Tags: customs | border | protection | cpb | intelligence

CBP Looking to Join Intelligence Community

Image: CBP Looking to Join Intelligence Community
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Feb 2018 07:52 AM

Officials with Customs and Border Protection are pushing for the agency to join the collection of U.S. intelligence agencies, according to The Daily Beast.

The website said a former senior Department of Homeland Security official called the effort "promising."

A spokesperson for CBP did not deny the possible move and said the agency already "uses intelligence and law enforcement information to carry out our border, security, trade and travel facilitation mission."

But a former CPB official argues teaming border agents and spies could present an "Orwellian problem with law enforcement becoming both investigators and intelligence collectors."

And civil liberties advocates are also becoming increasing worried, The Daily Beast reported.  Phones and laptops of people traveling into the U.S. can be searched by Border Patrol agents without warrants, the website said. And the website added the agency has already said the number of cell phone and laptop searches increased from about 19,000 to 30,000 during fiscal year 2016-2017.

The searches are designed to fight terrorism, child pornography and other crimes.

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said he had supported putting CBP with the intelligence agencies when he was in charge.

"I thought it was a pretty good idea, because what CBP has to offer and contribute to the (intelligence community) is travel data," he said.

But some others are more cautious.

The unidentified former senior DHS official added: "I can, without your knowledge, spy on you—go get a warrant, and a FISA warrant is nothing to get, as we’ve all seen now—and I can detain you. I can suspend your civil liberties, and I can refer you for prosecution, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll never see it coming."

"If you’re a U.S. citizen and it’s done for political purposes, it gets really frightening."

Still, the one-time official said it could prove valuable to have the CBP becoming part of the intelligence community, The Daily Beast reported.

"De facto, they operate as if they are," he said. "So why not make them one, and put Intelligence Community oversight on them?"

Robyn Green, who heads government affairs for the Open Technology Institute said: "I think it would be extremely dangerous for CBP to become part of the (intelligence community)."

She maintained the searches of laptops and cell phones raise questions about constitutional rights.

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Officials with Customs and Border Protection are pushing for the agency to join the collection of U.S. intelligence agencies, according to The Daily Beast.The website said a former senior Department of Homeland Security official called the effort "promising."
customs, border, protection, cpb, intelligence
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2018-52-13
Tuesday, 13 Feb 2018 07:52 AM
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