As the Trump administration considers steps to implement what the president has called extreme vetting of foreigners at the border, one aspect of security screening has already been amped up.
The number of people who have been asked to hand over their cellphones and passwords by Customs and Border Protection agents has increased nearly threefold in recent years. This is happening to American citizens as well as foreign visitors.
It happened to Sidd Bikkannavar on January 30, ten days after President Trump's inauguration. He was returning from a trip to Chile, where he took part in his hobby, racing solar-powered cars. At the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Bikkannavar was told to report to passport control by CBP officers. He was asked a series of questions, all "pretty benign and uneventful," he tells NPR, and was then told "to hand over my phone, and give the password to unlock it."
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