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Democratic senator wants to know what gives border agents the right to ask travelers for their passwords

Ron Wyden wants answers. The Democratic senator from Oregon fired off a letter this week to the Department of Homeland Security demanding an explanation for recent reports of “misguided digital border searches.” According to press reports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have demanded access to locked smartphones, and the DHS is also considering a … Continue reading “Democratic senator wants to know what gives border agents the right to ask travelers for their passwords”

Ron Wyden wants answers. The Democratic senator from Oregon fired off a letter this week to the Department of Homeland Security demanding an explanation for recent reports of “misguided digital border searches.” According to press reports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have demanded access to locked smartphones, and the DHS is also considering a plan that would require visitors to the United States to turn over their social media passwords as a condition of entry. 

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Wyden says he is introducing legislation that would expressly prohibit such behavior. Read his full letter here. 

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About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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