Maciej Cegłowski argues that given phones are somehow subject to the same invasive access as suitcases, social media developers should develop a ‘travel mode’ that severely limits access and data when activated:
Both Facebook and Google make lofty claims about user safety, but they’ve done little to show they take the darkening political climate around the world seriously. A ‘trip mode’ would be a chance for them to demonstrate their commitment to user safety beyond press releases and anodyne letters of support.
Not sure that it would really help though - he suggests it would be irrevocable once set (to thwart border agents just asking you to turn it back on), but that would seem to create a whole other set of problems (what if you have to cancel your trip at late notice with travel mode already set).
John Gruber is right, we should be fighting the entire premise:
“Travel mode” would be better than nothing, but no technical solution is a substitution for proper civil liberties. Our phones and devices should be protected against unwarranted search and seizure, period.
It will be fascinating to see what impact the election has had on US tourism at the end of all this. A planned exploration of some US National Parks is definitely off the agenda for me now, and I’m sure for many others.