Feingold Points Out That DHS's Chertoff Is Misleading On Border Laptop Searches

from the reasonable-cause? dept

Following the release of Homeland Security’s policies for searching laptops at the border, where the rules are, effectively, “anything goes,” DHS boss Michael Chertoff claimed that laptop searches were only done when the border guard had a “suspicion” and placed that individual in “secondary inspection.” However, Senator Russ Feingold has now hit back, pointing out that the official DHS policies say absolutely nothing about there needing to be a suspicion or that laptop searches only happen on secondary inspection. If Chertoff were being honest, why wouldn’t those things be in the official policy? And, if Chertoff insists that DHS will only do searches when there is a real suspicion, what’s wrong with following the “probable cause” standard that it insists it should be allowed to ignore? It’s nice to see Senator Feingold asking these questions.

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Comments on “Feingold Points Out That DHS's Chertoff Is Misleading On Border Laptop Searches”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I do think its crap that DHS can search any electronic device it sees fit, for any reason. A smart person would just upload what ever it is they had to a server, then download it once they got to there destination, how are they going to combat that? Someone needs to over see the DHS policies and NOT the people that wrote them, like may hmmmmmm…. JUDGES?!

Jake says:

It’s probably small comfort, but unless some REMF introduces a quota, I suspect that few Border Patrol officers will waste their time and energy on searching laptops without a compelling reason to do so. Honestly, your biggest problem is not the fact that the odd Border Patrol officer whose idea of a compelling reason is ‘he looked like an Arab’ is harder to reprimand; it’s the fact that just subscribing to a particular set of values, however abhorrent those values may be, is now an indictable offence in the first country in the world to make a real go of democracy.

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