back to article Muslim American woman sues US border cops: Gimme back my seized iPhone's data!

An American woman is suing the US government's Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection to get the data border agents copied from her phone. Rejhane Lazoja said that when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on February 26 after a nine-hour transatlantic flight, she was subjected to a secondary …

  1. ratfox Silver badge
    Trollface

    Can I also have my drawing of a spider back please?

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Sorry to disappoint but 'shutterstock_women_phone.jpg' probably isn't the actual lady.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Don't you recognize models when you see them? ;-)

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Joke

          RE: Big John

          Women? I read through the entire article thinking they were mailboxes!

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Maybe it did, but unless it was material to a warrant, then Shirley this sits in the none of their damn business category.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Adam 1

        Funny thing about the US law. Depending on where you are, unless there's a SCOTUS case, there are going to be judicial decisions that support either side. They point to two cases and I'm sure that there are cases that they ignore that say otherwise.

        Look at all of the cases where the US and other countries force you to provide passwords or decrypt your drives/files for them to copy and review at a later time.

        The women will lose.

        The group that is supporting their case is CAIR which IIRC has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and is also the one's behind the 'Clock Boy Bomber' case where the father pulled his son out of school and sued the school because he walked around with a 'home made clock'* which wasn't among other things.

        Not the best choice of supporters who are trying to suggest that they are targeted only because they are Muslim.

        Now if the US Government had a fraction of the data that FB or Google has on you... they wouldn't need to do this.

        You think the US Government is bad... there's a long list of countries that are worse. Try being a foreigner coming in to the UK and while you're following all of the right policies, still have cbp tell you that you're in violation and threatening to send you back because they don't know the law as well as they think. Even after you call a phone number to speak with a government representative for something like 99 pence a minute.

        * Clock boy... taking a circuit board from an Alarm clock and putting it in a case made to look like a bomb is not technically advanced, although it did solicit praise from Obama and fooled some liberal minded folks from MIT who later went silent when some people (including those from the UK) pointed out what he had done.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

          Re: @Adam 1

          * Clock boy... taking a circuit board from an Alarm clock and putting it in a case made to look like a bomb is not technically advanced, although it did solicit praise from Obama and fooled some liberal minded folks from MIT who later went silent when some people (including those from the UK) pointed out what he had done.

          A pencil case, for God's sake?

          How could circuitry in a pencil case look like a bomb?

          The group that is supporting their case is CAIR which IIRC has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood

          Says who? The UAE's foreign affairs minister who added half of Europe's Islamic organizations to his list, without ample citation for why each was added, leaving people looking for answers?

          Until the UAE provides ample proof, this particular circumstance cannot be used as evidence.

          (Don't know if there's any other evidence linking CAIR to the Islamic Brotherhood, but this seems to be the only reason cited by the FBI for having severed their relationship with CAIR)

          Even after you call a phone number to speak with a government representative for something like 99 pence a minute.

          The US and Canada have a system of state-funded legal aid, so the United States provides you with a legal representative should you be unable to get one.

          Or maybe you mean "a representative of your home government"? This is also provided free of charge.

          Get your facts straight, please ... :-)

          1. ExSophist

            Re: @Adam 1 and his "Get your facts straight, please..."

            Facts straight??? Try using them.

            The clock was NOT in a PENCIL CASE as you claim. It was placed and displayed in a standard-sized business-like briefcase. That left lots of room for highly destructive energetic chemical compounds. The numeric display alone was, to put it simply...huge...and even it alone would not fit in a "pencil case"...never mind the support electronics and battery in the manner in which he had them arranged and displayed. You can see a picture of the briefcase and the clock components as he had it setup, on Wiki.

            CAIR was listed by US prosecutors as an unindicted co-consipirator in the "9/11" attack on the United States.

            In the US, government provided "Free of charge" legal counsel is NOT provided until AFTER you have been arrested, and then after that you must also prove you cannot afford it on your own. So, when you are detained or simply need help dealing with a US government situation, you can't just say I want free legal aid and have it magically and instantly appear. However, there are some not-for-profit NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) that one may be able to convince to help you...but they usually only do so for serious criminal charges as their caseloads are high and their resources are limited. However, according to Wiki, in the UK, it's more expansive. The UK government must provide legal counsel upon request even if one is just being questioned.

            1. ExSophist

              Re: @Adam 1 and his "Get your facts straight, please..."

              The "edit" timer expired for my earlier comment, so I'm just adding this additional thought...

              The clock's briefcase was large enough that even just placing formed sheets of highly energetic chemical compounds and small ball-bearings in the LINING of the briefcase, could provide enough energy to take out an entire room. So, even if such a briefcase "looks empty"...and "innocent", it could still enable someone to make it a very deadly device.

