Crossing the Border in the Age of Trump

Presented at The Circle Of HOPE (2018), July 20, 2018, 3 p.m. (60 minutes)

When we travel, we bring our lives with us. From financial records and personal photos to account passwords and even digital wallets, the information we carry on our devices can be extremely sensitive, and gives anyone with access to it an enormous amount of power over us. At the same time, TSA and border agents have shown increasing interest in gaining access to this information, putting us in a compromised situation and disrupting our travels. This talk will cover the legal protections that you have, and what you can do before, during, and after you travel to protect your data from prying eyes. This includes the legal and practical precedents that have been established when crossing both domestic and international borders, the technological capabilities of border agents, techniques that are likely to become more prevalent, and what tools you have in your digital toolbox to ensure your data is kept safe.


  • Bill Budington
    **Bill Budington** (@legind) is a longtime activist, programmer, and cryptography enthusiast. He works on EFF’s tech projects team as a security engineer and technologist, and is the lead developer for HTTPS Everywhere and Panopticlick. He has also contributed to projects such as Let’s Encrypt and SecureDrop. Bill can be found talking to crowds of people on soapboxes and stages in far off places, or doing digital security trainings for organizations. He loves hackerspaces and getting together with other techies to tinker, code, share, and build the technological commons. Er spricht auch gern Deutsch!
  • Kurt Opsahl
    **Kurt Opsahl** (@kurtopsahl) is the deputy executive director and general counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In addition to representing clients on civil liberties, free speech, and privacy law, Kurt counsels on EFF projects and initiatives. He is the lead attorney on the Coders’ Rights Project. Before joining EFF, he worked at Perkins Coie, where he represented technology clients with respect to intellectual property, privacy, defamation, and other online liability matters, including working on Kelly v. Arribasoft, MGM v. Grokster and CoStar v. LoopNet. Kurt received his law degree from Boalt Hall, and undergraduate degree from U.C. Santa Cruz. He is the co-author of Electronic Media and Privacy Law Handbook.