Internet Security

Another visa holder was denied entry to the US

It has been one week since U.S. border officials denied entry to a 17-year-old Harvard freshman just days before classes were set to begin. Ismail Ajjawi, a Palestinian student living in Lebanon, had his student visa canceled and was put on a flight home shortly after arriving at Boston Logan International Airport. Customs & Border…


It has beenone week since U.S. border officials denied entry to a 17-year-old Harvard freshman just days before classes were set to begin.

Ismail Ajjawi, a Palestinian student living in Lebanon, had his student visa canceled and was put on a flight home shortly after arriving at Boston Logan International Airport. Customs & Border Protection officers searched his phone and decided he was ineligible for entry because of his friends’ social media posts. Ajjawi told the officers he “should not be held responsible” for others’ posts, but it was not enough for him to clear the border.

The news prompted outcry and fury. But TechCrunch has learned it was not an isolated case.

Since our story broke, we came across another case of a U.S. visa holder who was denied entry to the country on grounds that he was sent a graphic WhatsApp message. Dakhil — whose name we have changed to protect his identity — was detained for hours, but subsequently had his visa canceled. He was sent back to Pakistan and banned from entering the U.S. for five years.

Since 2015, the number of device searches has increased four-fold to over 30,200 each year. Lawmakers have accused the CBP of conducting itself unlawfully by searching devices without a warrant, but CBP says it does not need to obtain a warrant for device searches at the border. Several courts have tried to tackle the question of whether or not device searches are constitutional.

Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told TechCrunch that device searches and subsequent denials of entry had become the “new normal.”

This is Dakhil’s story.

* * *

As a Pakistani national, Dakhil needed a visa to enter the U.S. He obtained a B1/B2 visa, which allowed him to temporarily enter the U.S. for work and to visit family. Months later, he arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, tired but excited to see his cousin for the first time in years.

It didn’t take long before Dakhil realized something wasn’t right.

Dakhil, who had never traveled to the U.S. before, was waiting in the immigration line at the border when a CBP officer approached him to ask why he had traveled to the U.S. He said it was for a vacation to visit his family. The officer took his passport and, after a brief examination of its stamps, asked why Dakhil had visited Saudi Arabia. It was for Hajj and Umrah, he said. As a Muslim, he is obliged to make the pilgrimages to Mecca at least once in his lifetime. The officer handed back his pa

Read More

Be the first to write a comment.

Leave a Reply

Internet Security

DeFiance: billion-dollar finance, million-dollar hacks, and very little value

Over the last year or so, much-to-most of the cryptocurrency world has pivoted from the failure of “fat tokens” and ICOs, and the faltering growth of “Layer 2” payments like Lightning and the late Plasma Network, to the new hotness known as “DeFi,” which this…

Over the last year or so, much-to-most of the cryptocurrency world has pivoted from the failure of “fat tokens” and ICOs, and the faltering growth of “Layer 2” payments like Lightning and the late Plasma Network, to the new hotness known as “DeFi,” which this…
Read More

Continue Reading
Internet Security

Tinder’s handling of user data is now under GDPR probe in Europe

Dating app Tinder is the latest tech service to find itself under formal investigation in Europe over how it handles user data. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has today announced a formal probe of how Tinder processes users’ personal data; the tr…

Dating app Tinder is the latest tech service to find itself under formal investigation in Europe over how it handles user data.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has today announced a formal probe of how Tinder processes users’ personal data; the tr…
Read More

Continue Reading
Internet Security

Social media boosting service exposed thousands of Instagram passwords

A social media boosting startup, which bills itself as a service to increase a user’s Instagram followers, has exposed thousands of Instagram account passwords. The company, Social Captain, says it helps thousands of users to grow their Instagram follower co…

A social media boosting startup, which bills itself as a service to increase a user’s Instagram followers, has exposed thousands of Instagram account passwords.
The company, Social Captain, says it helps thousands of users to grow their Instagram follower co…
Read More

Continue Reading
Internet Security

The crypto rich find security in Anchorage

Not the city, the $57 million-funded cryptocurrency custodian startup. When someone wants to keep tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other coins safe, they put them in Anchorage’s vault. And now they can trade straight from custo…

Not the city, the $57 million-funded cryptocurrency custodian startup. When someone wants to keep tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other coins safe, they put them in Anchorage’s vault. And now they can trade straight from custo…
Read More

Continue Reading