              Given the look of the overall package and today's society and ongoing threats of terrorism, I believe those involved were right to take it seriously as a potential safety threat...no matter how innocent looking the person was who made it or who may have presented it as his or her own work. It should be noted that when a person claims to have made something doesn't necessarily mean he or she was in fact the person who did so. Terrorists have and do work through innocent proxies.

              1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

                Re: @Adam 1 and his "Get your facts straight, please..."

                It is indeed an 8-inch pencil case: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/irving/2015/11/23/letter-demands-5-million-and-an-apology-for-ahmeds-treatment-over-clock

                Also see the picture released by the Irving PD: The device is *in* the suitcase, not the suitcase itself.

            2. PTSF

              Re: @Adam 1 and his "Get your facts straight, please..."

              Here's the picture from the Irving PD. Look at the standard AC plug to the right of the pencil box. Using the electric plug as a reference, it's simple to determine that the pencil case is nowhere near the size of a briefcase. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Mohamed_clock_incident#/media/File:Ahmed_Mohamed_Clock_by_Irving_PD.jpg

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are zero rights at the border...

    And "the border" extends inland by 161km, thus the "no rights zone" is covering about 80% of the entire population.

    It's pure comedy.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: There are zero rights at the border...

      It's pure comedy.

      Indeed, but without the laugh track.

      1. dbtx Bronze badge

        without the laugh track

        ...which is good, because being reminded that that something was supposed to be funny, or someone assuming that I need to be reminded, is not funny.

    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: There are zero rights at the border...

      Note that "inland" is a bit of a misnomer. The "border" (and Constitution Exclusion Zone) surrounds any airport with at least one international flight. I don't know how frequent that flight has to be. Maybe they just have to launch a yearly weather balloon headed in the general direction of Canada or Mexico?

      All your rights are belong to U.S.!

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: There are zero rights at the border...

        I think you're a little naive about this.

        Show me a country where they don't have the same right to question and search you and your things.

        Some countries are more advanced than others so YMMV.

        Rejhane Lazoja said that when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on February 26 after a nine-hour transatlantic flight, she was subjected to a secondary screening by CBP agents who, over the course of the inspection, seized her iPhone 6S Plus.

        So where had she been? The article doesn't say anything other than she came to the US off a trans Atlantic flight.

        Imagine that you have an arrest record for being caught with a joint, plead guilty and then paid the fine. Now you travel to Japan only to be turned away at the border because of your drug conviction...

        Even the UK has turned away American celebrities over jail time or over prior drug convictions in the US.

        The point is that every country has similar rules/regs that limit your freedom at the border.

        Oh and BTW, even at the airport, you won't be stopped unless its coming off an international flight.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: There are zero rights at the border...

          "Show me a country where they don't have the same right to question and search you and your things."

          The UK is to my best knowledge unique among European countries in that you can get jail for not providing a PW. In the US you do have the right to keep silent too.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: There are zero rights at the border...

      So in order to get out of the no rights zone you have to live in Deliverance land, where they all voted for Trump.

      Heads they win, tails you lose.

    4. ExSophist

      Re: There are zero rights at the border...

      As I undertand it, in the US the "no rights zone" also applies to inland international airports far from the physical border...so just being X miles or klicks from the border doesn't protect a traveler from such things.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

    UnTick american airlines and all possibilities of stopovers in any US city.

    Why?

    Who wants to deal with TSA, Border Control, US Immigration screening?

    Let Trump win, stop going there for tourism or conferences, if possible.

    It'll take months to get devices back and who knows what was slurped...

    After 2 decades I quit! The country is dying in a Fall of Rome moment.

    There's so many interesting places to visit on this rock. Go elsewhere!

    ~~~~

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-01/trump-visa-rules-hurt-international-tourism

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-27/u-s-travel-industry-fears-a-lost-decade-under-trump

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-17/how-to-reverse-america-s-foreign-tourist-problem

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

      I'd do that, but I live in the US.

      But, I do have an upside. If they try to search my iPhone, it's protected and I'd have it wiped immediately *and* give the TSA a butt rash. The phone is a US DoD provided phone.

      I land, connect to the internet on my DoD provided computer and send a wipe signal to our specialized software.

      And coming to think of it, I'll store the PIN for the device on a classified network. Tell the TSA agent that the PIN is classified, which it then would be and if he or she insists, have them arrested for espionage.

      Which laughably, is literally the law in the US!

      1. AndyS

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        > Which laughably, is literally the law in the US!

        I thought the law stopped applying some time in 2016?

        1. james 68

          Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          Only if your rich, buddies with a Trump, or of Russian background.

        2. JohnMurray

          Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          #Fake_News

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        Tell the TSA agent that the PIN is classified, which it then would be and if he or she insists, have them arrested for espionage.

