Court Says Border Patrol Can Look Through Your Hard Drive

from the so-says-the-courts dept

A court of appeals has determined that, if you're entering the US, border guards have every right to search through the contents of your laptop, even if they have no reason to be suspicious. This fits with an earlier Supreme Court ruling that basically said the 4th Amendment doesn't apply at the border. All this case does is say that the data on your laptop is equally available to border guards. The author of the News.com article, Declan McCullough, suggests people learn how to encrypt data on their laptops if they're worried -- but will that matter? What happens if the border guards ask to see the encrypted data as well? What are the limits? Also, we've noted in the past that officials have used just the presence of encryption software as evidence that you may have committed a crime, so encrypting data you'd like to keep confidential hardly seems likely to protect that data.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 10:46pm

    So much to hide

    Now all those funny white men from California and Texas who go to Mexico to take pictures of children will have to be more careful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Jay, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 11:08pm

    Is there any precedence for pleading the 5th if they demand that you turn over your keys/passphrases for encrypted data?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Juan Cherry II, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 11:34pm

    Remove Important Data

    If your data is real important like financial information and such I would encrpyt it and backup to a removable usb drive or a partition and hide the partition so that it is not easily accessible. For smart tech-saavy users there are many ways around this. But, it makes sense to help for the child pronagraphers who probably would have a concern over certai data being accessed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    mo, Jul 26th, 2006 @ 11:42pm

    Re:

    In this instance just as you are being questioned by the agent of homeland security you will only open the door for indefinite incarceration untill you reveal the information or they crack it if you don't mind a little jail than don't cooperate otherwise give them 5 min and your done or fed-ex your laptop over the border

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:01am

    RE homeland security

    Well you Voted Bush in now you are paying for it.

    Will this stop the kidds porn perverts NO it will not .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Sohrab, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:13am

    wow. Few more years of the current administration and we wont even have a constituiton or any rights. Canda has alot of real estate to move in! I personally choose Europe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Stymie, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:19am

    Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    And Bush didn't establish the laws or legal precedent behind this policy.

    It's better to keep your mouth closed (or your hands off your keyboard) and have people think that you are a moron than to open your mouth (or start typing) and prove that you are one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:40am

    Re: RE homeland security

    Well you Voted Bush in now you are paying for it.

    Funny, because Bush got elected on a platform of minimizing the federal government, and talked about eliminating various federal agencies.

    After 9/11, the public demanded a more authoritarian federal government, so Bush went against his election promises and responded to public opinion. Now public opinion blames Bush for respecting public opinion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:45am

    Re:

    wow. Few more years of the current administration and we wont even have a constituiton or any rights. Canda has alot of real estate to move in! I personally choose Europe.

    The USA has become more like Canada or Europe, where an intrusive government is taken for granted. Overly assertive individuals who make a big deal out of privacy are accused of being "too American".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    ThePengwin, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 1:06am

    Gotta check everywhere for fireworks!

    cant bring digital fireworks from mexico now can we? :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Stu, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 1:47am

    RE: homeland security

    "After 9/11, the public demanded a more authoritarian federal government . . "

    Gee Dorpus, I don't recall any demand for that at all. I do recall a lot of cowardly sheep responding to fear mongering politicians though.

    In days gone by, "You talk - we listen." was just a commercial for a stock broker. Now it's the policy of this administration.

    What the hell happened to the people of America?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 1:53am

    Re: RE: homeland security

    Bush was initially very opposed to creating yet another intelligence agency. Democrat politicians demanded the creation of a new department, along with the TSA. It took a very long time to find anyone willing to work in the DHS, the last leader left in disgrace, so it is in chaos now. The DHS is basically a powerless department with a tiny number of staff, which depends on other agencies for data collection. The DHS is basically an umbrella term for the collaboration between agencies that already existed. However, that hasn't stopped the media from portraying it as a monstrous creation of the Bush regime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Ken McGuire, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 1:54am

    Applying to the airports?

    Can you see this kicking in through airports? Arriving in on a business flight with your laptop over your shoulder only to have security looking through your family photos or documents relating to a work project? Takes the whole big brother thing one step too far....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    reno, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 2:04am

    Hello !

    Very very interesting to read you...from Brussels, Belgium !

    You have a lovely blog ! Very nice !

    Thanks for that !

    Congratulations.

    Regards

    Reno

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 2:04am

    Re: Applying to the airports?

    You mean like they do in most other countries of the world? In countries throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, airport officers will stick their hands in your pocket or turn on your laptop without asking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 2:05am

    Yeah, dorkus, nobody (except maybe you?)demanded a more authoritarian federal government. bushy and friends saw an opportunity to make a power grab, and they took it.

    Not only did el presidente bush break his campaign promises and spit on public opinion, but he wiped his arse with the Constitution and is de-Americanizing America. Shame on him and his supporters.

    As far as Dems are concerned, it's pretty hard to blame them for any of the mismanagement of the last several years when 1. they are continually accused of never having solutions and, oh yeah, 2. they have absolutely no power. No executive branch, no judicial branch, and neither half of the legislative branches. Maybe if Republicans would spend a little less time on flag burning and gay marriage, they could come off as marginally competent....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 2:19am

    Leave a boot disc in your CD/DVD drive and have it run something pointless. Tell them that that's the only thing on the HD. A lot of people won't be bright enough to tell that you're lying. Better yet, use a Mac and no one will touch it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Chris Dial, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 3:05am

    Hmmm...

    Everyone encrypt everything. Say some of the data encrypted is yours and some is your research partners. In order to make sure neither one of you could tamper with the data, your password is actually 2 passwords (yours and his) put together. You don't know his, so.....

    What would they do then?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 4:23am

    Truecrypt hidden volumes. Makes it much harder for them to find what they don't know exists eh.

    All else fails just sftp the data although that may take some time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Use Steganography, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 4:40am

    I have a better idea...

    Encryption is good, but a stupid choice because it creates suspicion.

