U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers denied a Vancouver man entrance to the States after investigating his phone and scrutinizing his Scruff account.
The reason? According to Canada’s Daily XTRA, they suspected he was soliciting sex for money.
André, a 30-year-old set decorator, called the entire experience “humiliating,” which… understatement.
(He declined to give his last name for “fear of retaliation” from US Customs.)
Officers also allegedly perused his profile on BBRT (a hookup site specializing in bareback sex) and personal emails attached to a Craigslist account.
Reportedly, André then requested that the initial interrogation cease and gave up on entering the states.
He tried again a month later, this time bringing evidence of employment and deleting every app from his phone.
He was denied again, because officers said they found the deletions “suspicious.”
According to Daily XTRA:
There are several websites that offer advice to protect the privacy of your data at the border, but ultimately, if US Customs officers want your data, they will either get it or keep you out of the country. You can limit the risk to your privacy by not traveling with your devices or deleting apps, messages and photos from your devices, and logging out of social media sites before you travel.
Scruff CEO Eric Silverberg has plenty to say on the subject:
“For Scruff members traveling to a country that may demand access to profiles and social media apps before entry, simply deleting the app and reinstalling upon re-entry is always an option.
Scruff synchronizes your profile to the cloud, so after reinstalling you may login to regain access to your messages, favorites, albums, etc.
That said, the best defense against unwarranted searches and seizures by the government is to work to elect leaders who share these ideals and values.”