The Customs and Border Protection service (CBP) in the United States has confirmed that their employees have the authority to legally confiscate and search any electronic devices from travellers of any nationality. According to The Washington Times, the US Customs and Border Protection are seizing 82 electronic devices every day in 2017.
There are some discrepancies amongst travellers regarding their rights to their electronic devices as some feel that it is an invasion of their privacy. According to the New York Times, a Canadian journalist refused to hand over his phone, due to protecting his sources, and so, was detained for more than 6 hours and denied entry to the United States.
CBP’s commissioner Kevin McAleenan states that the agent will not use the devices to remotely access servers across the globe and will only search them for ‘physically resident’ information.
The CBP states that the objective of the increased traveller surveillance is to protect American citizens in this new digital era.