U.S. Customs Agents Are Now Compelling Mobile Passwords

Customs Agents Are Now Compelling Mobile Passwords

Bitcoin people nowadays should discuss topics like how to prevent mobile passwords from coercion of US Customs and CBP where Trump ordered for checkpoint borders (Customs and Border Protection) and mobile of travelers.

Mobile Passwords of Travelers Confiscated

There are lot of factors being changed, affected or even advantages that concerns Bitcoin in Trump's administration. Most of the Bitcoin supporters are in the administration, the financial regulations might be ending as well.

But on the other hand, Bitcoin advocates are worried on the reports that Customs and Border Protection agents are getting tighter on their implementation of coercing mobile passwords by searching electronic devices and mobile phones. The law doesn't support whatever they are doing like the confiscation of passwords and searching but they are already doing it for a long time.

A US native scientist has been a sample of this situation where he was forced to give his mobile phone credentials even if he already been identified as NASA scientist and the phone was issued by NASA.

The scientist is Sidd Bikkannavar gave his passcode to the Customs and Border Protection Agent and wait for 30 minutes to return the phone. He was accused of running an algo test that threatens national security but it was not found on the phone.

According to him, that is a very huge violation of his work and policy and it's a big issue.

Customs Agents Are Now Compelling Mobile Passwords

More Samples of Passphrase Searches

The issue on intervening personal mobile phone passcode of Bitcoin users is a threat of those individuals who are putting their possessions and wealth inside their mobile phone devices. There are lot of instances and incidents that agents confiscating phones and getting their passcode over the last few of months .

A man named Elsharkawi, Haisam who was sealed by Customs and Border Protection agents for three hours according to New York Times just last month. According to him, he was forced to give his passphrase and open his phone to check his contacts, photos and social media applications.

He added that he was just traveling all the time and no one asked to unlock his phone. He has some personal photos on his phone and it is just normal to people because it's his right and it's his phone.

CBP told everybody that their agency actually wants to compel mobile phones and make copy of the data being stored on devices. Those who are being confiscated will be given weeks to wait for their devices to be return and that is after the completion of their reasonable time of checking.

Way back in March 2014, there is another instance of custom confiscation for Bitcoin. The founder of Bitcoin Not Bombs, Davi Barker has been hassled by a team of TSA agents who are plain-clothed.

The TSA staff actually seized his bag because of the accusations that they saw Bitcoins on his luggage and they were concerned about those travelers who are carrying more than Ten Thousand US Dollars of digital currency.

Agent Are Threats To Bitcoin Wallets and Private Keys

The truth is, Bitcoin users are carrying bunch of Bitcoins and funds on their mobile phone devices. Mobile devices has Bitcoin wallets in it and revealing part of their seed phrase is the private keys.

The concern is that those authorities might confiscate the mobile phone and clone the data and use it for their own purpose and discretion and yes in private. And lastly, it could be shared to different branches of government for decryption and technical assistance.

The agents will need the passphrase for their search and yes it seems to be easy nowadays to confiscate and get someone's private data information. The threat is actually serious specially for Bitcoin users and the US Customs are now suppressing our rights of sovereignty.

Written by Melvin Draupnir on March 10, 2017.