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. icon
    PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2008 @ 4:33am

    Re: No, it was Al Gore who wanted the backdoor

    "And for all of the Bush bashing, keep in mind that you are still safe in the US."

    Heh. Sorry to politicise this thread, but you're no safer than you were before 9/11 and you've given up large chunks of your rights just for that. Bush gets bashed because he's the one who took those freedoms from you for false reasons, and is making many more enemies abroad while losing whatever respect allies used to have for you.

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