The Trump administration has toed many ethical lines in its short time in office. From the abrupt and careless travel ban to the most recent airstrike in Syria, many decisions made by this administration seem questionable.
To no surprise President Trump may again be keeping his campaign promise of “extreme vetting” if some Trump administration officials have their way. An idea that has been proposed would lead to new rules and regulations for travelers arriving in the United States from other countries.
The new rules would require some visitors to be subject to various invasive measures, including the search and seizure of personal devices like cell phones.
Once the phone has been confiscated it would be mandatory to release any and all social media passwords and any other passwords on the phone that might be used to withhold information .
While to a degree this may have already been happening for quite some time now, turning this unceremonious practice into formal regulations would be a huge step back in human rights.
The proposal to be able to confiscate someone’s cell phone and search through private messages violates a person’s right to privacy. Cell phone information is private and being forced to share every detail of information in your phone is insulting and demeaning.
Aside from the blatant invasion of privacy, this could also be an expensive idea to implement. Since most airports don’t have extra security just waiting around customs, extra security will need to be hired. While I’m sure the Trump administration will find a clever way to spin it as creating more jobs, I see it as American tax money being thrown away.
Even if this weren’t an invasion of privacy and a complete waste of tax dollars, I don’t think that this idea wouldn’t even solve the problem that it wants to fix.
Assuming someone with malicious intent were entering the United States and did happen to have incriminating evidence on their cell phone and also happened to be considered suspicious enough to have their cell phone confiscated in customs, very few terrorists would be stupid enough to leave their grand scheme on Facebook Messenger.
Being required to hand over social media passwords is a pointless measure and probably won’t give security officials what they are looking for.
If they did have plans of violence or terrorism on their phones, it would be easy enough to pitch the phone in a nearby trashcan, erase the messages or even invest in a $10 burner phone.
The idea of this regulation being made official just adds to the unreasonable and controversial practices of the Trump administration and should not become a law.
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