Customs' Hamfisted Attempts To Intimidate Wikileaks Volunteers
from the witch-hunts dept
He was careful to travel with no computers or gadgets whatsoever, other than some USB keys with encrypted versions of the Bill of Rights. He noted that the initial customs agent, to whom he handed over the declaration form was friendly until she pulled up his account, and from there things went sour. He asked to speak to a lawyer, which was denied on the grounds that he wasn't being arrested.
Apparently he was told initially that he was pulled aside as part of a "random" search, which leads Appelbaum to joke about the actual randomness -- which was also shown to be false when one of the agents mentioned his pre-flight Twitter activity.. He also pointed out that those detaining him were disappointed that he wasn't traveling with computers or mobile phones, and that Iceland had plenty of computers, such that he didn't need to bring his own.
In the end, after about half an hour's detention and search, they did let him go. Some might consider that to not be that big of a deal, but it clearly has something of a chilling effect. He notes that the mental stress of being in such a situation is not at all enjoyable. This is unfortunate. If he's done something wrong, arrest him. If he has not, harassing him every time he crosses the border is just obnoxious.