back to article 'Hey, Homeland Security. Don't you dare demand Twitter, Facebook passwords at the border'

Over 50 human rights and civil liberties groups, nearly 100 law professors and security experts, and lawmakers have launched a campaign against digital searches at the US border. An open letter condemns recent comments by Homeland Security secretary John Kelly in which he proposed requiring selected non-citizens entering the …

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Disturbing

In the US immigrants are taking cover wherever they can. It's a return to the bad old days.

CBP has a great deal of power over their charges. Abuse of power here really doesn't have most of the checks and balances of the rest of American society.

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Re: Disturbing

Actually, the traditional checks and balances still apply for those within the US.

CBIS is an executive branch agency. Congress has the checkbook and can immediately defund the agency if it disapproves of the activities of that agency.

The courts still apply the law and can hold CBIS agents, management and leaders in contempt of court for not obeying the orders of the court. If the executive branch then fires marshals for attempting to enforce the law, a Constitutional crisis occurs, which Congress either addresses or permits the entire Constitution to be null and void.

In the latter case, it would then come down to how the military feels against a Commander in Chief destroying and undermining a Constitution it swore to protect and uphold.

And how Congress would feel when Trump were summarily dumped inside of the House of Representatives by that military.

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Re: Disturbing

"In the US immigrants are taking cover wherever they can. It's a return to the bad old days."

Name _ONE_ country where non-citizens have the SAME rights as citizens.

*crickets*

You use the term 'immigrants' loosely. You should be saying 'visitors'. *ILLEGAL* immigrants should be arrested and deported. LEGAL immigrants are on their way to becoming citizens, or have valid visas for working within the country. Doesn't every OTHER nation on the planet have SIMILAR rules that they ENFORCE? So much *WHINING* over what should otherwise be a SIMPLE issue!

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Re: Name _ONE_ country where non-citizens

Non citizens of the US do not have "the same rights" as citizens.

But insofar as they do have rights, Canada springs to mind as a country with a more enlightened policy and laws when it comes to "undocumented" aliens.

The term "illegal immigrant" can cover many bases you are seemingly not aware of. For example, under current draconian interpretations, an I-95 that takes too long to undergo a change of status* INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT MACHINE can stick a former legal immigrant in a very dodgy place.

Ask me how I know this.

* needed to rectify a situation created by a pissy Immigration Official who was having a bad day when the holder came through the gate, otherwise unencumbered with issues, and therefore decided that the holder of a brand new six month H1 Visa should only have a ONE month stay despite clear proof of employment beyond that date and an embassy-issued document "covering" the actual requirement

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Re: Disturbing

"Name _ONE_ country where non-citizens have the SAME rights as citizens."

Well, skipping over your broad-brush terminology of "non-citizen" and using the US Merriam-Webster definitions of "Citizen" and "Noncitizen", I can indeed provide an example of a country where, by law and on paper, non-citizens of various types (refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers etc.) have the same inalienable rights as "citizens".

It's called the United States of America.

Even ignoring the legal definition, let me quote you some very, very famous pieces of text. You may even know them.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

If you want America to "Be Great" again, try repeating these words to yourself until you understand them. When you do, repeat them to others.

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Big Brother

Trips

I had three trips planned to the US this year. A trade show event in Chicago, a Las Vegas weekend stag and Boston convention. All cancelled.

They can make whatever rules they want. I can choose to not go there.

PS. We need a stiff middle finger icon.

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Re: Trips

I'd been thinking of a holiday in the U.S. taking in the Grand Canyon, but bugger that now. I'm not visiting the Fascist States of America while the goon Trump is in charge. Plenty more places in the world to go.

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Unhappy

Re: Trips

An organization I belong to normally alternates conferences yearly between US and either Europe/Asia. Because of a great hosting proposal for last year, the last two years were non-US. Surprises abound, as suddenly this year's conference will now be in Spain. Spain as a better site for religious tolerance blows my mind, but fits the times.