        No, what happens is you tell the TSA agent that the pin is classified and he or she gets out the rubber gloves and asks you to step this way please. They will make enquires as to whether or not you do work for the DoD afterwards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          That may not be wise, given this is the Department of DEFENSE (aka the military) we're talking here. It can get pretty nasty if two Cabinet departments become at odds, especially if one of them is Defense. I would think a counter to the threat of rubber gloves would be a threat to have a serious talk at the Pentagon about how TSA handles its people.

          1. SolidSquid

            Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

            Could also be considered trying to obtain classified information through coercion, which would make it a *hell* of a lot worse for the TSA agent

          2. Fatman Silver badge

            Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

            <quote> It can get pretty nasty if two Cabinet departments become at odds, especially if one of them is Defense. I would think a counter to the threat of rubber gloves would be a threat to have a serious talk at the Pentagon a secluded Cuban resort about how TSA handles its people.</quote>

            There

            FTFY

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Dan 55 Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          He's blowing smoke. (He's spouting nonsense.)

          First, its not TSA, but CBP. Two different agencies with different training and responsibilities. CBP carry guns. TSA agents do not.

          A TSA agent will not ask you for your phone or other electronic devices. In theory they could but when traveling within the states, you have certain rights that don't apply when entering the country.

          If the moke had a DoD provided phone, depending on where he was going... he would be told to leave the phone at home.

          If he had a DoD phone and a DoD id, he would not be hassled by CBP unless he did something stupid. (Which in this case.. sounds likely)

          Must be friends with that chick who just got 63 months for leaking files.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Dan 55 When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

            > Must be friends with that chick patriot who just got 63 months for leaking files. revealing to the American citizens how it was known that the Russians had been involved in election rigging, yet it was being covered up.

            FTFY

        3. LucreLout Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          No, what happens is you tell the TSA agent that the pin is classified and he or she gets out the rubber gloves and asks you to step this way please. They will make enquires as to whether or not you do work for the DoD afterwards.

          That's just a normal part of the security approval process these days. He'll barely feel it ;-)

      3. Velv Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        Wzrd1: “The phone is a US DoD provided phone.

        So no need for them to seize the phone at the border to copy the data, they already have access to it.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          "So no need for them to seize the phone at the border to copy the data, they already have access to it."

          I seriously doubt that the DoD and the TSA have that level of information sharing going on.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Wzrd1 Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        Funny, but you do realize that if you travel to certain locations... you don't take the DoD provided phone with you, right?

        Second if you use the DoD provided phone all of that information is already captured by the US Government, including your personal calls.

        Third, depending on why you have a DoD provided phone, you may or may not have a special passport so that when you travel, you have certain rights/courtesies extended to you.

        Fourth...you could be called out on your 'classified PIN' BS because you may or may not have the right to call something classified. Back in the day, had you done that... it would be grounds for you to lose your clearance and your job.

        And finally... do you think you fit the profile of someone that needs to be stopped?

        Personally, I've never had issues with CBP, or TSA.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Wzrd1 When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          And finally... do you think you fit the profile of someone that needs to be stopped?

          I got a bit of the extra search treatment going through security getting to a connecting flight in Atlanta en route from one US Army base to another for a security conference. I used my DoD issued ID when identification was required (it sped up processing). The full body scanner thing directed the TSA agent to search my ponytail. From a comment he made, that was the first time that had happened for him. I'm white, male and was dressed in business casual. Interesting profile match if there was one.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

            @AC Re: @Wzrd1 When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

            So you got selected out randomly to do the full body scan x-ray?

            And your pony tail triggered it to be searched?

            Wow.

            I've been randomly selected. Not a problem except when my arm was in a sling post shoulder surgery.

            Now if I am randomly selected... I will have to be patted down and get the wand because I wear a Freestyle Libre glucose monitor on my arm and its recommended not to be exposed to x-rays.

            Big whoop. Add an extra 5 mins for security and you'll be fine.

            Oh and get a friggin hair cut you hippy, and stay off my lawn! :-P

      5. OldSod

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        I don't think the legal landscape is as wonky as suggested: "And coming to think of it, I'll store the PIN for the device on a classified network. Tell the TSA agent that the PIN is classified, which it then would be and if he or she insists, have them arrested for espionage."

        The simple act of putting the PIN on a classified network would not make the PIN itself classified (it would make access to the PIN through the classified network require a security clearance, but not access to it through other means). The PIN exists outside of the classified network, and no reason exists for the data that is the PIN to become classified. If merely storing data on a classified network made that data classified, then a lot of public domain news would be classified as it is ingested into classified networks for analysis and situational awareness. If the PIN was classified, it would be illegal for a cleared individual to use it on the phone itself, as the phone is not authorized for the storage of classified data.

      6. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        "I'd do that, but I live in the US"

        I have the same problem.

        "If they try to search my iPhone"

        Your solution to this is better than mine -- my solution is that I don't bring my phone on flights. I ship that ahead to my destination along with the rest of my "luggage", and carry a burner for emergencies. That way, nothing needs to be searched, nothing will get stolen or broken, and nothing gets lost along the way.

