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

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  1. identicon
    Dosquatch, 1 Oct 2008 @ 10:28am


    If an Iranian ship comes into our harbors, do we really want to accord it 4th amendment protections from inspection? How about a North Korean boat?

    There's what most reasonable people might call a "Big Fucking Difference" between a foreign ship entering a harbor and an individual at the border.

    There is, further, what those same reasonable people might similarly characterize as a difference, between one or more people from a known hostile state and a citizen of our own country... not to put too fine a point on it.

    And neverminding the SC's thoughts, nowhere in my reading of the Constitution do I see it state "... except at the border".

    What other rights do we surrender at the border? Do I still have the right to speak and worship as I please? Am I still protected against cruel or unusual punishment?

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