    You should try using steganography with encryption instead. Here is a sample program I wrote (it is very poorly implemented (the gui is terrible) and maybe not stable) but does demonstrate the power. It will slightly change the color of the pixels in any given bmp photo to create space for you to store data. In fact, you can take a screen shot of your encoded photo, paste that as a new file in photoshop and still be able to read the contents, since it is only trimming the least significant bits. Try it out, its free, and a wimpy program, but I use it to store my accounts and passwords. Please do not criticize it, it was just a personal scratch item I wrote. I guess I could have gone all out and made it nice, but hey, I have a life beyond writing free code.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anyonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 4:59am

    What does this matter? Just host your data anywhere in the world, walk across the border, and boot and access.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:03am

    Because that data is also ummm processed... read about AT&T... was that the correct company?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Sean, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:17am

    Here's a thought

    Hmmm, if you don't do anything wrong, then what is there to even worry about? I mean REALLY people, is there anything that is so private that we need to "Hide it"? The whole reason to hide something, is simpley because it is wrong. Why do you not want someone else to have it? Should it be kept somewhere else more appropriate?

    -Just a thought

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    yeah, but he placed people in it....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    keefer55, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: RE: homeland security

    "The DHS is basically a powerless department with a tiny number of staff"-Dufus
    , From the DHS.gov Human resources page-
    "The vast majority of DHS civilian employees (approximately 110,000)"
    Wake up dufus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Trickyny, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:29am

    Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    Think Styme, Think. How many people did Bush put on the Supreme Court? He may not "control" them, but you gotta realize he picked people that agree with his agenda.

    The best systems of control, are those formed out of agreement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Applying to the airports?

    Have you been out of the country? Do you have a pasport? I HAVE travelled all over Asia, WITH my laptop and what I get is a much more pleasant experience than the people hired under "affirmative action" who say "this passport is not computer readable" and detain you for four hours without question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Josh Bowsher, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:43am

    Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    Bush is just a greedy piece of shit. Our gas prices go up while he is in office and "coincedently" his whole family has lots of stock in it. Also, he is a moron, because he can't even read correctly and he is a republican! Right now he is like LBJ in Vietnam, letting our troops keep dying for no reason. Need I say more!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Mau, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:45am

    HIPAA vs. Border Security hmmmm..

    Something funny will happen if you work for the healthcare industry, your laptop is iron clad encrypted (because health information privacy law requires you to do so), and if you are flying back from a trip, will be funny if they ask you to decrypt such data, hence, be in violation of HIPAA laws for disclosing personally identifiable data from your customers/members, or whatever you have encrypted. Quite interesting

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:50am

    lol

    Damn, some topic on border patrol and privacy issues leads to Bush, republicans, and well, a divided forum at the moment... but enjoyable to read of course.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:06am

    Re: Here's a thought

    "Hmmm, if you don't do anything wrong, then what is there to even worry about? I mean REALLY people, is there anything that is so private that we need to "Hide it"? The whole reason to hide something, is simpley because it is wrong. Why do you not want someone else to have it? Should it be kept somewhere else more appropriate?

    -Just a thought"

    well, i don't want everyon in the world to know what i game, what i keep on my harddrive, what music i like, things of that nature. if it's wrong to "hide what is right" why do we locks on our doors, why are our houses not see through? we expect privacy. would you want someone to come in and look through your dirty laundry? snoop around in your attic? i know i woudln't. and with that being said, i wouldn't want anyone to see what i do on my computer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:07am

    Re: Here's a thought

    "Hmmm, if you don't do anything wrong, then what is there to even worry about?"

    What if they are business secrets, or your own medical files, or similar? What if you are an inventor and there are invention ideas on your pc? There should always be a way to make data private.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    shimmy, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:08am

    Why don't you....

    just go thru the fence like everybody else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    claire rand, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:14am

    Re: HIPAA vs. Border Security hmmmm..

    you're assuming that a government policy on this sort of thing has to make sense...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:18am

    Re: RE homeland security

    Canadian border guards searched the my
    laptop's HD and my floppy disks almost 10 years
    ago. I'm told it was to look for smuggled
    software (by a third party) but I think they
    were just being pricks because they suspected
    I was taking work away from Canadians.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Neal, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    Yes, you need to say more Josh Bowsher!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Slayer, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: RE homeland security

    It is a bold statement to say that it is public opinion. YOUR opinion is certainly not PUBLIC opinion.

    Damn red states.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:34am

    "Hmmm, if you don't do anything wrong, then what is there to even worry about? I mean REALLY people, is there anything that is so private that we need to "Hide it"? The whole reason to hide something, is simpley because it is wrong. Why do you not want someone else to have it? Should it be kept somewhere else more appropriate?

    -Just a thought"


    That's an idiotic statement - once you let government have that kind of control - they'll start going further... Next thing you know, the thought police will be in effect. Say the wrong thing - well, you just did something wrong - off to jail with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Slayer, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:35am

    Re: Here's a thought

    How bout those explicit videos you and your wife or girlfriend made that tend to keep you company on those long trips? I'm not sure G.I. Joe needs a look at those.

    Damn red states.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:36am

    "Bush is just a greedy piece of shit. Our gas prices go up while he is in office and "coincedently" his whole family has lots of stock in it. Also, he is a moron, because he can't even read correctly and he is a republican! Right now he is like LBJ in Vietnam, letting our troops keep dying for no reason. Need I say more!"

    Yes... maybe Bush can't read, but you can't write - not only are those sentences pathetic, but you misspelled "coincidently".

    Real sharp :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Evil Bastard, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:47am

    encryption

    Hide and encrypt what you do not want them to see. It's pathetic that they would search the HD of an American coming into America, but anyone else is fair game.

    The red state vs. blue state thing is such a pile of bullshit, way to perpetuate politics as usual.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:58am

    Yeah, every single one of the politicians are laughing, drinking booze, smoking cigars, and laughing about how much money they soak out of the population anyway.

    They just like to keep the 'partisan' debate going as a smoke screen to what's really going on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:59am

    You are all idiots

    Why don't you stick to the topic at hand, because no one cares about any of your political opinions, if they did someone would ask you about it, then after hearing it, promptly smack you because you're an idiot. Personally I think if you don't do anything illegal (i.e. child porn) then you have nothing to worry about and the government can be as invasive as they want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:00am

    mmm.... encryption and the fourth ammendment. they go together like white on rice

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:01am

    Re: Here's a thought

    So those dirty picks of my boy/girlfriend that use to keep me company while I'm away...

