CBP interrogated US journalist for hours, searched devices without warrant

Rogifan

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This story is unbelievable. A US journalist detained in Austin, TX for hours while Customs and Border Patrol interrogated him and went through all his files, photos, texts, internet searches on his phone and laptop. How is this even legal? He wasn’t under arrest. And because of that he wasn’t allowed to call a lawyer. How does this not run afoul of the 4th amendment?

When the officers told me they only wanted to check my devices for child pornography, links to terrorism, and so forth, I believed them. I was completely unprepared for the digital ransacking that came next.

After I gave him the password to my iPhone, Moncivias spent three hours reviewing hundreds of photos and videos and emails and calls and texts, including encrypted messages on WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. It was the digital equivalent of tossing someone’s house: opening cabinets, pulling out drawers, and overturning furniture in hopes of finding something — anything — illegal. He read my communications with friends, family, and loved ones. He went through my correspondence with colleagues, editors, and sources. He asked about the identities of people who have worked with me in war zones. He also went through my personal photos, which I resented. Consider everything on your phone right now. Nothing on mine was spared.

Pomeroy, meanwhile, searched my laptop. He browsed my emails and my internet history. He looked through financial spreadsheets and property records and business correspondence. He was able to see all the same photos and videos as Moncivias and then some, including photos I thought I had deleted.

https://theintercept.com/2019/06/22/cbp-border-searches-journalists/
 
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yaxomoxay

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This story is unbelievable. A US journalist detained in Austin, TX for hours while Customs and Border Patrol interrogated him and went through all his files, photos, texts, internet searches on his phone and laptop. How is this even legal? He wasn’t under arrest. And because of that he wasn’t allowed to call a lawyer. How does this not run afoul of the 4th amendment?

When the officers told me they only wanted to check my devices for child pornography, links to terrorism, and so forth, I believed them. I was completely unprepared for the digital ransacking that came next.

After I gave him the password to my iPhone, Moncivias spent three hours reviewing hundreds of photos and videos and emails and calls and texts, including encrypted messages on WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. It was the digital equivalent of tossing someone’s house: opening cabinets, pulling out drawers, and overturning furniture in hopes of finding something — anything — illegal. He read my communications with friends, family, and loved ones. He went through my correspondence with colleagues, editors, and sources. He asked about the identities of people who have worked with me in war zones. He also went through my personal photos, which I resented. Consider everything on your phone right now. Nothing on mine was spared.

Pomeroy, meanwhile, searched my laptop. He browsed my emails and my internet history. He looked through financial spreadsheets and property records and business correspondence. He was able to see all the same photos and videos as Moncivias and then some, including photos I thought I had deleted.

https://theintercept.com/2019/06/22/cbp-border-searches-journalists/
He gave them the password, at that point they can basically do whatever they want.
It’s his fault. An investigative journalist should know this basic stuff.
 

AppleHaterLover

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The Intercept is run by that dude who partnered with Edward Snowden to hack/leak all that stuff in the past and is known for partnering with criminals all over the world to hack, and then selectively leak, classified information. So of course everyone associated with that "publication" (if we can call it that) will get a second and third look from Border Patrol. People are held at the border and questioned for WAY less than that.

If you don't want people to look over your stuff, back it up in the cloud and get it later. Everybody knows they can comb through your entire phone and that some rights are suspended at border crossing.
 

VulchR

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...Everybody knows they can comb through your entire phone and that some rights are suspended at border crossing.
Well maybe it shouldn't be that way. Indeed, is this 100-mile zone mentioned in the Constitution? Certainly the Bill of Rights is....
 
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Sydde

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Well maybe it shouldn't be that way. Indeed, is this 100-mile zone mentioned in the Constitution? Certainly the Bill of Rights is....
It is well established that the rights enumerated in the constitution are not absolute. There are restrictions on gun ownership, speech, even voting. Circumstantial trespass upon the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and others is not uncommon.

The 100-mile border zone includes the coast line, so 14 of the 25 largest cities are in it, but on the other hand, CBP mostly does not operate within large cities. So far.
 
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VulchR

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It is well established that the rights enumerated in the constitution are not absolute. There are restrictions on gun ownership, speech, even voting. Circumstantial trespass upon the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and others is not uncommon.

The 100-mile border zone includes the coast line, so 14 of the 25 largest cities are in it, but on the other hand, CBP mostly does not operate within large cities. So far.
So why 100 miles? Where is that specified in the Constitution? This seems to me to be an abuse of power in that that the zone size seems and it violates unreasonable search and seizure. Surveillance and the police state should certainly be a discussion during the 2020 campaign. The GOP should love that since they hate the FBI and NSA.
 
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Sydde

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So why 100 miles? Where is that specified in the Constitution? This seems to me to be an abuse of power in that that the zone size seems and it violates unreasonable search and seizure. Surveillance and the police state should certainly be a discussion during the 2020 campaign. The GOP should love that since they hate the FBI and NSA.
They are not frisking everyone they meet. I was on the train last year, at the stop in Havre, they walked through and asked everyone if they were a citizen, and that was it. If you look like a typical American (and not on their badguy list), they leave you alone, unless you look nervous or whatever. But I still find them pretty creepy. The excuse is to “fight terrorism”, so of course we are doing backwards, in the most ineffective and inconveniencing way possible.
 

