Will DHS Border Search Logic Be Used To Allow Gov't Screening Of All Internet Traffic?

from the bad-potential-precedent dept

We've already explained how ridiculous it is for DHS to say that border patrol agents need to search laptops to prevent dangerous information from getting into the country. Obviously, if that was the intent of the individual, they'd just send the info electronically and not have to deal with any customs agents. Slashdot points us to a blog post by Steven M. Bellovin where he takes that same thought and flips it on its head, noting that, based on the DHS's statements, DHS may believe that it also has the right to scan any data entering or leaving the country. On top of that, he points out that this could potentially mean that if you encrypt that data you send over a border (say, via a VPN), you could potentially be violating laws that bans "hiding" goods that you send over the border. While the courts have not at all ruled in this way, you could pretty easily see the government making this sort of case.
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Filed Under: border searches, customs, data transfer, laptops


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2008 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: DHS is doing the right thing and the USA is safer post 9/11.

    I just want to say, from a fellow citizen, thank you.

    Thank you for not buying into the crap that governmental institutions keeping putting out in an effort to turn our society into a total surveillance regime.

    Thank you for express your dedication to true American values in a public forum and for being a bulwark against these sorts of invasive practices.

    And finally, thank you and your colleagues for looking out for the rest of us from the inside while still being true to core constitutional values as envisioned by our founders.

    To bad there are not more people like you, but it's people like you who will eventual save us from become paranoid, fascist society.

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