    That sensitive research data that I'm bringing back with me...

    Any personal info that I keep about myself (encrypted or not)...

    Anything that is encrypted. In the eyes of most security forces encryption = suspicion instead encryption = safety (which is what you intended.)

    Care to explain how "The whole reason to hide something, is simpley because it is wrong."? Or does that mean hiding anything is automatically wrong. Remember that the next time someone asks you for your voicemail, email, and login passwords.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    ulle, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:06am

    border guards / custom agents have always had the authority to completely search anyone crossing the border into their country wether it be the US or England or china or any country for that matter, it has nothing to do with Bush or 9/11, been this way ever since borders were established between countries

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Evil Bastard, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:09am

    WTF?

    "You are all idiots by Jake on Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:59am

    Why don't you stick to the topic at hand, because no one cares about any of your political opinions, if they did someone would ask you about it, then after hearing it, promptly smack you because you're an idiot. Personally I think if you don't do anything illegal (i.e. child porn) then you have nothing to worry about and the government can be as invasive as they want."

    You miss the USSR don't you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:11am

    People have a right to privacy! Just because I don't do anything illegal does not mean I want people knowing everything about me. What about the bad people who would be glad to get their hands on my personal information. I agree that our rights are often abused, just look at the ACLU. I mean they do get carried away at times and end up protecting criminals but they got the right idea in general. If we give the governmet an inch, they'll take a mile.

    In closing, the patriot act was probably a bad idea to begin with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    EH, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:18am

    OH MY GOD

    Next thing you'll tell me is that they can also look through my suitcase. OMG BUSH IS TEH DEBIL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    JG, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:19am

    Did anyone actually RTFA??

    It says right in the article: "They asked to search his laptop, and Romm agreed."

    Moral of the story: DON'T AGREE, make them get a warrant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    "Wrong" things that I might want to keep private

    To continue the list....
    -Corporate info, ie concerning merger
    -Financial data, including my bank account numbers
    -E-books (esp. concerning things I may not want everyone to know, ie "Coping with Cancer/AIDS," "How to Get Girls," "Xena: Warrior Princess")
    -Photos that while not explicit, may be embarassing
    -Personal journal type writing
    -Something that might offend someone for whatever reason (ie "Right-wingers are destroying the country")
    -My awesome idea for a new invention
    -My private emails and auto-logged instant messages
    -All the info from my PDA and cell phone, since they sync with my computer

    Not to mention, some idiot border cop could do damage to your system, either through accidentally deleting files or physical damage. And what if I'm trying to conserve my battery for the rest of my trip (a common problem of mine)?

    These anti-privacy people are such morons... By their definition, the entire bush administration is wrong, considering their secretiveness (then again...most of the stuff bush hides IS wrong). Maybe they need to leave their computer screen for a few minutes and get in touch with the real world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:26am

    Re: Did anyone actually RTFA??

    "It says right in the article: "They asked to search his laptop, and Romm agreed."

    Moral of the story: DON'T AGREE, make them get a warrant."

    if you make them, they will detain you, and ifyou have important business schedueled, or another flight or whatnot....you could be delayed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:26am

    Yet Another Intelligence Agency?

    Do a google search for Team B in the CIA. Look at the names of the people who made up team B. Then look at all the crazy shit Team B said and what happened to the director of the CIA when he disputed their findings.

    Then look at who took over as director.

    Then fast forward 30 years and look at this administration, it's tactics, and it's results.

    It's all the usual suspects.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Iggy B., Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Applying to the airports?

    What countries are those? I've traveled a lot with laptops and nobody ever asked me for enything...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Just a response, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    Re: Here's a thought

    Simple, say your bank acct info is easily accessable, but only via password-protected encryption... They want that password so they can do whatever the hell it is they are doing. They now have your bank acct info.

    I'd much rather trust my own devices for personal security than put my trust in the theory that disgruntled employees do not exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    EastSide, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:31am

    "Hmmm, if you don't do anything wrong, then what is there to even worry about?"

    That logic is hogwash. Because I do not want my privacy invaded does not equal or imply that I am doing anything illegal.

    I once told police I objected to them searching my car. I went through the indignance of them getting a warrant, bringing a drug dog, and searching. And they found ZERO as I knew they would. I then sued for being illegally detained AND WON. There was no probable cause to be pulled over. i was not cited for any traffic offense. A rookie cop was trying to make a name for himself. And I beat him. BAd.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Jeremy, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:34am

    The problem here is search without reason to suspect. Americans should have the right to expect their privacy to stay intact when there is no reason to suspect them of illegal or treasonous activity.

    And for all of you blaming Bush. This would have happened whether he was in office or not. This was a Court case stemming from actions of agents in the field. Bush is not in direct control of either of those events. Bush did not write the policies of the border patrol and he did not write the court opinion. Assign blame where it belongs and you might just be able to make some headway against the problem. Keep focusing on your attention in the wrong place and you'll never get anywhere.

    Drawing any conclusions about his opinion on the matter without hearing it from him personally is making the same mistake those border agents made. Guilt by assocation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Takes one to know one, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:40am

    Re: You are all idiots

    "Why don't you stick to the topic at hand, because no one cares about any of your political opinions, if they did someone would ask you about it, then after hearing it, promptly smack you because you're an idiot. Personally I think if you don't do anything illegal (i.e. child porn) then you have nothing to worry about and the government can be as invasive as they want."

    So you wouldn't mind them strip searching you, your (possible) significant other, your (possible) children, etc... To look for whatever they damn well please?

    If you're going to blindly follow The Leader, what's the point of making any ostensive comments at all? Remember, they will protect you, they will tell you what to do, they will tell you how to think.