        1. Christian Harten

          Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

          So basically, you behave like a criminal would to circumvent CBP violating your rights? That's bizarre.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

            I actually started shipping my luggage ahead to my destination long before airport "security" became intolerable. It prevents my luggage from getting lost or damaged. I stopped taking electronics with me after it became clear that they actually were confiscating and/or copying the contents of devices. Using a burner during the actual trip is no big sacrifice, so why take the risk?

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

      Funny, but all countries do this.

      You just have to tick enough red flags.

      I guess you don't travel enough and the paranoia is showing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'I guess you don't travel enough and the paranoia is showing'

        Name other countries that confiscate devices, and for months?

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: 'I guess you don't travel enough and the paranoia is showing'

          Really?

          Go down the list.

          Try going to UAE after visiting Israel on the same passport. ;-)

          It all depends on who you are and what passport you carry.

          1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Re: 'I guess you don't travel enough and the paranoia is showing'

            Mr Gumby, we concede, you're correct. The USA has a similar approach to policing as the UAE. Finally something we can all agree on.

    3. GerryBerry

      Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

      Hey, go ahead, travel the world! See first hand what a shithole the majority of the rest of the world is compared to the US! You guys have it sweet over there yet you don't appreciate what you've got.... 'til it's gone!

      So, travel the world! Get a yourself an education to the realities that other peoples have to endure, and think your lucky stars you were born in the USA.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        I have travelled the world.

        The country that I felt the least free in was the one that is always banging on about being the land of the free.

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        That's some /r/ShitAmericansSay material there.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

        So, you think that as long as there are nations that are worse than the US, then everything is OK? I disagree.

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Class action

    If these searches taking place after Trumps presidential twittering are illegal and unconstitutional, perhaps everyone should join this lady in a class action against not only HS but Trump personally for issuing said unconstitutional tweet. Go for damages too.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Class action

      Wow. TDS is alive and well.

      You do realize that post 9/11 these laws were put in to place and existed under Obama. You can go back and google cases where people were being asked to unlock their smart phones.

      But hey!

      Lets not stop a good rant against Trump that isn't based on any rational thought.

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    Copyright

    If she had any music, video use the powerful US copyright laws to give them grief.

    After all, copying is theft according to big media companies.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Copyright

      After all, copying is theft according to big media companies.

      But the media companies would probably sue you for making copyrighted material available; they will go after the easy target.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copyright

      It's theft according to the Constitution and Law of the United States.

      You're just being selective which parts of the Constitution you wish to see applied.

      In addition:

      "Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author", according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

      So you're being selective about which Human Rights you want to uphold, too.

      Basically you're just being selective.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Copyright

        "It's theft according to the Constitution and Law of the United States"

        No, it's really not. It's a violation of copyright law, but it isn't legally "theft".

  7. _LC_ Bronze badge
    Flame

    Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

    :O(

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

      Do not confuse entering the USA and entering any other country.

      Practically every single democratic country in the world is quite polite and somewhat subdued in its border controls - the USA is the only one I have ever been to to be so stuck-up and openly paranoid about visitors.

      And yet, they still come.

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

        Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

        "[O]penly paranoid about visitors"?

        Paranoid of their OWN citizens, also.

        At a bridge border entry from Canada, my family (me driving) got told to pull over where directed, get out of the car, go in a building, and wait. The agents looked in the back of our SUV, saw it was chock FULL of luggage and personal stuff, but luckily also found my vacation planning binder, and decided all was okay and we could move on.

        I wasn't watching -- lest I appear even MORE suspicious -- so how do I know? First, they left the rear liftgate ajar (when it's full you have to SLAM it closed); second, the binder was between the front seat and center console, but they left it on the seat. Nothing else was moved, and at no point did they ask for our phones (or cameras, or the kids' tablets, or my wife's laptop -- most of these being put away together in a hard-sided case for protection and out of sight of potential burglars at rest stops).

        My wife may never joke about my planning, logistical, and documentation skills ever again. It's more than a good idea; it saved our butts!

        (We had a great vacation after that and didn't have any similar trouble at any subsequent crossings. This was only about six weeks ago, so I haven't made any crossings since getting home.)

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

        As I said this before...

        Try visiting UAE after visiting Israel.

        1. Moosh
          Boffin

          Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

          Try visiting India if you have Pakistani heritage. You will literally be denied a Visa.

          My manager was scheduled to go over for a business trip to visit Tata Consultancy Services. However, his heritage is Pakistani, and they refused his Visa, despite him being a UK citizen.

          Try visiting numerous middle eastern nations if you have previously visited Israel.

          My mother got questioned at Israeli passport control because she'd previously visited Egypt.