I'm not sure this organization *can* ever again be hosted in the US. And I think the US might not notice, tolerance passé, more's the pity.

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Re: Trips

Well nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

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Re: Trips

Ditto, a minimum of two conferences cancelled. My view to my bosses (and those working on the conferences) was: "If Snowden can, so can I. We're a tech company FGS, we can make that work."

Hell, even today at a conference we had video conferencing running during presentations to make sure those who couldn't attend in person could attend remotely.

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Re: Trips

Good for you! Make sure that the venue is aware of why you canceled your trip. The more businesses are impacted and they know why, the less support the Oaf Filled Office will have for such nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trips

I had three trips planned to the US this year. A trade show event in Chicago, a Las Vegas weekend stag and Boston convention. All cancelled.

From your trip cadence, it appers likely that you are Canadian. If that is the case, I hope you do realise that Canadian CBP agents have very similar powers to search and impound all your electronic devices, as well as to make you produce your passwords - local or online. One major difference with the US is that the rules governing these searches are secret, or possibly have been deliberately not codified. As the result, you are entirely at the whim of the CBP agent you are dealing with, which is rarely a good thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trips

Quite right. I actually got told off at work for even mentioning the issue, the reason cited was "ties with US business".

If they want to support Trump when so many others agree with my position then that is their business.

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Re: Trips

Agreed. 'Er indoors retires at Christmas and we're going to celebrate with a 'once in a lifetime' trip. The short list was Grand Canyon/Vegas/San Francisco etc or New Zealand. The US trip would have allowed us to spend more time there for the available budget. However, we're now off to the travel agency at the end of the month to book the New Zealand adventure

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trips

New Zealand is awesome, you won't regret the choice.

(Not an anonymous Kiwi).

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Re: Trips

we cancelled this year's trip to the inlaws. I used to only have to worry about random people with guns, texting drivers in trucks, stray bears, dodgy infrastructure that can fall apart above or below you, and the odd overly assertive hobo demanding to be renumerated for their rendition of Kansas' Dust In The Wind.

As someone who tries not to be delusional, I can no longer in good faith trust that the authorities let both of us into the US, that we will be left alone when there, and let out when we want to.

Every policy so far has been more of a clusterfuck than any B-movie I have ever seen, overbearing, misapplied, illegal, unconstitutional but before all, directed as hateful actions towards anyone who is not brownnosing the screeching orange retard.If anything, it is becoming "Kafka: the reality show"

There is no way of knowing when exactly they are going to go full Kristallnacht, I hope they don't, but when they do, that's not the kind of vacation fun I am looking for.

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Re: Trips

I am in a position now where I can not get out of going to Baltimore this March. Now I know that they might want access to my Facebook and Twitter I shall quite happily follow the same process that I daresay Daesh fanatics use and simply create another user account and let them have that one.

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Re: Trips

New Zealand is awesome, you won't regret the choice.

Well, mostly anyway.. Though be sure about any waterways you wish to swim in, reports today indicate that our government has decided to end pollution by re-defining what is classed as "pollution" (disclaimer : haven't yet got around to looking at it in depth, just a few little bits on the radio as I've been out and about today).

I do however welcome you, and hope you enjoy your stay. You'll find most of the people welcoming, the beer horribly cold, not sure how you'd rate the food, the tap water wonderfully clean, and the scenery (often) beyond words. Just take note of anywhere you want to swim.

(Also not an anonymous Kiwi)

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Mushroom

Bollocks to Trump

They can demand all they want - I don't have anything to do with Twitter, Facebook or any of the other time-wasting crap on the net. Besides, there are plenty of places to go rather than the US.

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Re: Bollocks to Trump

"I don't have anything to do with Twitter, Facebook or any of the other time"

We don't believe you and if you don't comply, there's a lovely holiday camp in the Caribbean where you can stay until you reconsider.

