Bills Introduced To Protect Laptops At Border Searches

from the restoring-the-4th-amendment dept

As was widely expected following earlier statements from politicians such as Russ Feingold, legislation has now been introduced that would curb Homeland Security's ability to randomly search laptops at the border, instead, requiring them to have a "reasonable suspicion" of illegal activity before they can search or copy a hard drive. This would be a huge step forward in terms of reasonable levels of privacy at the border. While defenders of the random search program claim that it's necessary, they give little proof. You can tell because their arguments could equally be applied to searching a random person on the street as well, as they just give vague platitudes about protecting the country from harm. Yet our country has privacy rights and probable cause for a very good reason. It's nice to actually see some politicians standing up to make sure that Homeland Security live up to those ideals.

Filed Under: border, customs, homeland security, laptops, russ feingold, searches


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Yet Another Coward, 1 Oct 2008 @ 8:33am

    Freedoms?

    It is obvious that any form of inspection is more to deter than find. Border lifestyle is simple, if you're crossing the border and have a calm demeanor carrying a US passport the customs agent hardly even looks at you. Its only the nervous or suspicious one's they even care about.

    I cross the border weekly and have never so much as been questioned except for the usual, "Do you have any produce?" line of questions, that are more a health issue than a security one. So I think there is a bit too much overreaction to the whole inspection process.

    btw- Both political parties are the same monster in a different colored hat. You can go Socialism by 2012 with Obama, or you can maintain some semblance of "freedom" with McCain while the government takes over anyway, but in the end the victor will be torn down by the people as not living up to promises of change because Change is not possible while the system still exists. For example either Iraq option will cause issues: pulling out of Iraq and bringing terrorism back to US borders from the vacuum currently formed in Iraq is bad, while staying in Iraq and causing another few hundred soldiers' deaths while keeping terrorists occupied with the worlds finest military also bad. Which is worse?

    So instead of arguing about who, why not come up with a solution to the two-party mess. Partisanship is the root of the current problems and neither side is free of blame, and as long as there are sides there will be no solutions.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.