US Customs and Border Protection

Judge Edward Korman dismissed the ACLU suit, Abidor v. Napolitano, allowing the US Customs and Border Protection program of random border searches and seizures of electronic devices to continue with no requirement of warrants, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion. Ned Levi discusses the CPB program, court rulings which have affected it, and advice for international travelers entering the US.

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The Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, has made a new ruling concerning searches and seizures of passenger belongings at the border of the US, stating that CBP agents need to recognize there is an expectation of privacy and can’t do a search without a reason. Ned Levi discusses the new ruling and what its effect might be for international travelers.

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This weekend we look to Edinburgh for The Kiss and romantic hotels, Paradors in Spain are rated for luxury, and passport control becomes faster through help of the private sector.

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This weekend, we look at how iPad helped a Canadian cross the US border, US airlines passing new European environmental fees along to passengers and the shift in airline outsourcing to offshore maintenance facilities.

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As a country the United States is sometimes hard to understand. On one hand, we claim to want to have foreign tourists visit us for both the interpersonal interactions and for the positive balance of trade that tourism produces. On the other hand, we treat incoming airline passengers like criminals and charge everyone who wants to visit.

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Global Entry is a preferred traveler program for people considered low risk by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Members of the program are granted “expedited entry” into the US (government speak for you get to skip all of the lines) in exchange for submitting to a background investigation and interview.

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After a bogus, apparently airline-financed study claimed that the new tarmac-delay rules were causing airlines to cancel an extraordinary number of flights, a dispassionate study of delays shows that cancellations showed a small gain, mostly due to weather and the volcanic ash problems.

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Under a series of new laws and regulatory proposals, almost everyone traveling internationally to or from the USA — U.S. passport holders, visa-free foreign visitors, and foreigners with visas — would have to pay more in government fees for the required credentials and/or permissions.

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While driving around San Francisco, a security researcher with a scanner captured and cloned Passport Card RFIDs. Security experts have stated the Cards are easily counterfeited. Ned Levi ponders whether any citizen should obtain a Passport Card.

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