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DHS: Laptop Border Searches Are Bad... Except When We Do It

from the that-may-change-soon dept

The Department of Homeland Security has been actively (though with really weak arguments) defending its policy of searching laptops at the border, even without probable cause. Yet, at the very same time that it was staunchly defending the policy and refusing to testify in front of Congress over it, it was also issuing a report warning international travelers not to take laptops, since foreign governments often search them. You see, when foreign governments do it, it's evil espionage. But when we do it, it's for our own security:
"Foreign governments routinely target the computers and other electronic devices and media carried by U.S. corporate and government personnel traveling abroad to gather economic, military, and political information."
Either way, it looks like DHS's own freedom to search laptops without probable cause may soon get curtailed. The Senate has been making noise for a while about introducing a bill to reign in the laptop searches, and Rep. Loretta Sanchez introduced some legislation in the House last week that would establish clear rules, compared to the anything goes policy currently in existence. Kind of sad that we need special legislation to make it clear that the 4th Amendment should apply at the border, but such is life these days.

Filed Under: 4th amendment, border, laptop searches, privacy, probable cause


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  1. identicon
    Para Noid, 17 Sep 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Clever, you.

    "Comparing the United States to the Soviets, that's clever of you. And really, socialism implies governments seizing your property at border crossings."

    Sorry Alex but it is true.

    For more than 200 years we (The US of A) has been pushing democracy and privatization of the banking industry world wide.

    The Iron Curtain has fallen and China has allowed outsiders to trade it's markets.

    Lets look at the past few months in the US.

    The FDIC and Fed have been "Buying" (Taking control of or nationalization) public and private banks and lastly 80% of an insurance company (AIG) to keep them from failing.

    (Free login may be required) http://www.rgemonitor.com/roubini-monitor/253625/the_transformation_of_the_usa_into_the_ussra_united _socialist_state_republic_of_america_continues__at_full_speed_with_the_nationalization_of_aig

    The transformation of the USA into the USSRA (United Socialist State Republic of America) continues at full speed with the nationalization of AIG

    FTA:"This biggest bailout and nationalization in human history [Fannie and Freddie] comes from the most fanatically and ideologically zealot free-market laissez-faire administration in US history. These are the folks who for years spewed the rhetoric of free markets and cutting down government intervention in economic affairs. But they were so fanatically ideological about free markets that they did not realize that financial and other markets without proper rules, supervision and regulation are like a jungle where greed – untempered by fear of loss or of punishment – leads to credit bubbles and asset bubbles and manias and eventual bust and panics."

    This guy (Nouriel Roubini)has called all the bubble and crash back in February! And we're not done yet!

    In 2006 he was called Dr. Doom for his predictions and in 2007 was being called a Prophet for his accuracy.

    If you are interested at all in what is going on in the US (and the world) read his work.

    Yes Alex, there is a grinch.

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