          Its fine to be judgemental when you live in a developed country with a lot of freedoms but if you actually travel it becomes blindingly apparent that many parts of the world are much more stringent, and not necessarily fair.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

            It[']s fine to be judgemental when you live in a developed country with a lot of freedoms but if you actually travel it becomes blindingly apparent that many parts of the world are much more stringent, and not necessarily fair.

            Good, then we'll continue to be judgemental.

            Poor behavior by other governments does not excuse poor behavior by the US. I'm mystified that a few people here seem to think that it does.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

            "Try visiting India if you have Pakistani heritage. You will literally be denied a Visa."

            So what happens when the two countries have to play cricket with each other (as both have Test status)? Do they have to use a neutral venue?

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

          Try visiting UAE after visiting Israel.

          "Try visiting Mordor after visiting Orthanc."

          Yes, that's a compelling analogy you have there. Perhaps some people hope for something a bit better? Like, oh, the rule of law, rather than just some abysmally low standard set by a repressive regime.

          But by all means keep repeating it. You'll get the hang of arguing eventually.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            @Michael Wojcik Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

            Dude,

            You do realize that while you travel on a country's passport (US, UK, etc ...) you are still going to face questions due to regional conflicts that you have no skin in that game.

            Clearly you don't know anything about the 'rule of law' when it comes to border control or border enforcement. You take things for granted and don't realize just how easy it is to get in to trouble.

            For those of us who have been thru this its no joke.

          2. Numapepi

            Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

            They are comparing like for like...

            Ie. UAE and India, and shouldn't be attacked for it.

            EVERY nation guards it's boarders.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

          > Try visiting UAE after visiting Israel.

          As was said before, you are saying the USA is like the UAE.

          You're not really setting the bar very high, are you?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Entering a country becomes more and more like entering a prison.

            You also forget India and Israel. If those two are low bars, then the bar must be pretty low EVERYWHERE.

            And note, a lot of these are speaking from firsthand experience. My own firsthand experience tells be to be cautious no matter where you go.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what happens to an American Citizen

    A Brit in the same position has zero rights as a foreign national

  9. PapaD

    Which is why

    When travelling to the USA, you take no digital items. Easy enough to buy a phone and SIM in the USA and likely will be cheaper to use whilst you are there.

    As for your laptop, up to you - you could create a ghost image, upload the image somewhere secure, and then securely wipe your laptop and leave only a clean install. This won't stop them installing hardware based bugging, or some of the more extreme variants of malware that can survive a full wipe - but they won't get anything about you from the device.

    Then wipe it as best you can, before putting the ghost image back on - rinse and repeat on the way hom (just in case)

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Which is why

      If your laptop is a business model (Lenovo ThinkPad, HP EliteBook, ...) as preferred by many techies, you have the black box called Intel vPro. Only God knows what's in there, or what could be uploaded there (remember, the thing is closed source, all knowledge we have is by reverse-engineering).

      It's already been shown that the thing is a huge security risk with access to the whole friggin' laptop!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which is why

      If you are going to go that far, just buy a cheap hard drive, replace, reload OS and some basic freebee email software and office software, and then beat the hell out of the drive once you have returned home. The insert your regular drive.

    3. Numapepi

      Re: Which is why

      Every advice I read about traveling says to buy a burner phone.

      Even back in the 1980s crossing into the US from Canada was a pain... especially for US citizens. I have some horror stories from that era. I will say though... back then, they were pretty cool about cases of Canadian beer from the duty free store. :)

  10. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Newark Liberty International Airport?

    Liberty? Is airport naming now following the ironic country naming convention:

    German Democratic Republic

    Democratic People's Republic of Korea

  11. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Was travelling with a guy...

    ...who was US Govt employee, but looked *precisely* like a slightly shorter version of Osama Bin Laden. Same mannerisms, mode of dress, and so forth.

    Flying into the U.S. we got pulled from the queue and my guy postures up a bit and says importantly, "I am a government employee."

    But CBP Agent doesn't bat an eyelash, change expression, or anything. He just says drily, "Absolutely. If you say so, sir, you are. But the question becomes, for which government do you work?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was travelling with a guy...

      How do you know how tall Bin Laden was?!

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: Was travelling with a guy...

        How tall was Bin Laden? If I remember correctly it was listed as 6' 5" / 1.95m. Bad old days. We had these playing cards with photos and descriptions on the back ... the theory being the information would get absorbed into your head somehow (dont ask). If I remember correctly he was the ace of spades.

        My guy was only 5' 10" or so, otherwise I would have turned him in for the $ years ago.

        Proud veteran of Operation Enduring Clusterf$ck...

  12. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Boffin

    Lots of Stupidity...

    Wow,

    First, there are a lot of red flags with this lawsuit.

    Its a non starter and a fail, however when you consider that CAIR is behind it... you'll understand why. Note:This is the same CAIR that was behind the 'clock boy' incident down in Texas and who's father's lawsuit got tossed by the courts. (Also same CAIR that is associated w Muslim Brotherhood which is labeled a terrorist organization by the US and other countries.)

