Wary of the recent spate of terror attacks in Europe and the ongoing violence in the Middle East, US authorities have toughened controls on the country’s borders.
US customs officials can now take away smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices from visitors who refuse to reveal their passwords, media reports have said.
US border officials would previously conduct perfunctory inspections of running computer notebooks and smartphones and, if necessary, subjected passengers to further examination.
The introduction of new rules issued by the Customs and Border Protection service (CBP) makes it mandatory for passengers to make their electronic gadgets containing data available for inspection by customs authorities.
If foreign nationals arriving in the United States refuse to provide full access to the information stored on their devices, they may be denied entrance to the country and may even have their gadgets confiscated.
Officials stress that those searches represent just a tiny fraction of all arriving international travelers and are necessary to combat terrorism, child pornography and other crimes.
“In this digital age, border searches of electronic devices are essential to enforcing the law at the U.S. border and to protecting the American people,” John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations at the CBP, said as quoted by the NPR.
When asked which country has the most intimidating border officials, travelers usually say that the US tops the list, followed by the United Arab Emirates,
The United Kingdom came in at number six, trailed by Mexico, Canada and South Korea.
Israel’s largest Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv is also one of the world’s most secured airports. Security checks may not stop at your luggage.
Since 2012 immigration and security officials have asked certain in-bound visitors to open their email accounts or Facebook pages to be inspected.