With bipartisan support, the Protecting Data at the Border Act has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives and in the Senate. The bill would require customs and border officials to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before searching the electronic devices of travelers. It would also prevent “law enforcement from denying or delaying entry to the country if a person refuses to turn over PIN numbers, passwords, or social media account information”, according to Real Clear Policy.
But here’s the caveat: the bill would only apply to the devices of a “U.S. person”. For everyone else, the current unconstitutional vacuum would likely persist.
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, non-citizens are already likely to face different treatment at the border:
“The consequences for refusing to provide your password(s) are different for different classes of individuals. If you are a U.S. citizen, [Customs and Border Protection] cannot detain you indefinitely as you have a right to re-enter the country. However, agents may escalate the encounter (for example, by detaining you for more time), or flag you for heightened screening during future border crossings. If you are a lawful permanent resident, agents may also raise complicated questions about your continued status as a resident. If you are a foreign visitor, agents might deny you entry to the country entirely.
But whatever your status, whether you choose to provide your passwords or not, border agents may decide to seize your digital devices. While CBP guidelines set a five-day deadline for agents to return detained devices unless a CBP supervisor approves a lengthier detention, in practice, device detentions commonly last many months.”
For citizens, residents, and foreign travelers alike, the best way to protect yourself at the border is if your sensitive data is not on your digital device when you cross the border. Whether you are coerced into giving up your information or a search warrant is obtained against you, your documents and communications can remain securely held within Evizone’s encrypted server, easily accessible world-wide, and yet never on your device. Your data will never cross a border.
This is true no matter where you are traveling. While the focus is often put on the United States because of its commitment to freedom, your data is even more likely to be searched everywhere else – often in places with fewer constitutional rights.
Next time you travel, save yourself some worry by signing up for Evizone Secure Communications. With our unique security architecture – which never stores information on your device – and military-grade encryption, you can communicate safely worldwide.
About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, firstname.lastname@example.org