DHS Office of Inspector General Audit – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry / Redacted, December 3, 2018: “Between April 2016 and July 2017, CBP’s [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] Office of Field Operations (OFO) did not always conduct searches of electronic devices at U.S. ports of entry according to its SOPs. Specifically, because of inadequate supervision to ensure OFO officers properly documented searches, OFO cannot maintain accurate quantitative data or identify and address performance problems related to these searches. In addition, OFO officers did not consistently disconnect electronic devices, specifically cell phones, from the network before searching them because headquarters provided inconsistent guidance to the ports of entry on disabling data connections on electronic devices. OFO also did not adequately manage technology to effectively support search operations and ensure the security of data. Finally, OFO has not yet developed performance measures to evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot program, begun in 2007, to conduct advanced searches, including copying electronic data from searched devices to law enforcement databases.
These deficiencies in supervision, guidance, and equipment management, combined with a lack of performance measures, limit OFO’s ability to detect and deter illegal activities related to terrorism; national security; human, drug, and bulk cash smuggling; and child pornography…”