Ex-Mozilla CTO: US border cops demanded I unlock my phone, laptop at SF airport – and I'm an American citizen
"On this trip, the kiosk directed me to a Customs and Border Patrol agent who kept my passport and sent me to secondary inspection," Gal said. "There I quickly found myself surrounded by three armed agents wearing bullet proof vests. They started to question me aggressively regarding my trip, my current employment, and my past work for Mozilla, a non-profit organization dedicated to open technology and online privacy."
Gal said the g-men were rather interested in his time at Firefox-maker Mozilla, and of his recent trip to Canada. They also went through his wallet and luggage, and this led to a request by the agents for Gal to unlock his Apple-issued iPhone XS and MacBook Pro so they could search it, it is claimed.
Given the devices were emblazoned with big red stickers reading "PROPERTY OF APPLE. PROPRIETARY," and he had signed confidentiality agreements with Cupertino, Gal said he asked for permission to call his bosses and/or a lawyer to see if he would get into trouble by handing over access. When this request was repeatedly refused, we're told, he clammed up, taking the Fifth, and citing constitutional rights against unwarranted searches.