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In recent days, there have been numerous media reports of a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory employee and American citizen who was forced to unlock his phone while returning to the United States at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

In that case, Sidd Bikkannavar wasn’t sure what his rights were—he seemingly was unaware that there is a very broad exception to the Fourth Amendment at the border that allows officials to conduct warrantless searches.

Now, let’s imagine that you arrive at the United States border, and a customs official asks you to unlock your digital device and inspect it. You, being a privacy-conscious person, decide to refuse to hand over your password, unlike Bikkannavar. What are the ramifications of telling a Customs and Border Protection agent to go pound sand? What would happen to your device? And, how long could CBP hold you for refusing to comply?

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Source: What could happen if you refuse to unlock your phone at the US border? | Ars Technica

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