DHS searching laptops at border

DHS searching laptops at border

Summary: The Post has the scoop on new DHS policies that allow agents to confiscate laptops at the border.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.

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The Post has the scoop on new DHS policies that allow agents to confiscate laptops at the border.

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.

All of this is perfectly constitutional, the 9th Circuit held back in April.

Topics: Laptops, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Mobility

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33 comments
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  • Anybody who doesn't want their rights trifled with...

    ...should either forward ship their laptop to the destination or carry one of [url=http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06a/321957-321957-64295-321838-3660143-3660785.html]these[/url]

    No data. No worries.
    D T Schmitz
    • "or carry one of these"

      Except......the mouth-breathers at DHS are too stupid to know what a "Thin Client" is, and would still confiscate it if they chose to do so.

      You are not dealing with intelligent, rational thinking people in this government.
      IT_Guy_z
      • And further more...

        ...until the band of Nazis in Washington are no longer in power...HOPEFULLY only another 168 days...the Constitution will continue to be spat upon by Bush, and his merry band of thieves.
        IT_Guy_z
        • RE: And further more.....

          Amen!

          November can not get here soon enough.

          And, hopefully, if the people exercise some intelligence, we will get an Administration that will undo the actions of King George!!!

          BTW, is it Constitutional to indict a former President for things he did while in office????
          fatman65535
          • RE: And Futher more and More

            Don't you think it is time that we left poor Bill Clinton
            alone??
            tiredpolitico
        • ..SPAT UPON?

          Denouncing with knowledge is important. In this instance, public pronouncements displaying ignorance of history, law, court decisions, precedents, procedures, policies, and more is what I consider "..spat upon"
          rharrold@...
      • Rationality? In government?

        < You are not dealing with intelligent, rational thinking people in this government.>

        You are not dealing with intelligent, rational thinking people in *ANY* government. A government, by definition, is a enterprise based on robbery (taxes, wars...) acts that cannot be honestly rationalized. So governments typically attract people who care more for a guaranteed income than any honest, rational thinking what sort of activity their money originates from. Those who do, won't work for government for long.
        mrdelurk@...
  • RE: DHS searching laptops at border

    "Show me your laptop or iPOd and I'd better be satisfied or it's getting confiscated!"

    That sounds a lot like something China or Cuba or Saudi Arabia might do.

    Must be great living in a country where every laptop is a threat, and every song lyric will be analysed for anti-Americanism.

    More than likely, corrupt border agents will be taking the iPods and computers home to their families.
    croberts
  • RE: DHS searching laptops at border

    How long are we stupid citizens going to tolorate this government abuse?
    DisgustedOldMan
    • It's too late, we've already lost the plot.

      As I implied in my other post, somewhere between WW-II and the present day we lost the plot.

      Whether we can recover from this new totalitarianism is a moot point.

      If history is any indicator, it'll probably not be in my lifetime.
      Irritated_User
  • I read of a situation awhile back where

    Someone was stopped at a border with a computer. He supposedly admitted to having child porn but the files were encrypted and he wasn't giving up the password voluntarily. I never heard how that was resolved.
    Mac Hosehead
    • Confiscation

      Probably went to some FBI supercomputer to try and crack the encryption.

      But in any event, they seize the hardware without cause, without question.
      croberts
  • RE: DHS searching laptops at border

    I think every computer now days should not have hard drives since linux operating system makes it so easy to install a fly OS in its ram. If I were a terrorist I would never save vital info on any computer but instead I would save it in a flash drive or any other format like a cell phone or the internet( since there are so much room now days and FREE).
    What would they ( Goverment agencies ) do to a laptop without a hard drive?
    eltorcido@...
    • Doesn't matter what storage medium it is

      They can just as easily seize a flash drive, floppy disk, backup tape, external hard drive, hard copy printout, as they can the entire laptop.

      Frankly, this whole business of the Feds being able to inspect and seize without reasonable cause or due process is, and has been, wrong from the very beginning. It's not the LAW, but rather an executive branch decision that has over a hundred years of precedent due to most people in the country being ignorant of its existence.

      There are two ways to get rid of this injustice. The first is to challenge it in the courts; and that failed miserably because guess who has the courts in their back pocket? The next method will be to get an actual LAW passed by Congress making this procedure an unlawful act for the President and the executive branch to commit. Trust me, King George and Cardinal Cheney will fight tooth, nail, and Inquisition to prevent any such bill from going through.
      Dr_Zinj
      • claiming something doesn't make it true

        There's plenty of law, legal decisions, and regulations governing the gamut of border inspections. ...so much for King George'n all that.
        rharrold@...
        • Put up or shut up pony boy . . .

          Where are these laws, show them to me on the books.
          psychosmurf
  • RE: DHS searching laptops at border

    If you don't want your files looked at, the easiest way would be to print it out as a book and carry it with you. How many books do they check, and how many DHS people speak or read another language (other than spanish) ? Of course they could burn all books coming into the country...
    Tigerbright
  • RE: DHS searching laptops at border

    Pretty much the whole DHS mandate has a bad smell but most citizens are willing to put up with it if it doesn't interfere with 'their' personal interests and they think they are safe from the those 'bad guys'. It's called the Wildebeest Syndrome. The comments and story here are good examples of what is common in our society.
    Go here and read these:
    http://www.ushistory.org/documents/constitution.htm
    http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm
    This is the LAW. All else is subject to debate.
    If your concern is getting burned with a load of kiddie-porn on your hard drive or a kilo of grass in your bag, have access to a good lawyer. Be prepared to defend your rights under the Constitution and be aware that personal responsibility trumps all else.
    sonoffar@...
    • DHS Searching laptops at Border

      I don't believe anyone here is concerned with hiding child porn or grass. The main concern is, and will always be as far as I am concerned, the willful neglect by this particular government of all due process statutes as evidenced by their willingness to support torture for what they believed to be right. They are willing and enabled to sidestep the law of the land, the Constitution, by our apathy/fear to challenge the establishment.
      agomz1969
      • why stop at the border?

        Sigh...you missed the point but you did get your licks in on, "this particular government". If you define this particular government as the Bush administration you should do some US history study. The fact is all governments will do what it's citizens will tolerate. The weak link in any government is the apathy and ignorance of it's citizens.
        As for, "hiding child porn or grass". Both are facts of life in the USA. Both are illegal.
        One is severely punishable, one is despicable. Just as with the confiscation of lap tops, made possible by apathy and ignorance.
        sonoffar@...