When the civil rights and liberties organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice sued the FBI to obtain its files on a client of theirs, they discovered that Customs officials at US airports share detailed information with the Bureau. When officials at US borders ask you questions about your trip abroad and your personal life, when they rifle through your belongings, they take detailed notes. They may subsequently share those notes with the FBI.
Among the things the civil rights group found Customs had shared with the FBI was the following information:
• Detailed information about the books in his bags, including descriptions of the authors based on information the customs officer apparently found on the Internet• The name of the mosque he attends in the United States• That his wife was 3 months pregnant and her address in a European country• His employer’s name and information about his annual salary• His plans to buy land in his country of origin• Information about who he saw abroad, including details like how long they met for coffee and what they did together• His roommates in the United States and their jobs, including information about the primary renter on the lease• His educational aspirations and information about financial difficulty leading him to look for cheaper rent• Notes from his passport, including information about his travel history• His debit card number, found in his wallet• His bank account number, taken from a check found in his luggage