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Bye Bye Laptop

Why is this sort of thing tolerated? Even for five minutes. It is ridiculous.

Travelers’ Laptops May Be Detained At Border
(Ellen Nakashima, Washigton Post, 1 Aug 2008)

Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop computer 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.

(via Huffington Post)

6 comments to Bye Bye Laptop

  • Brandy

    Pathetic. They can’t pay for their own porn, they have to steal Joe Businessman’s?

    What exactly does this accomplish, besides just being full-on obnoxious?

  • Abulsme

    It means that Customs folks don’t have to worry about having a reason they can later defend, they just do things when they feel, for whatever reasons.

  • chris

    So.. I really am glad I have a laptop with an encrypted drive now :( I can’t understand why customs thinks it’s important to look inside laptops, there’s really nothing they can divine of use in this sort of action, unless the laptop is actually made of plastique… but then the other systems would have found it, right?

    oh wait, no they wouldn’t :(

  • Abulsme

    Encryption may keep people from poking at your data. But it will still be a major pain when they take your laptop and decide to keep it for a few years before giving it back.

  • chris

    absolutely.. but it’s a work laptop so their data is ‘safe’ and I can most likely get a replacement in short-order.. Still a giant pita, but :(

  • Abulsme

    I’ve had to replace my work laptop a few times over the years. Yeah, they just hand you a new one, but it is a huge pain to get everything back to where I like it again.

    I would be more worried when traveling with my personal laptop though. (I actually don’t have one at the moment, but will again in the future I’m sure, and Brandy has one now.)

    Well, let me modify that. I’m not actually too worried that they would actually take MY laptop… but just the thought that they COULD is disturbing.

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