U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are searching the electronic devices of travelers more often, and did not always follow proper protocol, a new watchdog report has found.The report made public Monday found there were 29,000 devices searched at a port of entry out of 397 million travelers to the U.S. in budget year 2017, up from 18,400 the year before from 390 million travelers.
Customs and Border Protection officials note it is less than 1 percent of all travelers.
Officers are allowed under law to look through devices of travelers who are referred for a secondary inspection. During the primary inspection, travel documents and passports are reviewed. If a secondary inspection is needed, officers may search devices like phones, thumb drives and computers to determine admissibility into the country, and also to identify potential law violations.