Report: Phone Searches at US Border Set to Skyrocket in 2017
The recent anecdotal evidence of an increase in phone searches at the border turns out to be spot on. According to data obtained by NBC News, the number of phone searches at the border has skyrocketed this year, with more searches performed on phones in February 2017 than the entire year of 2015.
The data reported by NBC shows a staggering increase over the past few years. In 2015, for example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) searched less than 5,000 phones; in 2016, DHS searched more than 25,000 phones. If February is any indication, 2017 looks to be even more dramatic.
Though phone searches at the border were increasing before Trump was elected—and have always been legal—they began to receive more media attention after Trump signed the recent executive order on immigration. Moreover, while NBC was quick to point out that phone searches have been happening since the Bush era, the report also points out the obvious: