The American Collapse


I don’t live in my pocket, I don’t know. I can say that this process of factory resetting a phone must be computationally demanding as it takes a few minutes and the phone gets warm. Usually when it happens I’m tipped off by my phone being unusually warm, and when taken out to see whats up, the manufacturers logo is on the screen and it can’t be interacted with.


Was this iOS? There’s increasing delay between password failures, so this would take at least an hour and a half of fuckery.


It was not.


Sounds like you need a phone case with a cover. Or a different phone?

Mine has a recessed power button. It can’t be interacted with at all unless that button is pressed.


I definitely need a different phone, though not because of this issue, just cause the phone on which this occured is like 4 or 5 years old at this point.

It’s power button is not recessed, it’s along it’s edge and I don’t use a case.

Also, not tooting my horm, more like poking fun. I’ve had the same phone for like 4 years. Never even once cracked a screen.


With an iOS device you can rapidly press the power button 5 times to disable TouchID and FaceID, forcing actual passphrase entry to unlock. This means you can safely have a ridiculous passphrase, but use one of the less secure authentication mechanisms most of the time for unlocking your phone.

Then if you are crossing a border or otherwise in a tight spot, press the power button five times. If you have enough advance notice of a need for greater security, you can just go to the settings and disable the touch/face ID completely. Also, if you simply turn the device off completely, it will need a full passphrase to unlock when it powers back on.


Be careful with this. This (maybe with iOS 12?) triggers Emergency SOS mode, which by default fires off a klaxon and starts a very short countdown to call emergency services. You can turn off the autocall and klaxon in Settings. As a side effect, it also requires the passcode to unlock afterward.


I’m poorly thinking this through, but if some border agent fires off a klaxon and calls the police while trying to rifle through your phone. Good. Maybe they won’t go through any more phones for a while.


It’s presumably something you’d do before approaching security, not something they’d do to lock themselves out of your phone.


Ah, damn. My poorly thought through plan turned out to be poorly thought through.


I tested, and since I disabled auto call this does not happen. It does bring up a screen where I can easily make an emergency call, though.


Android starting with Pie (9.0) has lockdown mode available from the power button menu. Hides all notifications and turns off all biometrics.



Speaking as someone who regularly gets given shit at US borders, the context of the conversation here is vaguely reminiscent of preppers.


In this case it would be better to just use the FaceID, even if about to get searched: