Proposed Law Would Protect Phones From Warrantless Search at Border
A proposed bipartisan law in the Senate would require a warrant for border agents to search electronic devices such as phones, or demand access to online accounts such as social media. The law protects all digital content of devices, and requires a warrant for passwords, PINs, and biometric authentication such as a fingerprint or face. It would prevent any agent of the government from denying entry to the US (or delaying entry for more than four hours) for refusing to provide device access. The law does include limited exceptions for immediate risk of death, organized crime, conspiracies threatening national security, and threats to public safety or health. The law also places new restrictions on retaining data extracted from devices. The new law would apply to all US citizens and permanent residents entering and exiting the US. A similar bill is being introduced in the House. In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security conducted more than 33,000 device searches. The ability to conduct warrantless device searches at the border has been challenged in court by the ACLU.
May 24, 2018
Facebook has made it easier for people to secure their accounts. The company improved how it handles two-factor authentication.
Jul 14, 2017
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.
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.
Sep 13, 2018
The nation's four largest network operators recently provided an update on the progress being made by the Mobile Authentication Taskforce. In September 2017, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless agreed to work together in order to build a better way for people to log-in to apps and other services with their phone.
Nov 29, 2017
The Supreme Court today heard a case regarding whether or not law enforcement can access certain types of cell location data without a warrant. Government agencies do not currently need a warrant when requesting location and other data held by phone companies thanks to a 1979 court case.
Still a political powder-keg.
People adore frivolous law-suits and litigation.