    It's ignorant people like you, Jake, that make this world the way it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:41am

    for the last time this is NORTH AMERICA you selfrighteous patriotists, when you refer to america you are talking about both south and north, its not like america gets to be america only cuz is better, perhaps you dont say it but you sure think it-dontcha!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:43am

    someone augghta give these folks a lesson on geography so they start feeling as stupid as they sound to the rest of the world

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:47am

    "It's ignorant people like you, Jake, that make this world the way it is."

    and dont forget the people who forget that the american continent extends all the way to the south pole

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    EH, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:48am

    America

    "when you refer to america you are talking about both south and north"

    Actually, no, you are talking about "The United States of...". It's standard. The rest of North America doesn't have America in the country's name. I know, it's tough to make that logical leap, but give it a whack, you'll feel better for the effort anyway. Then you can go back to coloring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    wolff000, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:51am

    Simply Hide Your Laptop

    Just stick your laptop someplace odd but not too od. As in a hidden compartment in the trunk may not be great cause if they do find it you will be detained until they figure out if your clean or not. If how every you just slide it under your seat in the kids diaper bag they are alot less likely to notice. Not like you have to disclose what electronics you have with you. Or simply install an oddball flavor of linux on a differnet partition and be sure it is open when you go through the check point. If they want to check it let them just ask that they not reboot cause your battery is faulty and doesn't always come back up when restarted. The odds of anyone at border patrol knowing how to work one of the rarer breeds of linux is little to none. That and why does it matter remember an honest man has nothing to hide. I don't support this kind of search without cause but if that's the way it is you simply make your voice heard at the polls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:52am

    so you came here to prove my point, THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NOT "AMERICA"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    The USA has become more like Canada or Europe, where an intrusive government is taken for granted. Overly assertive individuals who make a big deal out of privacy are accused of being "too American".

    well, that's just completely wrong. Privacy is seen as very important in Europe. In no way your privacy is more at risk in Europe than in the US. Especially since 9/11. The US demands long records of passengers on airplanes to the US (this has been rejected by the EU parliament) and that is just an example.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:53am

    its not a logical leap its an excuse

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    LAMBOFGOD, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:55am

    Red States

    Hello, I couldn't help myself after reading the blog to post. For everyone that says "well if your not doing anything wrong then you shouldn't have anything to hide and government should be as invasive as you want" let me just say you are completely missing the point because it's about privacy, freedom, and loosing yet another right not privilege. I can also see how you may have made the mistake of voting for Bush but to still stick up for him after long years of retarted leadership, can you SHEEP. If GUNS GOD and GAYS was your reasoning for voting your an IDIOT who needs to pull your head out your ass. You all probably still believe the towers collapsed from fire because the honest FEMA said so. NEWS FLASH explosives inside the buildings was the cause of the implosion and resulted in the outside falling inward. I can't say our government was behind it but I do know a certain buddy of BUSH Sr. who miraculously became landlord during BUSH Sr. administration made 99 billion dollars in insurance money. I will check the blog in coming days to see the reaction because I know people like JAKE in earlier post will have to wait for FOX news to re-asure himself that there is no corruption and our govt cares.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    justice, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:03am

    Re: RE homeland security

    Your exactly right at least from my time in the military I know terrorist are tech saavy and I would assume the same about child porno sickos. We all know how easy it is to hide files as other thing, (ex. Stenography) or even simply rename it as a .tmp file and put them in a temp folder. Why the gov't and mpaa/riaa keep let suits define how tech works for them I don't know!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:03am

    i think i rather run the oddball linux install and psyche them with a stripped down unnatended windows partition

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Duh, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    RE: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    > Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court by Stymie

    Um, yeah he does. He hand picked cronies and tipped the balance of power to tyrrany.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    U guessed it, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:06am

    Yikes!!

    These kind of comments really make me wonder about the education of the average American public!

    1. First of all, G. Bush is not capable of passing Supreme Court Law(This goes for the Red States too)! Yikes, let's return to 3rd grade and study the 3 branches of Government shall we?

    2. As for proposing members for the Supreme Court, yes, Bush did do that. 2 out of 7 panel members!! The others were brought in by previous presidents. So, um, where is the logic here??

    Bottom line is, it is our governments obligation to those who are living within the confines of the US borders to ensure that they are doing their very best to protect us from terrorist attacks. This is a very real threat folks or do you forget 9/11? Forget the argument of some of those were American citizens because it doesn't fly in my book. Let's take a look at the rally that just took place in Florida, where our own American citizens pledged their allegiance to Al Qaida. Sometimes the enemy doesn't come from without, but from within.

    I know it really seems to suck that we are losing some of our freedoms, but when it comes to border crossings, is that really a freedom you want to give to someone who may have terrorist blueprints on his hard drive? It isn't just for pedophiles that this law is being held firm. Is it going to catch them all? Surely not! Let me ask you though, if he/she did get through with that material on his/her laptop, who are YOU going to blame when they get into the US and wreak havoc on YOUR city, YOUR neighborhood, YOUR family? Hmmm, me thinks it will be the very same prez who you now think is being far to liberal with your personal privacy.

    If you think this is such a terrible injustice, voice your opinion on something more than just an internet blog. Use your voice for something more than just whining in a semi public, anonymous forum! Actually do some research on what you are so "anti" and then act on it. Geez, I get so irritated with stuff like this! Everyone has an opinion...sorta like assholes, but then no one wants to actually do anything, they just sit around and let that same government they distrust SO much make all the decisions. Puleeze! Educate yourself and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    croll, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:10am

    I wonder how far this goes. What if an attorney is crossing the border (say on an asylum or immigration case) and has privileged materials and information on his laptop?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Kilroy, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:12am

    Re:Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    First of all, it was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who passed this border piece, not the Supreme Court.

    Second, "The Ninth Circuit is the most Democratic Circuit Court in the nation. 67% (16 out of 24) of its active judges were appointed by a Democratic President."

    src:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Circuit_Court_of_Appeals

    Third, how is this any different then the border patrol digging through your briefcase, viewing all your paper records; making you unlock your suitcase so they can have access inside, etc?