    Second, a lot of anti-US / anti-Trump BS. When you consider that the laws that allow CBP to do this have been in place since 9/11, this has nothing to do with Trump. Google for articles about CBP forcing you to unlock and unencrypt your phone during Obama's tenure. (oops! so this isn't about Trump after all)

    Third... all passengers are profiled. Some countries are better at it than others. You want to talk about horror stories against the US, I can share some with the UK where I was told one thing by the UK government yet got hassled by your Passport Control who didn't care that I was in compliance. Now every time I go to the UK, until I get a new passport, I have to spend 15+ minutes explaining why I have certain stamps in my passport.

    Travel enough internationally for work and you will start to see that other countries are no better and sometimes worse than the US.

    Try going to Israel and then to UAE or Saudi Arabia. You'll have fun explaining that one for a while.

    Some of the advice given here is a joke. BTW, if you are going to spend time in a foreign country outside of the EU, buying a second phone makes sense. Its cheaper to get a local number and still be able to get emergency calls on your local phone. Of course YMMV now that you can use wi-fi to make calls.

    Its sad that in today's world, most get their news and cannot establish facts from opinion and look at the news objectively.

    1. _LC_ Bronze badge

      Re: Lots of Stupidity...

      "BTW, if you are going to spend time in a foreign country outside of the EU, buying a second phone makes sense. Its cheaper to get a local number and still be able to get emergency calls on your local phone."

      Better phones have two (or more) SIM-slots for that. ;-)

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Lots of Stupidity...

        "Better phones have two (or more) SIM-slots for that. ;-)"

        You can't really rely on that going to the US as LTE Band III is taken (1.8GHz was already in use by the government before LTE was even a thing). The chief LTE Bands in the US are II (shared), IV (T-Mobile), XIII (Verizon) and XVII (AT&T). Now, I don't know about newer phones, but I always kept an unlocked Galaxy S5 on hand for international travel because it at least supported Band III, and I usually look for an inexpensive local phone just in case. Band issues are the main reason I don't get much truck for dual-SIMs (the phone still has to support the correct bands in any event, and some of the carriers like Sprint use the newer TDD-LTE rather than the more traditional FDD-LTE used by the above).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots of Stupidity...

      >happened under obama blah blah

      So? People are complaining about the issue, not the president.

      And when will the right wing nut jobs realise the "left" don't hero-worship a leader, and act like they are part of a team/gang. Throwing the "whattabout obama" doesn't have the stinging effect it does on you guys when your orange god is criticised.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Lots of Stupidity...

        >>>And when will the right wing nut jobs realise the "left" don't hero-worship a leader, and act like they are part of a team/gang.<<<

        Not been to the UK recently? :)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @DatMafia Re: Don't fall for this

      You remember the 'Clock boy'?

      And I don't remember what CAIR did regarding those honor killings here in the US.

      My nephew did his undergrad in the UK. Now my sister and her hubby are working hard to help teach him how the world really works.

      The left has lovely ideas. Except when it comes time to pay for them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @DatMafia Don't fall for this

        Whilst the right has billions for bombs and tax cuts for the rich.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't fall for this

      > If your [sic] connected to a dubious organization with known ties to orgs that support terror, like CAIR is, don't be surprised you're a suspect

      It does not matter if you are the devil in person. Communications between you and your lawyer are still privileged. Even if your lawyer is Mr J. Iscariot, Esq.

      The moment the State starts ignoring those rules that do not suit them, you no longer have a Rechtsstaat. Things can go downwards very quickly from there.

  14. OldSod

    US customs has always had the authority to search through goods being brought into the United States, whether by a citizen or a visitor. I'm fairly certain every country reserves that right, and some probably exercise it even more frequently than the United States.

    What is an evolving point of law is whether the right to search goods being brought into the United States includes the right to search through information contained on an electronic device, as opposed to merely searching the material nature of the electronic device, especially if the person to whom the electronic device belongs is a US citizen. There have been several somewhat recent court decisions that seem to be pushing back on the US customs claim that they have the authority to search the information as well as the physical device; it is unclear to me where the ball will fall with the final spin of the roulette wheel. It is difficult for the customs folks to claim that their search is necessary to prevent the introduction of illegal information into the US, or to claim that it is necessary in order to enforce US tax law or tariffs on the information, as far more information flows in (and out) of the US on data networks. In the case of a citizen, searching through that citizen's information (without a warrant) seems like an unwarranted invasion of privacy (pun intended), that murky right described (somewhat) in the 4th amendment to the US Constitution.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > US customs has always had the authority to search through goods being brought into the United States, whether by a citizen or a visitor. I'm fairly certain every country reserves that right

      The difference being that in the civilised world there are limits, and accessing personal information is one of those.

