Published on Monday, April 10, 2017

Brits could be asked to disclose passwords and personal data on arrival in US

British travellers to the US could be denied entry unless they hand over social media passwords, phone contacts and other personal information.

The measures are being considered as part of theTrump administration's extreme vetting policy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, tourists from the UK and other countries may have to reveal personal data, disclose financial information and face 'detailed ideological questioning'.

US citizens have rights against unlawful searches at the border, so the measures will not apply to them.

The US customs and border patrol told the Guardian: "All international travellers arriving to the US are subject to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection.

"This inspection may include electronic devices such as computers, disks, drives, tapes, mobile phones and other communication devices, cameras, music and other media players and any other electronic or digital devices.

"Keeping America safe and enforcing our nation's laws in an increasingly digital world depends on our ability to lawfully examine all materials entering the US."

Digital civil rights campaign group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told the newspaper: "If a foreign visitor refuses a border agent's demand to unlock their digital device, provide the device password, or provide social media information, and the agent responds by denying entry, the foreign visitor may have little legal recourse."

One technology lawyer, Susan Hall, head of technology and intellectual property team partner at law firm Clarke Willmott told the Guardian: "In the short to medium term, I think the answer is going to be avoiding all but absolutely essential travel to the United States."

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  • Visa-free Travel

    @Irene_Laird: I beg to differ about the US being 'about the only nationals who can travel around the World mostly without Visas'. According to http://www.ibtimes.com/best-passports-have-unrestricted-travel-around-world-1422038 UK, as well as Finnish & Swedish, passport-holders can actually travel to 1 more country visa-free than those from the US. Not that I can readily understand the relevance of the comment to the story. As for the story itself, the Guardian also quotes the US authorities as claiming that more than 99.99% of arrivals are not actually subjected to this procedure.

    By Peter Lewis, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

  • A bit silly

    So a border agent asks me for my password - sure they can have a loo at the device whilst I am there, but having the password won't do them much good - it will be changed within a few hours of me having shared it with them and they will be back to square one. At least they will be comforted that they have read a load of drivel on my FB account, and probably amazed that there is at least one person in the world who doesn't tweet. I think the article is just a little on the pessimistic side!

    By Jon Rankin, Monday, April 10, 2017


    Most Americans have no idea that they are now about the only nationals who can travel around the World mostly without Visas. They haven't got over the fact that Mexico and Canada now want to see their passports!

    By Irene Laird, Monday, April 10, 2017

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