It may come as little surprise, in light of recent revelations of the NSA apparatus, that the everyday average traveler actually has no right to privacy when crossing over US borders. In fact, this concept isn’t even limited to just terrestrial applications, as Edward Snowden pointed out in his recent John Oliver interview, anything you email outside borders is immediately collected.
New data on border crossing seizures is detailed in the Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy Impact Assessment for the Border Searches of Electronic Devices. It virtually grants border patrol agents the right to capture anyone’s laptops and devices with no need for probable cause.
The search and seizure of your personal devices includes the ability to confiscate them and copy all the data from them, as well.
The scary part about this process, though, is that it can at any time the border patrol agent can just choose to recommend additional screening, based on their own observations and this in-turn results in adding your name to a potential terrorist list automatically.
Throughout everything, you must submit. You have no legal rights inside this detention zone. You will be interrogated, and have your belongings inspected and possibly taken away. But, don’t worry, these agents are all professionals, I’m sure they won’t bother to look through your embarrassing pictures or Vine videos, right? If this sounds like the beginnings of some dystopian future playing out, then you’re not alone.