      Not even in Israel, where they have a habit of disassembling your electronics into its discrete components (and give you all the bits for you to put back together during the flight) will they access your personal information, be that the contents of your laptop or your handwritten diary.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was going to mention the diary aspect.

        To the OP, sure the governments can do what they like, but wouldn't you be pissed if your wife had her 300 page personal diary with her and they demanded to xerox it?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Burner phone

    Ideally something very antiquated like an old Panasonic EB-G350 brick (have one, it almost works) with its software modified so that it plays "Snake" on that horrible screen, its NiMH battery replaced with a slimline 2800mAh unit and multistandard wireless/uUSB/Lightning charging/tether.

    Extra bonus points: replace all the LEDs with nice jaundice green (tm) 900mcd 0603 diodes.

    If you really want to get sneaky put an RGB pair on the display so it has full colour capability and 4G internal bridge modem PCB so it can seamlessly work on new and old networks.

    Yet to see anyone try and OLED hack one of these but it is possible.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Zebo-the-Fat

    Curious

    I'm curious, I have a phone provided by my employer, I am allowed to use it for private calls and emails. If I am stopped at the airport and asked to hand over the phone and or passwords, can I do that, as the phone does not belong to me and my employer has told me to NEVER reveal company confidential information to anyone?

    If it was a weekend there would be no one available at the office to contact

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Curious

      Not a lawyer, but yes, you are obliged to hand over the data, since it's an officer who's asking for the data, and non-compliance can get you in trouble with the law.

      That's the crux of the issue, and that's a part of the reason why people here are pissed off.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Curious

      > I'm curious, I have a phone provided by my employer, I am allowed to use it for private calls and emails. If I am stopped at the airport and asked to hand over the phone and or passwords, can I do that

      Your company should have a policy that should have been communicated to you covering these eventualities.

      Some company policies focus on removing the probability of occurrence (by avoiding travel to backward places) while others try to minimise the severity (e.g., by making you leave your devices at home and pick up loaners or new ones on the other side).

  17. Hasdrubal

    Why such unrelated cases?

    The cases listed in the article have _nothing_ to do with border searches, which have their own specific rules and where the 4th Amendment barely applies.

    Why not refer to cases that are directly related to this one, like United States v. Kolsuz (4th circuit) or United States v. Cotterman (9th circuit) where the courts ruled that the government needs to have at least some reasonable suspicion to search phones at the border. Unless this is in the 11th circuit where United States v. Touset is the controlling decision which basically states that if it's OK to disassemble a truck on a whim in search for contraband (United States v. Flores-Montano, Supreme Court), there's no reason to believe that the government needs a reasonable suspicion to search a cell phone.

    Since there is a circuit split this case might be an attempt to get the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. Then again, my money is that this is a losing proposition with the current composition as even some of the liberal judges aren't too big on protecting privacy at the border.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Why such unrelated cases?

      Because they're the ones Lazoja's lawyers cited.

      C.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[T]he Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

    You would think that with the 1939-1945 events being such a popular subject in the History Channel and amongst Hollywood script writers, those words should cause intense and immediate alarm even amongst the least informed.

    1. peter_dtm
      Flame

      Re: "[T]he Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

      What ?

      Pardon ?

      You do realise that that particular example was about keeping people IN a country before murdering. Similar to Cambodia (Pohl Pott); China (Culteral Revolution) assorted genocides in Russia/USSR.

      So a country reserves the right to examine you at the border - most Arab states (Saudi of course reserves the right to examine every storage device; and no encryption is allowed); most African; a lot of American states (including the big one in the northern part) oh and most European states do exactly that.

      ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HELL OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM

      However you may like to research what happened to the refuges from that period who were refused entry into all sorts of surprising countries; um; you could start with the Exodus - refugee ship.

      You obviously failed to understand anything taught to you in history

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "[T]he Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

        Why do you support a political system that screws you out of your money, forcing the populace to be wage slaves, whilst the oligarchy reap the rewards? Especially when you see how better off others have it.. [YEAH.. BUT GUNS.. KICK ASS... FREEEEDUM]

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "[T]he Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

        > So a country reserves the right to examine you at the border

        Dear Peter, no UN member state¹ may, in the legitimate exercise of its sovereignty, discriminate against people by reason of their metaphysical / religious convictions, culture or ethnicity.

        ¹ If one is of the opinion that human rights are a consuetudinary part of international law, then non-UN members are also included.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "[T]he Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

          "Dear Peter, no UN member state¹ may, in the legitimate exercise of its sovereignty, discriminate against people by reason of their metaphysical / religious convictions, culture or ethnicity."

          Says nothing about the places or people said people have visited.

  19. Herby

    Cross a border...

    ...Subject to search (typically for contraband, but I digress).

    That's been the rule for many an eon.

    Deal with it.

