FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2016, file photo an iPhone is seen in Washington. A new watchdog report has found that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are searching the electronic devices of travelers more often and did not always follow proper protocol. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Customs officers searching more travelers' devices

December 10, 2018 - 2:14 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A new watchdog report has found that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are searching the electronic devices of travelers more often, and are not always following proper protocol.

The report made public Monday found there were 29,000 devices searched at a port of entry in budget year 2017, up from 18,400 the year before. It's less than 1 percent of all travelers who came through a port of entry.

Officers are allowed to look through devices of travelers referred for a secondary inspection.

Homeland Security's watchdog found searches were not properly documented, and some of the devices were not taken offline, in violation of procedures that say officers can search the physical device but not what's on a traveler's cloud network.

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