Fear of landing
I can’t be the only one who gets fear going through airport security. It’s not so much that I’ve got anything to hide, it’s more the feeling that I’ll be dragged aside anyway. In these times when we carry intimate details of our lives with us on our phones, tablets and laptops, the idea that someone could decide to root through it out of idle curiosity isn’t just some paranoid fever-dream.
A story from The Intercept
this weekend about a journalist having his devices searched for hours as he entered the USA was unsettling — especially considering he was an American citizen not suspected of any crime.
Given the climate of fear around immigration and national security that has been cultivated in recent years, there’s little surprise that airport security has got tougher, but I always figured people would be pretty safe if they were entering their home country.
My own (Obama era) experience of getting stopped at the US border for my own stupid mistake
five years ago ended up as nothing more than a fun anecdote, but I do wonder if the situation would have played out the same today.
Advice for travellers concerned about being searched often includes bringing only a simple mobile phone (not a smartphone) with you, and if you need a computer, bringing a Chromebook that you can wipe before you travel and then log into once through the border to restore all your data.
But these days, not having a smartphone can make travel a lot more inconvenient, and if you have a Chromebook and you’re asked to log into it, well, all your data will be restored as soon as you connect to the internet (which the official is not doubt going to watch you to do if it’s the way to look at your stuff).
Different countries treat border security in different ways, and sadly people of certain ethnicities often bear the brunt of the worst treatment. And that’s not even to mention what’s currently happening
at the US-Mexican border. But surely there are ways of keeping a country secure without making innocent people wary of visiting?