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Just ignorance or racism?

Over the weekend, I worried about recent reports about how customs / immigration at the border to the US would be investigating social media accounts.

“You’ll have to be careful when you come back from Asia,” I said to my sister, warnings for their trip to Thailand, Hong Kong and other Asian countries. “You might want to delete the social media apps from your phone before entering Customs. Then put them back on when you exit the airport.”

“What really?” he said.

“Yes!” Chris added. “There was a report of a JPL employee being held at the border and he was forced to surrender his phone. The phone was JPL property, NASA’s work with confidential information.”

“And! He is a US citizen.” I said.

“Well, I mean, I don’t have a weird name like Ala-bar-kah,” he said. “Nobody will look at my name.”

We paused. “Well, he did have an Indian name,” Chris said.

“You might have to worry about my sister,” I said. “Her last name, after all, isn’t necessarily American. Plus they’re cracking down on the Chinese entering the US.”

This morning, my sister sent me a snapchat story from CNN outlining the facts about mobile device surrender at the border.