    Finally, what is the likelyhood that a border patrol officer wants to go through your computer blindly and search thousands of folders, files, etc for incriminating evidence. My guess is that unless you give them a good reason to, they won't be bothered.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:15am

    Encription is good for keeping the information out of the hands of criminals. It is not such a good tool for keeping it out of the hands of our govt.

    You won't have to unencript the data for a border crossing guard, just don't expect to have them let you back into the country.

    All the other bullshit about rights and freedom is all just a bunch of tinfoil hat wearing idiots spouting off a bunch of crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:20am

    Ignorance is bliss

    Why don't you actually read the article before posting. This ruling was made by a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (a very liberal court by any stretch), not by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruling mentioned was from 1985. Bush may have his share of problems, but you can't blame this one on him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Takes one to know one, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    "It's ignorant people like you, Jake, that make this world the way it is."

    and dont forget the people who forget that the american continent extends all the way to the south pole



    Agreed. I'm a US citizen and I wince every time I hear people refer to this country as "America."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Jamie, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:23am

    Re: RE: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    Lets get some facts straight before blaming this on Bush.
    The court that made this ruling is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Not the Supreme Court.
    Furthermore, the Supreme court case that the ruling is based on, was a case from 1985. Last time I checked, Bush wasn't President in 1985 and had not picked anyone for the supreme court at that time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    doubledoh, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:27am

    Re: Here's a thought

    Hmmm, if you don't do anything wrong, then what is there to even worry about? I mean REALLY people, is there anything that is so private that we need to "Hide it"? The whole reason to hide something, is simpley because it is wrong. Why do you not want someone else to have it? Should it be kept somewhere else more appropriate?

    It is this gullible groupthinking mentaility that will be the demise of freedom in so-called 'free' nations. What you fail to realize is that while YOU may not care about privacy and independance, many other people do. Just because you crave the attention that security personal gives you by rifling through your personal property without your permission...doesn't mean other people do. Yes, some people do 'hide' things. Hiding things isn't an indication of wrongdoing...it's an indication of someone wanting to maintain their privacy. Perhaps they have some risque photos of their wife. Nothing 'wrong' with that...but certainly a private matter. Perhaps they are carrying proprietary trade secrets for their company...nothing 'wrong' with that...but certainly a private matter.

    What really irks me is that you have the audacity to say that someone's private information should be kept somewhere more 'appropriate.' What could possibly be more appropriate than your own property!? My laptop is MINE. No one elses. No one has the right to search through my private data...ever. If you fail to see how it is INAPPROPRIATE for the state to perform warantless searches without probable cause, then you have failed and your mentaility will fail us all.

    Thanks for being one of the mindless drones that actually believes what the government does is in our best interest. Moron.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Interesting...

    Interesting...

    I don't quite understand this border business. Is this procedure just for non-US citizens or anyone coming acrosss the border?

    If it includes US citizens, who cares? What could possibly be so important on a laptop? If I have something THAT important to transport over the border, I would just FTP the data to a server and never even consider someone trying to get it off a laptop.

    Is it porn they're after? If so, I'm sure the pronographers have a more sound way to secure they're product.

    If it's that important, upload it or burn it then stash it...end of story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Encript?, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    Encription is good for keeping the information out of the hands of criminals. It is not such a good tool for keeping it out of the hands of our govt.

    You won't have to unencript the data for a border crossing guard, just don't expect to have them let you back into the country.

    All the other bullshit about rights and freedom is all just a bunch of tinfoil hat wearing idiots spouting off a bunch of crap.



    US Govt: *groans* "Who's yer daddy?" *smack*
    You: "You, you're my daddy!"
    US Govt: *smack* "What? I can't hear you???"
    You: "You're my daddy! You're my daddy!"


    There's a reason why the US government has strict laws on allowing certain encryption methods to travel outside of the country. If top mathematicians and cryptologists consider a method secure, and companies like RSA can offer up to $200,000 USD to simply crack a single code... The US govt doesn't have a leg to stand on.

    Why do you think they tried to force encryption companies to allow backdoor methods to their algos? It's because many are so hardened, they would take millions of years even in large-scaled cluster farms to crack.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Bill, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:45am

    you know.....

    Don't try to deffend Bush. It doesn't matter if you love him or hate him.....the fact is that it's HIS administration that is pushing these laws into effect. THESE ARE HIS PEOPLE IN OFFICE.

    Note to U Guessed IT: Did we forget that daddy Bush was one of those previous presidents? You your self rant of people needing to educate them selves......but all you do in your post is perpetuate the fear mongering.

    The fact is that if people want to be perfectly safe, they will have to give up all their rights. So it comes down to this.......do you want to live your life? Or have your government live it for you because there is an off chance that some nut job is going to kill you?

    Guess what guys? Terrorists aren't the only people who take lives. Millions of people die every single day. They die naturaly. They die to stupidity, accidents, murder, sickness, and natural disasters. Death is everywhere. Living in fear is no way to live.

    The only people who want to be protected by the government are the sheep who are so affraid of dying that they CAN'T live their lives. These people come from all walks of life. They could have six figure incomes, beautiful families and many possesions. Or they could live in a trailer, work at a popular fast food chain, and drink domestic beer infront of a 20" TV every night.

    The above post is right about one thing...PLEASE educate your selves. But don't do it by listening to every crack pot that rants on television or on a blog. We live in the age of digital information. It's all here.....you just need to look it up and read it for your self. Don't just read other peoples comments on it. All that does is continue the spread of missinformation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:52am

    Takes one to know one, I guess you really hate Kate Smith and the song "America the Beautiful"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Adam, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re:Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Co

    "Third, how is this any different then the border patrol digging through your briefcase, viewing all your paper records; making you unlock your suitcase so they can have access inside, etc?"
    Digging through a briefcase or suitcase is far more reasonable. You can't store drugs on your hard drive.

    "Finally, what is the likelyhood that a border patrol officer wants to go through your computer blindly and search thousands of folders, files, etc for incriminating evidence. My guess is that unless you give them a good reason to, they won't be bothered."
    Good point. I go fishing in Canada every summer. If they ask to see something, even if it would be incredibly inconvenient for you to get at, you say "Sure thing," and get started. When they see that you have nothing to hide, they generally don't bother to look. If you hand over your laptop, they're not going to do an exhaustive search. If you make them get a search warrant, and waste their time, they'll waste your time with the most invasive search they can justify, just to get even.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Mikester, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is the same in Canada. There has not been a single successful lawsuit from the CRIA (Canada's version of RIAA) against file sharers. The reason for this is due to the privacy being held as more important that 'suspected' copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Stupified, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:10am

    Re: Yikes!!

    1. If you really think that it's three branches of government, cut and dried, you are being very naiive. How about the corporate branch? While it does not officially make policy, politicians are slaves to its will. One of the most powerful wings of the corporate sector is the military industrial complex. You know, the body that makes our economy work (unfortunately). They have a huge stake in government (over half of government spending!!!)How about the media? It has the power to shape public opinion. The powers that be are not isolated. They exist in communities within the power structure. It's a competition for power. The same people who were in Nixon and Reagan's cabinets are in Bush's cabinet. Now check out the heads of the national bureaucracy and you'll see the same thing.... cronyism! Nothing new... but this lot is a bit more power hungry than previous ones. Go check out the Project For a New American Century and the documents that they release... then make the connections to the people in power and actions that take place. Sorry, this is a bit incoherent... but if you aren't cynical yet, you are looking in the wrong places.
    2. Same thing as before... although the supreme court does not take orders from anyone, they were put in their positions by political appointment based on demonstrated ideology. The majority of these justices were put in office by conservative politicians.
    3. What actions would you suggest for people who feel marginalized, isolated, and powerless? How about people that do organize, but are essentially invisible because corporate media refuses to cover them? It's not that people aren't trying to "DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT", it's that the channels to do so are very narrow.
    Also, the agencies that are responsible for national security surveillance have a proven track record of spying on American citizens and infiltrating peaceful organizations. They haven't proven themselves to be trustworthy in the first place. I think it is really

    And one last thing, try not to think in absolutes as if there are only two ways about any issue. The world is a bit more complex than you try to make it. It's a nice bubble to live in, for sure, but if your ultimate goal is truth, you may have to observe a bit more closely.

    Be cynical, skeptical... but don't forget to be smart.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:11am

    Anyone for Bush is a FUCKING MORON!

    Anyone, and I mean anyone, who is for Bush should just be quiet.

    You have nothing to say and your reasoning is skewed. Not that you don't believe in what you think but your method of thought is flawed. It is clear in all the world around us from New Orleans, to New York, to Baghdad that Bush and his cabinet are completely and totally incompetent.

    Anything else is total and complete nonsense either generated by aformentioned powers or perpetuated by their subjects who are even more thoughtless than them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re:

    What?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: RE: homeland security

    "The DHS is basically a powerless department with a tiny number of staff"-Dufus

    , From the DHS.gov Human resources page-

    "The vast majority of DHS civilian employees (approximately 110,000)"

    Wake up dufus.


    How many of them really work for other government agencies, and are just called "DHS" employees as a technicality?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Applying to the airports?

    Have you been out of the country? Do you have a pasport?


    Yes to both.


    I HAVE travelled all over Asia, WITH my laptop and what I get is a much more pleasant experience than the people hired under "affirmative action" who say "this passport is not computer readable" and detain you for four hours without question.


    Never had a problem in the US. Asian airports get fussy, questioning who I really am, making aggressive luggage inspections.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Here's a thought

    How bout those explicit videos you and your wife or girlfriend made that tend to keep you company on those long trips? I'm not sure G.I. Joe needs a look at those.


    If people are dumb enough to make videos like that in the first place, then they deserve to be inspected at length.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    well, that's just completely wrong. Privacy is seen as very important in Europe. In no way your privacy is more at risk in Europe than in the US. Especially since 9/11. The US demands long records of passengers on airplanes to the US (this has been rejected by the EU parliament) and that is just an example.

    Really, like the way European countries keep nationalized health records, can search through it at will, and you have no control over which doctor you see? Or German police who can enter your house without a warrant if they don't like the shape of the antenna on your roof? Privacy is a foreign concept in the Latin cultures of France or Italy, where people think nothing of having sex with the door open in public hotels, the architecture is designed to allow people see each other's houses, and when Americans raise a fuss about privacy, they are accused of being the "arrogant American".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Joshua, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    Privacy Politics

    I don't believe for a second that this kind of decision making and thinking comes from only one party of government. Neither party as a whole cares about privacy and both tend to actively try and invade it. Republicans generally use "national security" as their big excuse and Democrats tend to adopt the classic "think of the children" approach.

    There are probably a few politicians, on both sides, that care about privacy, however they don't speak up and make their voices heard. I guess it's bad taste to interfere with an ally's agenda. It seems at times that the only reason we still have any privacy is that both sides tend to try and shoot down the other side at every possible opportunity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 10:00am

    sigh

    Everyone in opposition is missing the point. You shouldn’t have to hide your laptop or encrypt non-sensitive files because some high school dropout affirmative action hire is bored or over zealous to try on his/her new found power shoes.

    If this happens to me I’ll stay there as long as it takes but there is no way the OS is booting past the login screen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Mau, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: HIPAA vs. Border Security hmmmm..

    I am assuming that you are being sarcastic. =)
    you're assuming that a government policy on this sort of thing has to make sense...
    It is just hilarious that the left hand doesn't talk to the right hand...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 10:56am

    Government...Woot?

    Ok, the government is going to look at our laptops, take the battery out!!!!!!!

    Hide the battery someplace where the border people would never look. Then they cant turn the laptop on and you can say you lost the battery across the border

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Joe, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 11:55am

    A Great Man Once Said...

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:02pm

    Re: sigh

    Everyone in opposition is missing the point. You shouldn’t have to hide your laptop or encrypt non-sensitive files because some high school dropout affirmative action hire is bored or over zealous to try on his/her new found power shoes.

    Really? So do you know for a fact that the Border Patrol hires high school dropouts? I haven't heard of any government agencies today that hire such people. Are you sure they still have affirmative action, or is it illegal now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Heywood, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Red States

    What?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here's a thought

    "How bout those explicit videos you and your wife or girlfriend made that tend to keep you company on those long trips? I'm not sure G.I. Joe needs a look at those.


