If Donald Trump has his way, the contents of your smartphone, including all your passwords, contacts, emails and browsing history, could be examined when you enter the US.
The Trump administration is trying to push its ‘extreme vetting’ policy even further, by requiring foreign visitors, including those from Australia, Britain, Germany and France, to undergo a rigorous ‘evaluation’ upon entering the country.
“If there is any doubt about a person’s intentions coming to the United States, they should have to … really and truly prove to our satisfaction, that they are coming for legitimate reasons,” said Department of Homeland Security advisor Gene Hamilton.
The aim of these digital strip searches is to figure out with whom you are communicating, through the websites you visit and your social media networks.
“What you can get on the average person’s phone can be invaluable,” said a Homeland Security consultant.
So, what happens if you don’t comply?
Depending on your visa type or migration status, you could be turned away or held for an indefinite period.
US citizens and returning green card holders cannot be denied entry for refusing to provide access to their smartphones. If you don’t wish to hand over your passwords and private information, experts recommend using encryption and a strong password or leaving your primary phone at home and travelling with a backup phone instead.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal