A Vancouver, British Columbia man was denied entry to the U.S. after a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer demanded he unlock his phone, searched his computer, and looked at his Scruff profile and other sex-related accounts before he was turned away at the border and denied entry to the United States.
The officer suspected the man was a sex worker because he found messages from the man saying he was “looking for loads,” and assumed it meant he was soliciting sex for cash.
While the misunderstanding might sound funny, it underscores the bitter reality that non-Americans have very few rights at the border, and that even suspicion of criminal behavior can be used to deny non-Americans entry.
André, a 30-year-old Vancouver set decorator who declined to give his full name for fear of retaliation from US Customs, describes the experience as “humiliating.”
The customs officer also reportedly looked at his profile on BBRT, a barebacking hook-up site, and emails attached to a Craigslist account containing sex ads.
While Americans have an absolute right of entry into the country, they can still be detained or have their electronic devices seized,” writes Daily XTRA’s Rob Salerno. “A non-American who is asked to hand over their devices and passwords is faced with the dilemma of protecting their privacy or potentially being denied entry to the US.”
Wonder if CBP will let Milo into Canada the next time he travels internationally.