Border Patrol Agents Shut Down Highways in Maine and New Hampshire With Checkpoints


Federal agents refused to let drivers in Maine and New Hampshire pass until they disclosed their citizenship. The government says checkpoints are vital to curbing unauthorized immigration.
Feds propose heightened social media vetting of visa applicants

The US State Department is opening the public comment period for a proposal that seeks to inspect social media accounts and other data of visa applicants the government believes may pose a danger.

The new vetting, the State Department said, likely will only impact about 0.5 percent of visa applicants per year—roughly 65,000 people. The new vetting being proposed would apply to applicants "who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities," according to a notice in the Federal Register by the State Department.
New rules at the airport could force you to hand over your phone


Big changes for international travelers. Here’s what you need to know.
I'm quite happy with my revived 2005 Nokia brick after the Android died a cruel death. They don't make drivers for modern operating systems so it seems you have to email yourself the 320x200px photos if you want to ever get them off the phone. I'm not joking.
I'll just carry a paperback book across the border.

Subversive. They'll spend hours photographing the pages under UV and analysing the paper to find out what you're up to.
You may know the story of the boy who rode up on a bicycle and carried a bag of sand daily through the US/Mexico border. Every day the bag was thoroughly examined and was found to contain nothing but sand. He did this for years. Every day it was examined.

Much later in life one of the customs agents ran int to the (now grown) boy. "We know you were smuggling, but we never caught you. Tell me. It's OK, it was a long time ago."

"I was smuggling bicycles."
A friend on JCC2017 this week said he planned to wipe his phone before boarding, reinstall what he needs once onboard, transmit photos when arriving back in port, and wipe it again before going through customs.

The Border Patrol can take your password. Now what?


Get ready to declare those cigars and your phone's PIN.
After the recent revelations, travelers should be concerned about what new software might get embedded into their phone while it gets scanned by Customs.
U.S. Airport Pat-Downs Are About to Get More Invasive

While few have noticed, U.S. airport security workers long had the option of using five different types of physical pat-downs at the screening line. Now those options have been eliminated and replaced with a single universal approach. This time, you will notice.
Nigerian engineer handed written test at New York airport - BBC News

"Your visa says you are a software engineer. Is that correct?" an officer is reported to have asked Mr Omin.

He says he was then given a piece of paper and a pen and told to answer these two questions to prove he is actually a software engineer:

"Write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced."

"What is an abstract class, and why do you need it?"
Aussie’s incredibly weird US border interview

For the next few minutes, he was forced to prove his worth — even given a pen and paper to record his answers.

“He administered a literal computer science test. It wasn’t a savant-level one like you hear of at Google, but it was definitely a test.

“The vibe I got was weird. He asked me a question, then asked me a follow-up question to prove I wasn’t lying.

“Do they not allow bad software engineers into the United States?” Thornton joked.
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Welcome Aboard, But First US Marshals Will Scan Your Retina | Jeffrey A. Tucker


Halfway down the jetbridge on an international flight outbound from Atlanta, there was a new layer of security. Two US Marshals, heavily armed and dressed in dystopian-style black regalia, stood next to an upright machine with a glowing green eye. Every passenger, one by one, was told to step on a mat and look into the green scanner. It was scanning our eyes and matching that scan with the passport, which was also scanned (yet again).

Think of it: there might be no getting out of the country without subjecting yourself to this process. It's a digital Berlin Wall. This is what it means to put “security” ahead of freedom: you get neither.
If I weren't already here, I wouldn't come here. Being here, I'm not sure I want to leave and come back. I have no plans to do so for a year. I'm waiting to hear the stories from JoCo Cruise 2017, happening next week. Depending on how that goes, I may rethink wanting to go on the 2018 cruise.