PDA

View Full Version : Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border



Cold Warrior
08-01-2008, 10:58 AM
*sigh* Trending more and more towards Fortress America, where papers are required and the concept of privacy from the intrusive government eye is a distant memory.


Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border
No Suspicion Required Under DHS Policies

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 1, 2008; Page A01

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"The policies . . . are truly alarming," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.

DHS officials said that the newly disclosed policies -- which apply to anyone entering the country, including U.S. citizens -- are reasonable and necessary to prevent terrorism. Officials said such procedures have long been in place but were disclosed last month because of public interest in the matter.

Civil liberties and business travel groups have pressed the government to disclose its procedures as an increasing number of international travelers have reported that their laptops, cellphones and other digital devices have been taken -- for months, in at least one case -- and their contents examined.

More... (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/content/article/2008/08/01/laptops.html)

Elspeth
08-01-2008, 11:02 AM
What the hell are they looking for?

Sonnabend
08-01-2008, 11:09 AM
What the hell are they looking for?

A way to piss off more business travellers and tourists? Is your DHS determined to KILL your tourism industry?

FlaGator
08-01-2008, 11:14 AM
Instead of detaining laptops perhaps DHS should concentrate more on detaining terrorists. That would seem to be the most productive action to follow.

LogansPapa
08-01-2008, 11:16 AM
Once they've copied your porn - you'll get it right back.;)

Sonnabend
08-01-2008, 11:16 AM
Once they've copied your porn - you'll get it right back.;)

Does yours still come with the Speak and Spell?

LogansPapa
08-01-2008, 11:23 AM
Does yours still come with the Speak and Spell?

No. Went for the Scratch and Sniff package.:cool:

Cold Warrior
08-01-2008, 11:54 AM
What the hell are they looking for?

Anything they can find. They take your laptop, dump the data into databases, along with tags linking you (through your SSN) to the data, and automated systems can do data mining and pattern analysis on it at their leisure. Enables the government to build profiles of its citizens.

SaintLouieWoman
08-01-2008, 01:06 PM
Laura Ingraham was saying on her program this morning that they also will take Blackberries, cell phones, etc. I guess it's easier to bully business travelers than it is to be accused of profiling. :rolleyes:

I have to watch what I say every time that I go through security at the airports. Because of surgery resulting from an auto accident, I had to have a knee replacement. Every single time I have to suffer the indignity of being patted down. The guys who look like the usual suspect go through without a problem. The little old ladies in the wheelchairs and I get pulled aside. Go figure. :(

LogansPapa
08-01-2008, 01:19 PM
‘Carnivore’ data mining program. They’ve been talking about this for many, many months. Data storage and retrieval costs are getting sown to the point that even H.G. Wells’ fondest wetdreams couldn’t match what the Oval Office presently has at its disposal. The ironic thing about this is that the ants that get watched also get to pick up the tab. 9/11: the greatest fund generator since the Vatican.

Cold Warrior
08-02-2008, 11:07 AM
The testimony of Professor Peter Swire before the Feingold's Senate subcommittee regarding the Ninth Circuit's decision to permit laptop searches (and detentions) without any probable cause makes both first and fourth amendment objections to the decision. It's downloadable as a PDF (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/06/pdf/swire_laptop_testimony.pdf) and contains interesting information about the government's continuing attempts to invade every citizen's privacy.


This hearing was prompted in large measure by a decision by the Ninth Circuit in April of this
year, in the case of Arnold v. U.S.1 Earlier federal cases had upheld laptop searches at the border, typically finding there had been “reasonable suspicion” of the individual, which means specific
and articulable facts that led the government official to have a basis for carrying out the search.
In the Arnold case, the district court found no “reasonable suspicion” for doing the search. The
district court thus suppressed evidence discovered after a detailed search of the laptop. A Ninth
Circuit panel reversed. It found, incorrectly in my view, that the CPB can do a comprehensive
search of a laptop at the border without any reasonable suspicion of the individual.

Affidavits in the Arnold case and other reports indicate that, at least in some cases, CPB has
seized a laptop at the border and returned it a week or more afterward. The reports are that
individuals are told, in addition, that they have to provide the government their passwords and
encryption keys in order for the government to able to read the files in the computer. Failure to
cooperate, travelers are told, is a basis for denying entry into the United States.
I invite the Committee to consider how this sort of seizure, perhaps done without any
individualized suspicion, would affect your work and your peace of mind—having your laptop
taken away from you, with no assurance you will get it back, and with the knowledge that the
government could make a complete copy of the contents for analysis at its leisure.

