Border Patrol Agents Cannot View Your Cloud Data
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are not allowed to access or view consumer data that is stored in the cloud, such as social networks and email. The agency admitted as much in a letter sent by acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan to Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Rand Paul of Kentucky. The Senators posed several questions to the agency early this year after Americans reported a surge in border agents asking people to unlock their phones and even share social media passwords upon reentering the U.S. McAleenan insists officers are allowed to search phones without consent and without a warrant. For the most part, they are looking for information regarding terrorism, drug trafficking, and child pornography. However, the agency is limited to viewing content that is saved directly to the device, such as call logs, text messages, and photos. "Border searches conducted by CBP do not extend to information that is located solely on remote servers," wrote McAleenan. This means Americans' Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts are off limits to border patrol agents. McAleenan admitted that Americans do not have to unlock their devices or hand over their passwords, but they do so at the risk of losing their device, which may be detained by border patrol agents. The agency insists that phone searches are "exceedingly rare."
Sep 13, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have sued the Department of Homeland Security for searching American citizens' smartphones at the border without a warrant. Specifically, the groups say the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies have delayed citizens' entry into the country lest they give up smartphone passwords.
Apr 17, 2018
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission, today said she intends to retire from the FCC. Clyburn has been with the agency for eight years.
Feb 13, 2018
Google today said it is porting its AMP technology to Gmail. Developers now have access to AMP for Email, a tool that allows them to create interactive, actionable email experiences that take place within Gmail itself, rather than secondary browser windows.
Jun 8, 2018
The FCC took more actions this week to protect consumers from unwanted charges and changes to their telephone service. First, the agency wants to prevent the fraudulent use of toll-free numbers for text messaging.
Mar 13, 2018
The American Civil Liberties Union wants to know more about the Transportation Security Administration's policies concerning searches of electronic devices on domestic flights. As such, the ACLU has file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the TSA seeking the agency's records.