Citizen's laptops may be detained at border: no suspicion required

hmmm...what is this Minesweeper game all about?Ok, I’ve read this a few times, but I still cannot believe it. Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security disclosed that traveler’s laptop computers “or other electronic devices” can be confiscated, without any suspicion of a crime! Better yet, they can make and share copies of your data, have the data translated, unencrypted, etc. This is especially topical for me since I’ll be leaving the country on Sunday with the laptop that I’m typing this on. “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.” Now I ask you, how fucked is that? “”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.” So while congress is now looking at it, the article points out that these procedures have been in place for a long time, but only revealed last month, “…because of public interest in this matter.” So this makes me ask, what else should we be interested in that our government is doing so we can discover other ways our rights are being shoved aside? These tactics are excessive and a violation of individual rights, could at least can cause an interruption of business, but at most are a direct invastion of privacy and a violation of civil rights. And if they can do this, I think the next obvious step would be for them to check on incoming data into the country, why not? What’s the difference if I carry a laptop with data on it into the country versus emailing it into the country? I don’t think it would be that big of a leap; we need to keep up the ‘public interest’ in this matter else we lose more freedoms we didn’t know we had. Go to EFF today to learn what they’re doing to fight for our digitial rights and privacy, because the laws are being (re)written NOW!

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