Restoring and backing up your devices every time you cross a border

As you know from an earlier boingboing article, customs can force you to give your cell phone password at the border. Then your phone data (with passwords, bank accounts, etc…) ends up in a database that government officials can access.
The only way to circumvent that is to cross the border without the data and restore an online backup afterwards. Somebody did just that and published their findings:


I will rtfa, but my first concern is… The US government doesn’t have to ask me to intercept my backup download, when I am overseas. IF I am a value target for intel, they’re going to crack my electronics. I would just assume that. (and consider it grossly unconstitutional, like much of US History)

Thank you for the article. As I am not an international traveller lately, I don’t have direct experience of this at the border, and personal accounts like this can only add to what empathy and sympathy i might develop for the collective experience.

My concern is to protect my private data, as it can be abused to impersonate my identity online or, more simply, to access my bank account. I do not want it to be stored in a central database which, however good the protection is, will be a prime target for hacking. And I am not sure how well that database is protected when, in various countries, there are talks to make it available to whatever government employee is related to "protecting me from terrorists.

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That’s not a thing I’ve not had cause to really think through, firsthand. Good point!

“Without key biometrics, the password summons a cruise missile. So you can have the password - but if you use it, you’ll die.”


Maybe I can explain the problem in simpler terms. When you cross a border, you don’t let customs take a copy of your credit card, including cc code at the back, a sample of your signature and all data that identifies you to your bank. When customs copies the data in your cellphone, this is the exact data they get about you.

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