    If people are dumb enough to make videos like that in the first place, then they deserve to be inspected at length."


    well...as a legal adult in the usa, i have the right to make personal home movies. if my consenting partner and i want to make a video of us 'doin it' we can. it's for our personal use. not for some border patrolman to watch it. i'm not dumb for making it either.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 2:43pm

    100th Post!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    jeff, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 4:03pm

    it'd be kinda fun to go to mexico, buy a laptop and fill up the hdd with 38gb of text and image files full of nothing but LOLs and then encrypt it, come on back to the states and when they ask me to give them the key, tell them to let me fist their wives first, then hang out while they take the time to decrypt the shit. retirement is so boring...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    The One Eyed Man, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 4:18pm

    A word on encryption

    Steganography is practically worthless when used without encryption. Steganography can be used to *conceal* that encryption is being used. Most good disk encryption tools let you conceal the fact that you are using encryption at all. Check out www.truecrypt.org A simple method for concealing that you are using encryption is to create an unused partition, and have your encryption software use that as a block device. Casual or even intesive examination of your laptop will only reveal data on the primary partition (encrypted or unencrypted), to which you can provide access for inspection. Confidential information is contained on a separate partition that does not show up until you run the encryption software to "mount" it. If the border guards think you are concealing something, they will be more suspicious, so don't give them a reason to check. Hide the encryption software (stuff it in a folder for another program), and use a separate partition for the encrypted data. If they do suspect or discover that you have encrypted something, they are welcome to hand your laptop to the NSA for all you care -- *if* they manage to break the encryption and decrypt the partition within a reasonable amount of time, I think they can be trusted with anything I might have on my laptop. If the border guard deletes data or damages the machine, this can be addressed in civil court. There are export restriction laws regarding encryption software. There are usually exceptions made for US citizens carrying a personal or company-owned asset to a foreign country where the encryption software itself is not allowed to be sold or used. If not, use a lower "exportable" grade of encryption when you travel there. Mexico, Canada, and most NATO countries are "trusted", and strong encryption software is allowed to be sold or used in these countries. As for memory sticks and other removable media, based on the article and the comments, I would expect these to be searched. It's probably easier and will reduce suspicion to just simply *not* use them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    riceman, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 4:26pm

    Food for thought

    A computer with soft (electronic) copies of documents is no different than a briefcase, purse, or backpack with hard copies of documents. Likewise with electronic contraband vs physical. To think that having 'h0t pr0n' is safer or more private because it is on a PC vs having a bunch of polaroids stuffed into your carry-on is an un-informed position to take. Customs procedures are relatively unchanged for the past several decades. If you are a known/wanted criminal, you will be arrested. If you are a previously convicted felon, you are given more scrutiny. If you have contraband, it will be confiscated and you may be fined and/or arrested. Technology is not somehow immune to how customs has operated for all these years nor guarantees you any special privacy rights. It just allows you a better chance to get away with doing something illegal or morally questionable. There was nothing bizarre with what had happened to the guy in the article. He was stupid and got caught with his hand in the cookie jar; no different than if he had a stack of 3x5 glossy photos in his jacket pocket that was discovered or more appropriate, photos of child pornography that were hidden behind legitimate photographs of his family in his wallet, or sandwiched behind subscription cards in a magazine.

    There is no expectation of privacy at customs. You are not dumb if you make a porno or buy adult novelty products. You are dumb if you take it with you on your trip expecting it to be private. Customs aside, what if your laptop got stolen and your hot home video got posted on the Internet or was sold as amateur porn? Remember "European Vacation"?

    We can argue both sides of the issue about how evil the Democrats or Republicans are and how one particular side or President is screwing us over. The sad fact of the matter is that our government has been in a downward spiral since after the Great Depression and World War II. Our "greatest" generation failed us by not ensuring the government stayed out of our affairs and allowing it to swell to unimaginable heights of corruption. The "we deserve" mentality has permeated our government, truly creating a big brother that most Americans cannot or refuse to live without, like Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

    Eisenhower warned us of the danger of the Military Industrial complex, but nobody listened. We've been too afraid of communists during the Red Scare, the Soviets during the Cold War, drugs during the 80's and 90's and terrorism (domestic and foreign) during the 90's and 00's, to truly see that all these 'wars' we're 'fighting' should never have superceded our Constitutional rights. Yet, we've done nothing because the same jackasses in Congress that vote for Real ID and the Patriot Act, are also redistributing our (over) taxed money into social programs and local projects into our districts. Hell, what's the harm in a little loss of freedom as long as Rep so-and-so gets us $150million to build a bridge that only a dozen people with use or pay for my golden years because I was too busy trying to impress my neighbors with expensive crap than saving some money?

    Corporations aren't to blame, however convenient it may be. We are... for electing and re-electing the same corrupt politicians, regardless of their party, over and over again. We -allow- them to succumb to lobbyists and PACs, whether they be unions, corporations, or hippies with lots of money, by reinforcing their behavior with our votes. We fund the lobbyists agendas by consuming their goods or donating money to them.

    Affecting change in government is as simple as changing your voting habits. Don't vote for someone just because their your favored political party, unless you have to because you live in a state that makes you register an affiliation, as both parties are pretty much the same anymore. Simply vote against the encumbant, don't let them stay in there long enough to be seduced by the lobbyists. You can even affect change by being choosy about where you spend your money. Don't like 'corporate greed'? Buy products from companies that aren't run by a-holes. Buy from mom and pop stores. Or do you not practice what you preach so you can save some $$$ at the Wal-Mart?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Frink, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Remove Important Data

    "and hide the partition so that it is not easily accessible"

    Like the Christopher Walken way in Pulp Fiction?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    Frink, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "the Latin cultures of France"

    yes, and the French cultures of China

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    identicon
    Frink, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Hmmm...

