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NASA scientist detained at US border until he unlocks his phone

Posted on February 14th, 2017 at 9:23 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


A US-born NASA scientist said he was detained by customs officials and not permitted to enter the country unless he unlocked his PIN-protected work phone.

Sidd Bikkannavar, who works in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)  on January 30, upon returning to the United States from Santiago, Chile.

Mr Bikkannavar is a natural-born US citizen enrolled in CBP’s Global Entry programme, which allows participants who have undergone a background check to speed up their entry into the US. He had not visited any of the countries mentioned in Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, but Mr Bikkannavar told The Verge that agents may be become suspicious about his family name, which is southern Indian.

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