Fighting iBorderCtrl

Before we tell you what you can do, let us first tell you who we are, and what we can do.

Who are we?

This website is a collaborative project. The original initiative came from Rop Gonggrijp (hacker, activist) and dr. Vera Wilde (expert on lie detection), working from Berlin. We're not the first to be concerned about iBorderCtrl: The Greek digital rights group Homo Digitalis has asked questions to their parliament, MEP Sophia in 't Veld has asked questions to the European Commission, Privacy International has voiced concerns in various press articles, and a growing number of journalists, columnists and bloggers have written quite critical articles. Others have raised their voices on Twitter and in other venues. Remember this has only just begun. We expect many more groups and individuals to raise their voices as opposition to iBorderCtrl grows.

Why do this?

We insist that part of the point of being European is that Europeans do not:

  • go through everyone's social media at the border.
    (They just cringe when other places do that.)

The plan is not a campaign. You cannot become a member of anything, you cannot donate money. A few people and a website cannot stop iBorderCtrl, and it would be silly to bootstrap an entire NGO to do work in parallel to all the outstanding groups already doing such work all over the world.

What we will do

We will:

  • spread the word about iBorderCtrl
  • follow the events as closely as we can
  • do our own research
  • blog about new developments1)
  • keep the iBorderCtrl Archive up to date
  • support journalists, activists/campaigners and everyone else

All of this to the best of our ability, but we will need help.

What you can do

  • Civil rights groups and digital rights organisations: Please pick this up and run with it. Use your networks to inform, lobby and protest in whatever way works best in your country and/or for your audience. Put something on your website. We would like to link to it and we want to send journalists and concerned citizens your way. We plan to have a list of groups critical of iBorderCtrl on the site here, please let us know if you want to be on it. Contact us if you need help with anything.
  • Journalists: We don't think they're going to get this introduced. But whether they do or not, it will be a large story either way. If you mail us at, we can give you any additional background we might have and we'll try to put you in touch with additional experts and activists, hopefully even in your own country.2)
  • Scientists: It would seem that someone needs to be taking a critical and independent look at the various claims made by iBorderCtrl.
  • EU and national officials involved in this project: People don't want to talk to border guards about their social media, and subjecting travelers to lie detectors is unprecedented and extremist. When extremism takes over, sometimes the right of the public to know what's going on trumps loyalty to your boss. No matter what your personal position is: this project is not a winner, it is a risk to your career. Just put it at the bottom of the stack; next month is always better than this month. You're in a unique position to save everybody a whole lot of headache if you just cover your ass, quietly smother this thing and then go home early. Projects die all the time, accidents happen.
  • Opinion leaders: We need healthy debate about some of the broader principles at stake here. Invite your local digital rights group to talk about this.
  • Everyone: Get involved, support/join a digital rights group, talk about this, blog about it, tweet it. Also, if you see relevant things that need to be in our iBorderCtrl Archive, please let us know by mailing it to or simply tweet the link @iBorderCtrl__NO.
coming soon
For the time being only. Eventually press requests should go to the NGOs in the various countries.