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How Long Can Border Agents Keep Your Email Password?

February 27, 2017 When you cross into or out of the United States, whether in a car or at an airport, you enter a special zone where federal agents have unusual powers to search your belongings—powers they don’t have elsewhere in the country. The high standard set by the Fourth Amendment, which protects...

from govexec

How Long Can Border Agents Keep Your Email Password?

February 27, 2017 When you cross into or out of the United States, whether in a car or at an airport, you enter a special zone where federal agents have unusual powers to search your belongings—powers they don’t have elsewhere in the country. The high standard set by the Fourth Amendment, which protects...

A Bot That Identifies 'Toxic' Comments Online

February 24, 2017 Civil conversation in the comment sections of news sites can be hard to come by these days. Whatever intelligent observations do lurk there are often drowned out by obscenities, ad-hominem attacks, and off-topic rants. Some sites, like the one you’re reading, hide the comments section behind a link at the...

Why Some Apps Use Fake Progress Bars

February 21, 2017 In a fit of productivity, I did my taxes early this year. They were a bit more complex than usual, so I set aside some time to click through TurboTax and make sure I got everything right. Throughout the process, the online tax-preparation program repeatedly reassured me it had helped...

The Risks of Sending Secret Messages in the White House

February 15, 2017 By some accounts, the deluge of leaks detailing the hurdles and setbacks that have troubled the first weeks of the Trump administration have provoked panic among its highest ranks—and prompted top officials to try to identify the leaky staffers. President Trump has tweeted his dismay at the leaks several times,...

A NASA Engineer Was Required to Unlock his Phone at the Border

February 13, 2017 Everything started to go wrong just after 5 a.m., when Sidd Bikkannavar scanned his passport, placed his hand on a fingerprint reader, and watched as the automated customs kiosk spat out a receipt with a black X drawn across it. It was January 31. Bikkannavar had just arrived at Houston’s...

from govexec

A NASA Engineer Was Required to Unlock his Phone at the Border

February 13, 2017 Everything started to go wrong just after 5 a.m., when Sidd Bikkannavar scanned his passport, placed his hand on a fingerprint reader, and watched as the automated customs kiosk spat out a receipt with a black X drawn across it. It was January 31. Bikkannavar had just arrived at Houston’s...

'Give Us Your Passwords'

February 10, 2017 “What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.” That’s what U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wants foreign visitors to hear before they’re allowed to enter the United States. “If they don’t want to give us that information, then they don’t come,” he said, while testifying in front...

from govexec

What Happens if Border Agents Are Allowed to Demand Access to Your Phone and Online Accounts?

February 10, 2017 “What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.” That’s what U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wants foreign visitors to hear before they’re allowed to enter the United States. “If they don’t want to give us that information, then they don’t come,” he said, while testifying in front...

Mapping Countries That Censor the Internet

February 9, 2017 If you’re having trouble with your internet connection, one of the first things tech support will ask you to do is to run a speed test. There are dozens of websites and apps that will, at the tap of a button, measure your network speed—but they can’t tell you which...