“The officer also presented Bikkannavar with a document titled “Inspection of Electronic Devices” and explained that CBP had authority to search his phone.” — The officer may have the right to searching the phone but that does not include forcing the suspect to hand over his pin/password. They may have the right to seize the phone and thats fine, take it, but good luck breaking into it, there is nothing in those provisions that holds me to force acts I dont want to do including assisting with my own self-incrimination or beyond my right to remain silent.
All these things are well and said, and legally US citizens are protected. Ultimately the CBP agent would have to let you go. However, how many people are going to stick to their convictions when they’re being intimitated by people with a badge and holding them in a cell in the mean time. The threat of missing the flight is enough for some people to just give up and comply with whatever crazy so called rights an so called authority the agent has for fear of reprecussions and delay. I’m not even sure how far I’d take it before I would just give up and cooperate even though I am in full legal and US citizen protection of such a shake down entering my own country of origin. How many hours in a cell calling my right to silence until my day in court could I do? A normal citizen is going to be beyond intimitated by a person with a badge and a gun and do anything the agent wants him/her to do. I only wish more people who have the ability to would publicly fight and hold their convications and fight for all of us who can't. This is just not right and this is why there is absolutely no accountability for this kind of thing happening. There are also way too many bad agents, TSA employees, etc who do not undertsand themselves and even lack the training on what power they have, can weild, say and do as well as not motivated or knowledgable with full understanding the rights US citizenship automatically affords its you and protections you have inheritly. Until there is some accountability, this kind of muscle flexing will always happen at such an institution.
Further, this guy was already vetted he had and was currently entrolled in US “Global Entry” so this shake down means even less sense. There is zero probable cause and beyond a racist profiling of a seemingly un-white male of possible muslim family background was this guy taken through a gustapo like intimitation out of his own rights.