Rogifan

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He gave them the password, at that point they can basically do whatever they want.
It’s his fault. An investigative journalist should know this basic stuff.
And if he didn’t give them his password they would’ve held him indefinitely? It sure didn’t sound like them searching his things was optional.
[doublepost=1561334091][/doublepost]
The Intercept is run by that dude who partnered with Edward Snowden to hack/leak all that stuff in the past and is known for partnering with criminals all over the world to hack, and then selectively leak, classified information. So of course everyone associated with that "publication" (if we can call it that) will get a second and third look from Border Patrol. People are held at the border and questioned for WAY less than that.

If you don't want people to look over your stuff, back it up in the cloud and get it later. Everybody knows they can comb through your entire phone and that some rights are suspended at border crossing.
Sorry just because that’s the way it is doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be. You should need a warrant and probable cause to search the somebody’s phone or laptop.
 

yaxomoxay

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They shouldn’t be able to detain any US citizen without just cause. No conservative or libertarian should support this.
In order to investigate a crime, sometimes this is just necessary. The individual can refuse to answer any question that is asked. At any rate, in this case he basically gave consent so it's all on him.
 

Rogifan

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In order to investigate a crime, sometimes this is just necessary. The individual can refuse to answer any question that is asked. At any rate, in this case he basically gave consent so it's all on him.
So any US citizen can have their property searched without a warrant for any reason? As far as your last comment, that’s like blaming a rape victim saying they allowed themselves to be raped.
 

yaxomoxay

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So any US citizen can have their property searched without a warrant for any reason?
No. There are basically 3 general cases:
1) Warrant,
2) Probable Cause,
3) Consent.

They asked, he gave consent.

As far as your last comment, that’s like blaming a rape victim saying they allowed themselves to be raped.
?!
 

Rogifan

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No. There are basically 3 general cases:
1) Warrant,
2) Probable Cause,
3) Consent.

They asked, he gave consent.



?!
He gave concent because it didn’t appear there was any other option. It sure seems like CBP is doing things that may not be legal or should at least be challenged. No US citizen should be held for 24-48 hours without a warrant or probable cause or without the ability to contact a lawyer.
 
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yaxomoxay

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He gave concent because it didn’t appear there was any other option.
There is another option: don't provide the password, which is explicit consent. If he felt pressured because he doesn't know how it works, that's on him. It's like all those people who complain that the cops have looked inside their car after they gave consent for a search.
You know, that's exactly the scenario that Apple had in mind when the "enter your password" feature after an iPhone restart was implemented.
 

Rogifan

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There is another option: don't provide the password, which is explicit consent. If he felt pressured because he doesn't know how it works, that's on him. It's like all those people who complain that the cops have looked inside their car after they gave consent for a search.
You know, that's exactly the scenario that Apple had in mind when the "enter your password" feature after an iPhone restart was implemented.
According to the article if you don’t give consent they confiscate your devices and can then use whatever means necessary to try and unlock the device. He also attempted to call a lawyer but was denied the ability to do so. Nobody should be defending this. And think of how many people would be scared/unsure what to do in the situation, not wanting to be arrested or held indefinitely so they consent to being terrorized. This should not be happening in the United States. Unfortunately under the presidency of Donald Trump certain wings of the GOP/conservative movement have become perfectly fine with the state wielding more and more power.
 

bambooshots

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According to the article if you don’t give consent they confiscate your devices and can then use whatever means necessary to try and unlock the device. He also attempted to call a lawyer but was denied the ability to do so. Nobody should be defending this. And think of how many people would be scared/unsure what to do in the situation, not wanting to be arrested or held indefinitely so they consent to being terrorized. This should not be happening in the United States. Unfortunately under the presidency of Donald Trump certain wings of the GOP/conservative movement have become perfectly fine with the state wielding more and more power.
Here we go again. Orange Man bad.

All those "powers" the officer used to "fight terrorism?" They came from Bush. Not Trump.

What's that, you ask? Why doesn't he get rid of them?

Well, why didn't Obama get rid of them with his eight years in office?
 

yaxomoxay

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According to the article if you don’t give consent they confiscate your devices and can then use whatever means necessary to try and unlock the device.
1) if you have an iPhone 6 or later... good luck with that :)
2) Of course they can confiscate. But if you don't give consent they are liable, not you.

He also attempted to call a lawyer but was denied the ability to do so.
He wasn't under arrest.

And think of how many people would be scared/unsure what to do in the situation, not wanting to be arrested or held indefinitely so they consent to being terrorized.
It's not indefinitely. And I expect a journalist to know at least the basics of how to deal with LEOs.

This should not be happening in the United States. Unfortunately under the presidency of Donald Trump certain wings of the GOP/conservative movement have become perfectly fine with the state wielding more and more power.
Not to break the Orange Man bad narrative, but this has been going on at least since the Patriot Act.
 
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