ICE Redefines Detainment For Wikileaks Helper: You're Not Being Detained, You Just Can't Leave

from the our-government-at-work dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about computer security expert, Tor developer and Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum, who was regularly being detained and intimidated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials each time he (a US citizen) traveled into the country. If you follow Jacob's Twitter feed, you get detailed descriptions each time he flies back into the country of the hassles he has to go through. Every time he's detained and never once given an explanation for why or what is being searched for. He's often lied to and frequently told that it's a "random" search. He certainly knows enough that he wipes all of his electronic equipment before traveling across the border.

In the latest case, upon returning from a conference in Europe by flying into Houston, Appelbaum again asked his detainers why he was being detained, and was once again not given a straight answer. He knows that there's something on the screen that they pull up on their computers, but they refuse to provide him with any info. This time, they even went so far as to redefine detainment, telling him that he wasn't being detained, but that he just couldn't go until they were done with him. Perhaps he should send Homeland Security a copy of a dictionary with the definition of "detained" highlighted.

Of course, this is also the same Jacob Appelbaum whom the US government has been secretly requesting information on from various online service providers, as the US government seeks to make its case against Wikileaks. Is it really so difficult for the US government to be upfront with Appelbaum about why he's being detained? Is it really a matter of national security that they can't say "hey, look, the Justice Department is frantically trying to find something -- anything -- that can be used in a case against Wikileaks, and we're coming up blank, so we're going to search your computer equipment based on nothing, just in case you might have something in there that we can use to prosecute Julian Assange."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Police Officers Everywhere Rejoice

    I'm not illegally assaulting you, I'm just putting my fist into your face at high velocities.

    No need to get all dramatic about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    "Is it really a matter of national security that they can't say..."

    Maybe they're still under the delusion that people believe the American government's "free country" propaganda and can't admit that rights are violated as much there (if not more) as any other developed nation? I'm sure they can't actually admit to having violated numerous rights of one of its own citizens without some comeback, even if said violations are nakedly obvious.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    BUT...BUT...

    BUT...BUT...PIRACY!

    Wait - wrong story. Let's try that again.

    BUT...BUT...TERRORISM!

    There we go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Redefining

    DHS - Department of Homeland Stasi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Police Officers Everywhere Rejoice

    I asked why I was detained this time and one of the CBP agents said: "You remember 9/11? That's why!"

    This it what my country has become. So very sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Papers, please.

    Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Obligatory Eagles reference: You can checkout any time you like... but you can never leave!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Re:

    "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission" - Grace Hopper.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    The terrorists don't need to do anything to destroy our country. We're doing a fine job of it ourselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Falling Down quote

    "Freedom! I'll give you freedom..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    how did it happen?

    How did we let out country get so ff track? How did we let these pretenders get into power positions? How are we going to escape the clutches of these assholes moving forward?

    "If you're not outraged, you are not paying attention!"


    I'm extra pissy today. These people just put me in a bad mood.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    I think Bush put it best.

    George W. Bush:
    Our enemies are resourceful and innovative, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.


    Maybe this one video of his bloopers shows it I'm not sure.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEbZqvMu2cQ

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Papers, please.

    Honestly, this could not be farther from the truth. The more you learn about our dealings with the 3rd world, the nations we are at war with, the foreign slave labor done for our corporations, the domestic slave labor done in our private prisons (in which we cage more people, mostly nonviolent drug offenders, than any other nation), the crazy amount of religious indoctrination at every corner, the privacy violations of innocents, the human rights violations of prisoners, the amount of ignorant nationalism pushed through airwaves, speaking of which, the amount of propaganda pushed through by corporate media is nowhere close to that of state-owned/public channels elsewhere...

    What freedom does anyone speak of? Don't tell me I'm free to say what I've just said, I've met locals who've said far less than this and have gotten a hold of over-100 page fbi files detailing surveillance of their homes and guests. Big, Fascist, Corporatist, Militarist Brother is watching you.

     

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  14.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    "Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again...You are free to do as we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!"

    - Bill Hicks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re: Redefining

    First time I read the "DHS" acronym, I thought it was "DHL", the shipping company...

    I guess at least of them is efficient at what they do...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    American imperialism, still going till the empire collapses. USA is pretty much the definition of hubris.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Liz, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: how did it happen?

    You start by boiling a frog. The water is nice and cool. Then you slowly turn up the heat. The frog never notices that it's being cooked until it's too late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Papers, please.

    I can tell, you're a good German.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    First, ICE is dead wrong, but this is about typical for this administration.

    Second, if this guy had assisted Manning, he would already be in the klink awaiting trial.

    If they thought he helped him but didn't have hard evidence, then this is not the way to develop it if it exists. I'll let those 250 expert lawyers explain how the rules of evidence and investigations work. I have a feeling that any evidence generated would be tainted now.

    Third, if this guy did assist Manning, the charges would probably be:

    Aiding & abetting espionage.
    Aiding enemies in time of war.
    Accessory to murder. (The information released has gotten people killed)

    Of course, we have the keystone kops running the justice department now and blowing cases is something they're demonstrating true competence in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Papers, please.