Of course, while everyone must have one twitter/facebook/time-wasting crap account for posting cat videos, no one could possibly have a second account for nefarious reasons...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bollocks to Trump

Sorry to disappoint. No such accounts here.

My cat doesn't approve of them either.

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Re: Bollocks to Trump

No, this is Fake News. The story is the active component here, they're not going to do this. They want to hear you all bleat. Bahh Bahh Bahh.

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Re: Bollocks to Trump

RE: I don't have anything to do with Twitter, Facebook

They'll also want your theregister password

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Re: Also want your theregister password

My elReg password?

It was set up so long ago (time and emails) that only the fact my browser remembers the username/password allows me to post!

And yes - my machine has been replaced, probably multiple times, which does imply that at some stage I managed to guess the right email, and then brute force my own (admittedly formula based) password by repeated attempts.

Hmm - leave it with my Agent, I'll be able to hack in soon... really... sooooooon.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm a US citizen

And they asked me to turn over my phones and passwords the other day when coming back into the country. Fortunately I work for an international law firm, so I was aware of my rights, but too many travelers are not.

I suppose they were just trying to harass me because my co-workers and I were handing out flyers to other passengers that detailed their rights under international law and how rights under the US Constitution apply to everyone, regardless of citizenship status (except the stuff that explicitly uses the word 'citizen'). We got permission from the airline to do so beforehand, and they had their lawyers sign off on it as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

I had to visit the US last week.

I was waved straight through security with barely a glance.

Later on the plane realised I was listening to the audiobook of "In the high castle" so my phone's lock screen was the cover image = a Swastika on top of an American flag

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

"Later on the plane realised I was listening to the audiobook of "In the high castle" so my phone's lock screen was the cover image = a Swastika on top of an American flag"

Reminds me of flying into apartheid South Africa. It was only when customs asked if I had any books or magazines that I remembered the book in my pocket was "To Kill a Mocking Bird". Fortunately he was more concerned with confiscating things like Mayfair or Playboy - which the locals used to leave behind on their seats.

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Re: I'm a US citizen

Would be nice to know what those rights are and get that on printed material. The more travellers know what their rights are, the better.

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Re: I'm a US citizen

"my co-workers and I were handing out flyers to other passengers that detailed their rights under international law and how rights under the US Constitution apply to everyone, regardless of citizenship status"

Good for you - and colleagues. Don't suppose it's available for download is it?

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Coat

Re: I'm a US citizen

Yeah, they don't like that.

Held my wife up so long punishing her for asking for a pat down instead of going through the machine, she almost missed her flight. Then TSA was eyeballing me looking at my watch, wondering when/if she was going to make it, since I could *see* her from where I was in the terminal, and TSA comes over to hassle me...

Security Theatre...

*the one with no pockets, cuz TSA doesn't like that either...

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@anothercynic

"Would be nice to know what those rights are and get that on printed material. The more travellers know what their rights are, the better."

You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used to get you to return to your own country. You have a right to an attorney, but we don't allow you to use your phone to call one nor will we call one for you because you're not under arrest (yet) so there's no use.

Probably something like that :P

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Re: I'm a US citizen

We got permission from the airline to do so beforehand, and they had their lawyers sign off on it as well.

Which airline was that? I think they deserve a bit of positive publicity.

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Re: I'm a US citizen

To Kill a Mockingbird was okay. Had it as a setwork in high school.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

"To Kill a Mockingbird was okay."

I discovered later that it was on open sale in the equivalent of W H Smith's in Pretoria. As were the two very derogatory South African satirical novels of the expelled Tom Sharpe.

Never did fathom out the SA censor's criteria. Some people said that the censors were not fluent in English - so non-pictorial stuff went unchallenged. Amateur Photographer magazine often went on sale with its front cover torn off.

The "Carry On" films got away with double entendres - both verbal and visual. Normally they shredded "permissive" films - irrespective of plot relevance. There was general surprise when they passed "The Love Ban" (Anyone for Sex?) with some full frontal female nudity. It was explained that the censors probably wanted to promote its anti-Pope theme.

