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Reporters need to guard against crunch from border patrol

A recent survey showed that a significant uptick in warrantless searches of reporters’ electronic devices at the border have hurt their ability to protect sources and altered their travel and reporting trips. The lack of transparency in border agent activities also hampers reporters’ ability to cover the news.  (Committee to Protect Journalists, October 22, 2018)

The border patrol has broad authority to conduct warrantless searches and the courts have so far upheld those powers. Searches went from 8,500 in 2015 to 15,000 in only the first half of 2017. (Freedom of the Press Foundation, October 22, 2018, by Camille Fassett)

When traveling across borders, journalists are advised to leave vital electronic devices at home and use say an iphone just for that journey. It is also advised to encrypt devices, store crucial information in a cloud, and plan a course of action if detained. (Columbia Journalism Review, April 7, 2017, by Karen Coates)

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