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights

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(Photo: Deyvi Romero)  

  • Recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
  • Related: What you — yes, you! — can do to save America from tyranny.

Patrick G. Lee, ProPublica / Truth-out

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/One%20Nation%20Under%20Surveillance%20graphic.jpg Friday, March 17, 2017 | A NASA scientist heading home to the US said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.

Last month, CBP agents checked the identification of passengers leaving a domestic flight at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport during a search for an immigrant with a deportation order.

And in October, border agents seized phones and other work-related material from a Canadian photojournalist. They blocked him from entering the US after he refused to unlock the phones, citing his obligation to protect his sources.

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Patrick G. Lee is a reporting fellow at ProPublica.

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Related: 

What you — yes, you — can do to save America from tyranny, Timothy Snyder, Dallas (TX) News

Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

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