I disagree with the Ninth Circuit, and agree with the position of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation that the Fourth Amendment should be found to require at least a “reasonable
suspicion” before doing an intrusive search of a laptop or other computing device at the border.
The amicus brief filed in the Arnold appeal on behalf of EFF and the Association of Corporate
Travel Executives lays out the legal arguments in considerable detail. Because I have reviewed
these materials, and agree with them, I do not repeat the analysis here.

There are also serious issues under the First Amendment created by the seizure and copying of a
person’s laptop at the border. A laptop contains an enormous amount of expressive activity,
potentially including confidential journalist notes, criticism of the Department of Homeland
Security, and an almost unimaginable range of other content. The First Amendment aspects of
privacy and searches have recently been examined by law professors Katherine Strandburg2 and
Daniel Solove,3 and I commend those analyses to the Committee’s attention.

FlaGator
08-02-2008, 11:15 AM
I suspect that when I have to travel overseas I will overnight my laptop back to my office the day before I return home.

SaintLouieWoman
08-02-2008, 03:04 PM
I suspect that when I have to travel overseas I will overnight my laptop back to my office the day before I return home.

Don't you think the laptops that are shipped will be checked? I doubt if they'd let that loophole open, in fact, probably would be more suspicious.

LogansPapa
08-02-2008, 10:54 PM
Don't you think the laptops that are shipped will be checked? I doubt if they'd let that loophole open, in fact, probably would be more suspicious.

It could happen - but it's very remote. Fed-Ex doesn't waste time and simply states that it checks on its paperwork. If the shipment isn't marked "dangerous materials" on the BOL - it moves right through.

expat-pattaya
08-02-2008, 11:48 PM
I've been traveling overseas 3 times a year for 9 years. NEVER had them look at anything and sometimes I am carrying a laptop, multiple external hard drives and iPods, etc.

I have no problem with the concept provided it it aimed at someone one might reasonably suspect of child pornography or the like. Perhaps a tip from a foreign government or what ever.

But it is still probably a waste of time. I mean think about it. Ever heard of data transfer and the internet? Duh.

Elspeth
08-02-2008, 11:54 PM
Anything they can find. They take your laptop, dump the data into databases, along with tags linking you (through your SSN) to the data, and automated systems can do data mining and pattern analysis on it at their leisure. Enables the government to build profiles of its citizens.

Now this makes sense.

Welcome Police State.:(

LogansPapa
08-02-2008, 11:57 PM
When teen hackers can get inside the Pentagon's control circuits on a regular basis - just for shits and giggles - folks with financial means will always be able to get around the government's systems.

Nubs
08-03-2008, 09:07 AM
LP, why do you have to shit on Bush over this??? One of the biggest data miners is a friend of Bill's

Sonnabend
08-03-2008, 09:19 AM
LP, why do you have to shit on Bush over this??? One of the biggest data miners is a friend of Bill's

He has Derangement Syndrome...he cant help it.

Cold Warrior
08-03-2008, 11:45 AM
LP, why do you have to shit on Bush over this??? One of the biggest data miners is a friend of Bill's

As the technology for large scale data mining and automated analysis has become available of the last two decades, both the Clinton and Bush administration have been/were eager to capitalize on it. In the pdf referenced above, the author discusses the "crypto-wars" of the 90s in which the government attempted for force sharing of public keys for DES encryption/decryption in order to be able to read internet traffic. The Bush administration, using 9/11 as its always faithful rationale, has extended the Clinton policies of electronic intrusion to include warrantless searches and confiscation, as per the OP. Don't think this guy has really gone away...


http://ap.grolier.com/images/cache/015/pl380t.jpg

LogansPapa
08-03-2008, 12:51 PM
LP, why do you have to shit on Bush over this??? One of the biggest data miners is a friend of Bill's


He has Derangement Syndrome...he cant help it.


Oooh - IFR! (Idiot Flinch Reaction).

Did I use Mr. Bush's name in my posts on this thread?