I recently had a message from a TBTP reader who is concerned about the privacy and security of his digital devices when passing through Customs and Immigration at U.S. airports. This has become an increasingly complex issue—both for visitors and U.S. citizens alike—since the recent change in government.
My response to the question was a referral to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which publishes a free “Guide to Digital Privacy At The U.S. Border”. The downloadable guide covers current U.S. law, administrative rules, technology suggestions, and risks for anyone entering the U.S.. You can get a PDF copy of the guide here.
If have have serious concerns about this issue, it may be worthwhile to invest in temporary or travel devices. Purchase an inexpensive smart phone and get a U.S, SIM card or an International SIM. Also consider purchasing a cheap Android or Amazon tablet for use in the U.S..
Most importantly, cooperate fully with U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers. The current political climate has made our airports and border crossing volatile and tense places.