    Americka.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Michael, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Search Him!

    "He knows that there's something on the screen that they pull up on their computers, but they refuse to provide him with any info"

    It brings up a big red X, says "DETAIN AND SEARCH HIM!", and displays a picture of him naked from one of his previous scans. Apparently, he has quite the body.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    Accessory to murder. (The information released has gotten people killed)

    [citation needed]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Other DHS helpful redefinitions

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re: Other DHS helpful redefinitions

    I want to click funny, but it would just make me more sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Police Officers Everywhere Rejoice

    I asked why I was detained this time and one of the CBP agents said: "You remember 9/11? That's why!"

    So now they're accusing him of being involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That's what exercising freedom of speech will get you these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    don't feed the animals

    Who can come up with the best thing he could carry through customs but really shouldn't?

    A few ideas that have crossed my mind:

    • A cheap cell phone with a long contact list of numbers chosen at random from the Washington D.C. telephone book, with code names like "Moose", "Beggar Man", "Pink Oboe"...
    • The chemical formula for coffee with sugar, written on mulberry paper, folded up very tightly and hidden in a cigarette case behind the cigarettes. Chinese cigarettes.
    • 10,000 repetitions of "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy" on microfiche. Israeli microfiche.
    • A floppy disk. A 5-1/4 inch floppy disk. Unformatted. Dusted with iron filings.
    • A flash drive containing a compressed file which expands to an exabyte of zeroes.
    • A copy of the birth certificate of the senior DHS officer on duty (requires considerable preparation or blind luck).
    • An Arabic fortune cookie.
    • A small obsolete travel alarm clock, mechanical. Some internal screws painted purple.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      What war would that be?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Killercool (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

      Re: don't feed the animals

      Just add toothpaste (previously opened) to that list, and you're done.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Killercool (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      Cannot charge with wartime specific crimes, since the President is the one who declared a "War on Terror." It's about as meaningful as the "war on drugs." Unless congress declares war on a real entity, there is no real war. EVERYTHING that is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan is a "police action" only sanctioned by the Whitehouse.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Killercool (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      Also if any of our agents were killed in their duties, they knew it going in. Spying is illegal everywhere, including the good ol' USA. Meaning, our spies in other countries are breaking our laws, too.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

      Re:

      Second, if this guy had assisted Manning, he would already be in the klink awaiting a trial that will never, ever come.

      FTFY

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

      Re: don't feed the animals

      A nuclear wessel.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

      Re: don't feed the animals

      Photoshopped (or are they?) pictures of the ICE official's wife in lingerie, signed "Thanks for a wonderful night".

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

      Fourth amendment? What fourth amendment?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 5:31pm

      Re: Re:

      "I think Bush put it best"

      Don't misunderestimate me

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Chargone (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 8:33pm

      Re: Re: Other DHS helpful redefinitions

      we totally need a button for that. it happens too often.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:12am

      Re:

      A dog ate it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Any Mouse (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 3:50am

      Re:

      Was this even about Manning? I thought this was about a guy that helps Wikileaks.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      identicon
      The Declinator, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 4:24am

      Re: Re: Police Officers Everywhere Rejoice

      I received once the same crap answer from an overstressed brittish customs agent: 'remember 9/11' while holding our mobile phone in hand: 'These hare yoused has dhethonethors !'

      http://fadingpulse.yellowcouch.org/vagina

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      identicon
      FuzzyDuck, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 6:50am

      sad

      It's sad to see a country that I once admired turn into shit like this. Fascism is just around the corner.

      If you ever wondered how German soldiers did what they did, you just need to look at your ICE agent, Quantico guard, or other government goon.

      Just like their German colleagues at the time, they have the ability to follow orders without questioning them, and to serve the interests of the state above all else.

      The tools to make the fascist state a reality are right there in those uniforms.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      aldestrawk (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:26am

      Re: don't feed the animals

      He is a security researcher and so could have a valid reason to possess the following.

      A thumb drive and cd containing a virus that infects in multiple ways; Autoplay, Autorun, containing a straightfoward executable, a self-extracting zip file containing a virus, containing a GIFAR etc. The virus could be written to identify and bypass a virtual OS and install a root kit, spread itself only to other ICE devices and erase the hard drive after a couple of days.

      He could warn them before hand: "You shouldn't look at that!"
      disclaimer: I am not suggesting he or anyone actually do this, I'm jus sayin.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      doughless (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

      Re: BUT...BUT...

      Piracy = Theft = Terrorism

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      icon
      Beta (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

      Re: Re: don't feed the animals

      "A little souvenir from the old home town. I've spared no expense to make you feel right at home."

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    •  
      identicon
      Froster, Aug 9th, 2012 @ 10:08pm

      Gladly

      Gladly I can say that it is a useful article which I was looking forward to get. I am so pleased to know about this article. Thanks...
      fun restaurants in houston

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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