They gave "Dirty Harry" a "family viewing" certificate - after only cutting a fleeting view of a topless woman. The gory violence was left uncut.

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Re: I'm a US citizen

Ask Pieter-Dirk Uys (one of South Africa's best satirists) about the fun he used to have with the South African Censor Board, especially when he had a new show to promote... *smirk*

Yeah, I'm old enough to remember the man and his antics.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

As were the two very derogatory South African satirical novels of the expelled Tom Sharpe.

The part where a bishop gets charged with willful genuflection by the police is just brilliant :)

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Re: @anothercynic

"You have the right to remain silent"

...unless we're asking for one of your account handles and/or passwords/PINs, in which case remaining silent will be considered threatening national security.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

"The part where a bishop gets charged with willful genuflection by the police is just brilliant"

Fnarr, fnarr...

</Frankie Howerd mode>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

"Would be nice to know what those rights are and get that on printed material. The more travellers know what their rights are, the better."

I'll see if I can find an English copy of it, all I have is the copies for Middle Eastern languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Kurdish, Turkish, etc). The other language versions are normally hosted on our website, but its been down for the last few weeks due to DDoS.

But essentially it is a re-printing of select sections of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (Specifically 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 11, etc and short explanations of with those mean to a foreign citizen. (particularly, that while they may be able to turn you back, they can't detain you without cause). As well as some excerpts from the Vienna Accords and various other agreements.

One of the first things listed is that they have the inalienable right to have a private conversation with a representative of their country or a country that is delegated that capability. The others at the top include the concept of Due Process and the Miranda Rights.

The rest is mostly about due process, the right not to incriminate one's self, the right to a trial by jury, and similar rights. There is also a list of organizations and non-profits that will provide legal representation. We're working with the Human Rights Council to get them printer and fully distributed. We're also talking to a couple airlines about having them included with the Customs Declaration forms that passengers are given.

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Re: I'm a US citizen

I've only been to the US once. Returning from Boston a couple of years ago the staff couldn't have been friendlier or more accommodating when I asked for a pat down instead of a body scan. (I don't like body scanners of whatever flavour for health reasons). The TSA agent was professional, friendly and chatty and far better mannered than the goons who greeted me at Heathrow.

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Re: I'm a US citizen

We got permission from the airline to do so beforehand, and they had their lawyers sign off on it as well.

What airline? I'd like to reward them with my business.

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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird

It's like these nutters who 'smuggle' bibles into China. You can buy a bible (or a Koran, or the texts of any major religion) in any Chinese big-city major bookshop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm a US citizen

"What airline? I'd like to reward them with my business."

KLM's Middle East subsidiary (Might have actually been KLM themselves, not sure how their corporate structure works)

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Joke

Re: I'm a US citizen

The TSA agent was professional, friendly and chatty and far better mannered than the goons who greeted me at Heathrow.

"Heathrow? This is TSA Boston. Hey listen, we got a guy named Mark Jan on his way over to you. Yeah that's him. Hey listen, he asked for a pat-down rather than a trip through our body-scanner, and he had this weird look about him as we did it. You might want to give him some extra attention when he arrives".

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Trollface

"only block those [..] who have never entered the country previously"

Oh, you mean like those terrorists who scout the target area months or years in advance ?

So you'll let those guys through because they've already been here. Well done. Way to Keep America Safe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "only block those [..] who have never entered the country previously"

"those terrorists who scout the target area months or years in advance"

I call those people White, Racist, Christian, Fuckheads. You dirtbag Christians were bombing the US well before the Muslims got the idea. And you're all immigrants! Every last White American Idiot is an immigrant from some other country, not North America. Still, don't let your hypocrisy hit you in the ass on the way out!

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Re: "only block those [..] who have never entered the country previously"

Broken irony detector?

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