    Send you to Guantánamo and wait for your friend to show up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    Frink, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 5:42pm

    Re: You are all idiots

    I hope they search your asshole with both hands and a Mag-Lite.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    Non-moron, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 6:36pm

    You're not "in the USA" at the border

    Hello!! When the border patrol inspects you and your belongings, they are determining whether or not to allow you into the USA, not to throw you out. This is necessary to avoid deportation hearings for everyone walking off a plane at an iinternational airport. Only international law applies to you there, NOT the US Constitution. The Constitution only applies when you are IN the country. Border entries are more like embassies.

    I think the movie "The Terminal" makes a great demonstration on this as it shows you are not IN the USA until the Border Patrol or Customs says you are. This is international law designed to allow nations to kick you out and say they never allowed you in in the first place. This is old law folks.

    It's liberals that make up passages in the Constitution that do not exist in the first place. "Gay rights", "Abortion", "Separation of Church and State" etc. Liberals might want to actually read the Constitution before they go screaming to a lawyer or "moveon.org". Geez, give it up with the "blame it on Bush" thing for once. Much of the problems we have today are a result of poor Liberal policy from the past (Congress was mostly Democrats for nearly half a century) that have come back to bite us in the butt and now, as usual, the conservatives have to clean up the mess (middle east, economy, terrorism, etc)

    What a bunch of weaners.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    identicon
    AC, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 7:23pm

    Re: You're not "in the USA" at the border

    I've never heard of any "made up passages of the constitution" regarding gays or abortions. I think you are the one making stuff up. Also the bill of rights is pretty clear on the separation of church and state and this has been backed up in courts and legal precedent:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    "The conservatives have to clean up the mess"? When will they start this; so far all I've seen them do is make things much worse. It's pretty sad now that even that some prominent GOP members have said that this administration has created a proto-facist state. It's pretty obvious you get spoon fed your "information".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:01pm

    Re:

    You can plead the 5th, but they can also not admit you and your laptop into the country. They can also seize it and break the encryption.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    Dan, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 8:08pm

    This is not new. The 4th Amendment has never applied at a border crossing, which has nothing to do with this or any other administration. The first ruling on this was long before this Adminstration came into office.

    They could always search anything and everything when you cross an international border. It's a right of soveriegnty that every nation exercises. Yes, every nation can and does this when it suits their need. To prevent problems they just don't do it to everyone, but only samples.

    International airports are considered border crossings so to those that were wondering they can search there too.

    This article was written by a misinformed alarmist trying to stir up conspiracy theorists. Read the history on this and become educated before you make rash judgements that show nothing more than your political affiliation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2006 @ 9:09pm

    Re:

    Thee might be. . . umm . . I'm really not sure . . Honestly, I forgot the key . . i mean the fifth precedent

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 5:58am

    Only a few more years of bush, America is supposed to be the land of the free. Now our right gets taken away just to stop the minority of individual that are breaking the law. Thank god, i left 3 years ago. I'll be back once bush is gone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:


    Really, like the way European countries keep nationalized health records, can search through it at will, and you have no control over which doctor you see? Or German police who can enter your house without a warrant if they don't like the shape of the antenna on your roof? Privacy is a foreign concept in the Latin cultures of France or Italy, where people think nothing of having sex with the door open in public hotels, the architecture is designed to allow people see each other's houses, and when Americans raise a fuss about privacy, they are accused of being the "arrogant American".



    Every statement you have made in the above is wrong. The German law does not allow to search your house without a warrent. It's nonsense that you can't pick your own dokter, I have done so several times. I can even choose the hospital for treatment. Also, there are NO centralized National Health databases, actually the problem is that there is none. My family docter has a file, the hospitals I visited, each have one with only the information about the treatment I got at that time and the data that I gave them.

    Culture and architecture, in teh way you describe, have nothing to do with laws on privacy. Also, you should note that France and Italy do not represent all off European culture. Before you get angry, check your facts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
    identicon
    Xcetron, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 4:56pm

    If the government takes no action then the next time someone decides to attack the country, dont blame them.

    Thats all I have to say.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116.  
    identicon
    lawyer, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 5:16am

    The 4th Amendment has never applied at the border. Border guards have always had the authority to search you and your belongings when attempting to enter the USA. This was the law before George Bush was even born. It was the law before his daddy and granddaddy were born. Its real simple, if you dont want to be searched, dont attempt to enter the USA. That being said, the chances of your hard drive getting searched are slim and none. They dont have time. About the only ones that are going to get searched is if the agent has some reason, at least in his own mind, that indicates it needs to be searched. Its getting old to see people whining about losing their "rights" when in fact they never had the right to come into the USA without being searched.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117.  
    identicon
    amused, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 5:36am

    Considering that customs agents can bend you over and look up your asshole if they think they have a reason to, why in the world would anyone think that their laptop is off limits? They don't need no stinking warrants, never have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118.  
    identicon
    Ezight, Apr 5th, 2007 @ 6:20am

    Hard drives

    Hard drive ??? what's that mr border agent?

    I use a SLAX LIVE CD, i don't need a hard drive in my laptop.

    I just ftp to my server stateside and access my stuff that way.


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    A laptop without a hard drive is useless to them.
    What will stump them even more is seeing a fully operational OS on a CD.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Keep the laptop jerks i still got my software on my server that i access remotely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119.  
    identicon
    Tim Perry, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    Tourism

    Thats it! I am never going to the United States again! I already got a hard time from the security guards at the airport last time I went there and when I got back I learned that they could have searched through my bags without my knowledge, even if I didn't cross the border. That makes me quite nervous since I don't ever like shaking someones hand. Now I learn they can look on my laptop!? They say its the same thing as any hard document. Except hard documents are not password protected. They better not expect me to give them my password because they have no reason to look there.

    I guess thats what it boils down to they have no reason to look there, some may mention child porn, but the people looking at the laptop is the Department of Homeland Security and Homeland Security does not investigate child porn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120.  
    identicon
    johny, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Uh, Bush doesn't control the Supreme Court

    Uh so what do you call apointing two supreme justices if not controling the courts. You wouldnt think he would put someone who would respect your rights on the boarder as well as inside the country did ya? You really are a noob at how the government works

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This