Protecting Your Digital Privacy at Border Crossings

The Trump administration’s new and ever-changing executive orders on immigration and border security are a big-league worry for many foreign visitors to the United States. Over the past few weeks, The Law Office of Daniel J. Smith has fielded calls from clients and worried international travelers who ask, “Can they really search my phone or my laptop? What information are they looking for? What if they turn me away at the border — can I talk to a lawyer?”

This article from BoingBoing gives a pretty thorough rundown of how to protect your digital privacy when you’re trying to enter the U.S. as a foreign visitor or immigrant. The upshot: Clear your browser history, don’t bring more devices with you than you absolutely need, use a password locker for any online services you use, and disable fingerprint-based authentication.

The article also mentions USCIS Form G-28, which allows you to designate an attorney who can visit you and provide counsel if you’re detained by Homeland Security at a U.S. border crossing. You must fill this out and file it with an attorney before you try to enter the U.S., so be sure to plan ahead.

As always, we encourage you to contact us before your trip if you’re concerned that you might run into problems with Homeland Security at border crossings.


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