    My experience: I was with my brother, his wife and two younger siblings crossing (by land) from Germany (west at the time) to France. They decided to search our VW camper bus, and the first thing they looked at was my younger sister's dirty laundry. We sat at the side and ate slices of salami. It was quite entertaining. This was back when there were 4DM to the dollar, so that might date it.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "the first thing they looked at was my younger sister's dirty laundry"

      Maybe you encountered some fetishists? Anyway back then in Western Europe most of the checks was for contraband.

    2. GrapeBunch Silver badge

      Re: Cross a border...

      Saarkinder salaam searchers, slammed for slimy salami sandwiches.

      ... might have been the El Reg headline, back in 1969. Going into Canada, it's likely you'd be done for meat products, which at least would be confiscated. BSE and all.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do Muslims and economic migrant believe they are above the law?

    Why do Muslims and economic migrant in general always believe they are above the law and have more rights?

    Fact is, they are wrong, and should act accordingly, like a visitor. Or do they believe if we come to their third world country we would be allowed to act like that? We would face jail time in no time there. Because foreigners have a hard time, and aren't handled that lightly there. One has to adapt to the local culture there or leave the country. Not so here, where we Muslims and economic migrant in general are almost above the law, and can do what ever they please. Crazy new world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why do Muslims and economic migrant believe they are above the law?

      Switch off fox and concentrate.... she is AN AMERICAN CITIZEN

      Not that that mistake excuses your brainless bigotry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why do Muslims and economic migrant believe they are above the law?

      > Fact is

      Fact is, your premise is false.

      I respectfully suggest you should stop watching TV / dodgy internet sites and use that precious time to get an education instead. After all, you are one of those fortunate enough to have been born in a developed country so why not take advantage of what it has to offer? If not, at least don't object if others do.

  21. cb7

    Intolerant

    I hate intolerant people. It doesn't matter what their colour or creed

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Intolerant

      I hate intolerant people. It doesn't matter what their colour or creed

      You should be more tolerant.

  22. DrM
    FAIL

    Polly want a cracker?

    "At the time she was stopped, the Trump administration was cracking down on Muslim people traveling into the States."

    Why does an otherwise high quality article in a top notch publication print nonsense like this? They were cracking down on visas from countries that couldn’t properly vet travelers. From 6 of the 50 majority-Muslim countries, 12% of the world’s majority Muslim countries, plus N. Korea and Venezuela.

    And she was a citizen so the whole visa issue didn’t apply.

    Please don’t just parrot this “Trump hates Muslims” misinformation?

  23. Catman2

    For all of you whom complain about flying to or via the US something that might help expedite your travel; just claim to be a Democrat and a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter. I predict no court in the land, in particular PRNJ (The People’s Republic of New Jersey) will indict let alone convict even if they do go as far as to investigate.

  24. Jasonn

    Pretty sure the courts have already ruled that US Customs has carte blanche for searches and seizures at the border, but I could be wrong.

  25. Ochib Silver badge

    GDPR

    If I have client information on my phone, and it gets seized at the airport and copied. Whould that mean that I have breach the GDPR and then liable for a fine?

    1. GrapeBunch Silver badge

      Re: GDPR

      Yeah, regrettably, I think so. Caught-22. Error is carrying that phone through US Customs. IANALBIPOOTI.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: GDPR

      No, GDPR has exemption for law abiding requirements. I think that if a law enforcement agency sizes your data, you're not in breach of the GDPR - but I wonder what happens if that agency leaks them...

  26. cslagenhop

    There is no expectation of privacy the border. They can ask you how much currency you are carrying, open up you suitcase, rummage around your undies and your sex toys, and confiscate bitcoin off your phone.

    The fact she is communicating with the Islamist group is evidence in-itself that her phone should be searched. She was probably not picked at random, but profiled, likely with data from the system of her communicating with this organization. Remember, the Council for American Islamic Relations has been indicted as a co-conspirator in several terrorist financing cases. Hiding behind a law degree didn't work for Michael Cohen and it won't work for this gal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > There is no expectation of privacy the border.

      Speak for yourself.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "Speak for yourself."

        You Have Been Warned. This is dead serious, especially for countries with known hostilities. I speak from firsthand experience.

  27. Numapepi

    Having crossed the US boarder many times,

    when you cross that boarder, all bets are off... you have no Rights. They take what they want and you smile, and say, "thank you." Otherwise it can get ugly quick! Say the wrong thing and you will be detained at the boarder for inspection, act the wrong way and the detainment might be extended, have the wrong thing, and the detainment could last years.

    Anything you bring in is potential contraband. Even data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We know that... We are just pointing out that it's bollocks.

  28. anonymousI

    Media slant

    Something odd about the reporting on this matter, with the person described as "Muslim American".

    If another religion had been involved in this, would she then have been said to be Catholic American, etc, or described as an American Catholic? The point being that Muslim is not a nationality, so in other cases it would be the fact of being American that was the signifier.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019