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US customs searching mobile devices

US customs searching mobile devices

Gossip & Rumours Written by  Tuesday, 11 December 2018 08:54 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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US Customs and Border Protection officers are searching the electronic devices of travellers more often, and did not always follow proper protocol, a new watchdog report has found.

The report made public Monday found there were 29,000 devices searched at a port of entry out of 397 million travellers to the US in budget year 2017, up from 18,400 the year before from 390 million travellers.


Customs and Border Protection officials note it is less than one per cent of all travellers.


Officers are allowed under law to look through devices of travellers who are referred for a secondary inspection. During the primary inspection, travel documents and passports are reviewed. If a secondary inspection is needed, officers may search devices like phones, thumb drives and computers to determine admissibility into the country, and also to identify potential law violations.


For example, in March 2018, officers found images and videos of terrorist-related materials, and in another search, graphic and violent images including child pornography. Neither person was admitted into the United States, according to the report.

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