At the same time, the security forces act in an absolutely illegal way, since the inspection of smartphones or computers can be carried out only as part of an open case or with a court order. Here is what one of the passengers who underwent a humiliating procedure of this kind wrote:
“This afternoon I flew out of Domodedovo. At passport control, they asked the type of activity, said that it was connected with computers. Immediately, without further ado, they slowed down and said that additional checks needed to be passed. They took me to some room where a bunch of border guards are sitting, handed over with the words "Here's another IT worker for you". One border guard came out of the room, began to interrogate right in the corridor who, where, why I was going. "Relax? Rest for sure? Maybe work after all?" and smiles such looks. I say no, rest.
Come on, he says phone. I opened it and immediately started checking VK, telegram, whatsapp, watching all the chats that I have. I didn’t really find anything, I saw some chats on relocation and job search, I started asking why I need them if I’m going on vacation. He asked several times how much cash I had. Opened chats, read messages all in a row. Then I saw the Meduza channel in a telegram and started asking why I subscribed to it. He began to ask if I signed along with Navalny (no). Then I opened the YouTube application, which I never used on my phone and did not even think to clean it, opened the browsing history, which is displayed from the computer.
And there are a bunch of different videos in a row with news and reviews of the military conflict, Varlamov, Nevzorov, Shulman, Gordon, Echo of Moscow, etc. He’s like “Opa” and let’s ask me about everyone, how I feel about one, how to another, how to the current government, how to a special operation, do I go to rallies, again about N. he began to ask a bunch of questions (although nowhere there was no word about him), in short, he went for a full 20 minutes. Then he began to watch all my calls, whether anyone from Ukraine called or wrote to me. He asked if I myself was in Ukraine, if I was going to Ukraine, if I had relatives or acquaintances in Ukraine, etc. I searched VK, whatsapp and telega for all messages by keywords: "Putin", "Ukraine", "War" and so on, but did not find anything. He left for about 5 minutes, the three of us left the room, they surrounded me, let's say the phone and documents.
I started asking what they need, what grounds and so on. That first border guard took out his phone and took about 20 photos of my browsing history on YouTube, as if there were some evidence of an international crime. The second one began to draw up some kind of "protocol", wrote down all the data there, full name, address, place of work, education, phone number, all the same about his wife.
At the same time, there were no data checks, one could say anything, Pushkin Street, Kolotushkin's house is shorter. They said that they would let me out, but "they would see to it that I returned back." Then they left for 5-10 minutes, then a woman came out, gave her passport and ticket, said that I was free.
In fact, the interrogation was somewhere a little less than an hour. No one inspected things, no one checked the amount of cash. There was a second spare phone in the backpack, they were not in the know, so the scheme with the second phone is working. They were generally polite, not rude, but at the same time brazenly and self-confidently. To be honest, the feeling is as if in Remarque's novel in wartime you cross the border, like some kind of disenfranchised migrant, and you can be detained at any moment and sent to distant places. Somehow, the desire to return back diminished immediately.