US Customs Broke Broke My Phone For Filming Themby Travis McCrea
Feb. 12, 2014
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Yesterday upon returning to the United States from Canada, the United States Customs and Border Protections ruined my HTC One by breaking off the charger inside the phone. This was after I refused to delete recordings I had of them from the device.
As you may know if you read this blog and my personal stuff regularly, in the past I have had issues at the US border.
My girlfriend and I were detained for hours and interrogated by a couple of guys starting with the agent who “knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and just wanted to let me go…I just needed to answer a couple of questions” who later decided to make fun of me, and I guess embarrass me into submission (Good cop AND bad cop?) and then moving on to the firm guy who apparently was ready to have me arrested.
The core issue, it seemed, was they were upset is that I frequently have a recording device in my car recording at all times… I guess “if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear” only applies to other people.
Of course, when you are caught on audio calling Fiat 500′s “gay” and also are sexually harassing your female coworkers… you might not want that to come out. You can listen to that here (Sorry it’s a little boring, but I don’t want to be accused of cutting the audio to make them sound bad).
They asked me if I would be willing to delete any recordings that I had on my phone. I told them that I wouldn’t be and the told me to sit down while they determined “what to do with me” only to make me wait another 30 minutes and give me my passport back and tell me I am free to leave.
Upon arriving at my car I found what they decided to do with me: I found my phone with the power attachment broke into it’s socket. I went home and tried to remove the power attachment with a pair of tweezers but apparently didn’t get it all out and my phone will not charge.
I can’t say for a fact that they intended to damage my device, but it was clear that I annoyed them by recording them. They don’t want the public to hear how much contempt they have for the people they are supposedly trying to protect. I do know that I went into this detainment with a fully working HTC One X and left with a 95% dead phone that I couldn’t charge.
They could have taken my phone and held it indefinitely, but that wouldn’t have had the same effect. Breaking the phone sends a message, it says “stop fucking with us”. This is my message back saying that I am not afraid of you…
Actually, I would like to thank them: I have been eyeing the MotoX (against many of my friends recommendations) as a replacement to my HTC One X which I don’t really care for that much. This event will allow me to get the new phone that I want.
I will never stop fighting, I am Little Brother watching you back.
Travis is the 23 year old leader of the Pirate Party of Canada and owner of The Ultimate Ebook Library.