Ten Tips For Protecting Your Devices From Seizure By U.S. Customs

With U.S. Customs agents increasingly interested in the contents of digital devices like iPhones, iPads and laptops, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued guidance for getting your mobile device across the border safely and protecting the data on it should it get seized.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects American citizens from unreasonable search and seizure – a fundamental Constitutional right that courts have interpreted as encompassing not just our bodies, but our stuff: homes, cars and these days, our electronic devices. But the 4th Amendment doesn’t extend to U.S. border crossings, where courts agree that the government has the legal authority to seize and search your car and devices, even when there’s no suspicion of wrongdoing. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a guide (.PDF) for would-be border crossers to protect their devices from seizure and protect the data they contain in the event that U.S. Customs decides to take a closer look. Here’s a look at some of their tips from “Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border.”

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Note: The PDF linked has more specific. Threat Post basically simplified the guidelines and put the top 10.


It is also good to note, that you should be careful regardless of what data you carry. Imagine traveling with a PowerPoint that you need for an important client meeting, or a wedding video that you wanted to show family, only to have to leave your digital gadgets at the border. Having that information backed and a second place will save your day and tears.


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