British Human Rights Activist Faces Prison For Refusing To Hand Over Passwords At UK Border

from the digital-strip-search dept

As Techdirt readers will recall, in 2013 David Miranda was held by the UK authorities when he flew into Heathrow airport, and all of his electronic equipment was seized, in an act of blatant intimidation. His detention was under Schedule 7 of the UK's Terrorism Act, which, as its name implies, is supposed to be used only if someone is involved in committing, preparing or instigating "acts of terrorism."

That was clearly ridiculous in Miranda's case, and it's just as outrageous in the latest example of UK border bullying, this time against Muhammad Rabbani. He's a British citizen, and the international director of Cage, which describes itself as "an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror." The Guardian fills in the background:

Rabbani, 35, from London, is involved through Cage in investigating torture cases. He said he was stopped at Heathrow in November returning from one of the Gulf states where he had been investigating a torture case allegedly involving the US.

He said he handed over his laptop and mobile phone but refused to provide his passwords. Although not a lawyer, he said the laptop contained information about the case and the client refused permission to release it. Rabbani was then arrested.

Rabbani later said that he felt that he had been subjected to a "digital strip search," and pointed out:

Using this power, [UK] officers can compel a person to surrender their passwords without cause and there's also no right to remain silent. There is nothing like this anywhere in the Western world.

Rather than dropping the case, this week the UK authorities have formally charged Rabbani under the Terrorism Act. He told the Guardian that he intends to fight, because the move has "serious implications" for journalists, lawyers and human rights, even though he faces three months in jail if he loses. This may be the first time Rabbani's been charged, but he is certainly no stranger to being stopped by the UK border officials:

Rabbani said he had been detained 20 times over the last decade by border officials and had handed over his laptop and mobile phone. On previous occasions, after refusing to hand over passwords, they were returned to him and he was allowed to go. But not on this occasion.

He's not alone in being subjected to this kind of harassment by the UK authorities. Figures published in an article on the Middle East Eye site reveal just how ineffective Schedule 7 examinations are at spotting terrorists:

More than 28,000 people were subjected to Schedule 7 examinations in 2015-16 resulting in about 10,000 intelligence reports being filed, according to a report by the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation.

About 500,000 are also estimated to have been subjected to pre-examination screening questions in the same period.

According to 2016 statistics, only 0.02 percent of stops lead to an arrest. An even smaller number lead to criminal charges.

The good news is that the UK court of appeal has already criticized Schedule 7 for forcing people to betray confidences and thus make it unlikely that others would trust them again with information in the public interest. That holds out the hope that Rabbani will ultimately win in the courts, since his case is very similar. The bad news, of course, is that the US is thinking of demanding passwords from every foreigner who visits the US.

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  1. identicon
    Jigsy, 19 May 2017 @ 3:54am

    "Why yes, officer. My password is the last 21 digits of Pi."

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

  2. identicon
    Manok, 19 May 2017 @ 4:16am

    Re:

    The phrase "the last 21 digits of Pi" is certainly not a bad password, but you're a bit quick to hand it over!

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 4:41am

    He has nothing to fear except being crucified by the coup government for questioning their crimes against humanity.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 4:44am

    Ouch

    why don't people simply encrypt their data and upload it to cloud storage services and use dedicated phones/laptops for traveling? VPNs are great too. Carrying disks or flash cards while crossing the border of some countries is plain stupid. KISS!

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

  5. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 4:58am

    Typo...?

    The bad news, of course, is that the US is thinking of demanding passwords from every foreigner who visits the US.

    At some point the 'War on Terrorism' became the 'War on Tourism.'

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

  6. identicon
    AL, 19 May 2017 @ 5:05am

    Re: Ouch

    Nice try, however the powers are far more reaching than that. Under this legislation it's theoretically possible for the examinee to be required to give the examining officer all the information in their possession that the examining officer requests. That means all cloud passwords, social media details, all bank account details, all details of everyone else including work issued logon and passwords, and anything else you can think of. . . . and this power can be exercised “whether or not he has grounds for suspecting” that the person has had any such involvement in terrorism.

    The only exclusion that I can see is "officers should take care not to copy material that is, or may be, subject to legal professional privilege". Note that is not refusal to give, or let them see and read, but only not copy

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 5:19am

    When entering the UK, just do a Factory Reset on your devices. Problem solved.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Ouch

    Sorry, I can't remember all the passwords. I'm using a password manager which is installed on a PC at home / in the office in a country far, far away.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 5:55am

    The guy must of been a real asshole to the people detaining him. Like it says in your citation that 97% are released in under an hour so I get the feeling there's a lot more to this than we're being told. I'm not saying it's right but crap like this usually escalates to epic proportions when both sides get into a mud slinging fight.

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

  10. identicon
    Machin Shin, 19 May 2017 @ 6:00am

    Re: Typo...?

    I think we are already well into that. I know I personally try and avoid flying whenever possible, and that is just within the country. I am really hesitant to take a vacation that involves leaving the country. I can't imagine what it is like for those people who try and vacation to the US.

    "Welcome to the US, let us start your vacation off right! Step right over here so our officer can dig through your personal belongings and your electronic devices. Once your done there, in case that wasn't humiliating enough, move forward to the next station for your complimentary sexual assault. Then if your one of our lucky winners you might even win a full cavity search!"

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 6:04am

    "According to 2016 statistics, only 0.02 percent of stops lead to an arrest. An even smaller number lead to criminal charges."

    If people who refuse to hand over the password for their device gets arrested, like this guy, isn't it possible that would account for about 0.02 percent?
    I am guessing that they are included in the statistics.
    So how many actual terrorists have they ever captured?

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

  12. identicon
    Rekrul, 19 May 2017 @ 6:06am

    He told the Guardian that he intends to fight, because the move has "serious implications" for journalists, lawyers and human rights, even though he faces three months in jail if he loses.

    You know things are bad when spending a grand total of three months in jail for not turning over your passwords sounds pretty lenient compared to potential life in prison for a similar refusal in the U.S.

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

  13. icon
    Ninja (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    What if you need the data? What if they decide you must hand in your passwords to digital services?

    The War on Terror (TM) is just a show. It was lost the moment it was declared and civil, human rights started being dismantled and ignored because of it.

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

  14. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Typo...?

    Here in Canada, university and high school and other large group trips to the US have been cancelled. There's a good chance now that someone in any large group will be turned back for having the wrong religion or birthplace. Cancelling the whole trip is usually found to be preferable to leaving someone behind.

    The grope checks and porn scans starting a decade ago didn't help. The new "digital strip search" rules make it worse.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    Probably something to do with the many stories like this: [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11442602/Cage-the-extremists-peddl ing-lies-to-British-Muslims-to-turn-them-into-supporters-of-terror.html] (Cage: the extremists peddling lies to British Muslims to turn them into supporters of terror). Sorry for the long URL, but the article is very informative.

    So it seems that 'human rights activist' is less accurate than 'terrorist apologist and recruiter disguised as human rights activist', which is a shame as it casts a shadow on legitimate human rights work. As this guy has legit terrorist connections, it seems like the detention might also actually be legit as there's probably actual investigations into him, and this was not 'random harassment' as originally portrayed.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Champion, 19 May 2017 @ 6:45am

    i know what to encrypt

    a giant penis image the size fo a 4K monitor

    about 100 times

    and on the image the words YOUR A DICK

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 7:00am

    Detained again? UK really is a fascist country.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 7:03am

    Governments classify political activists as terrorists, and while those activists re not something they can be arrested for, they can be subjected to intimidation tactics whenever they cross a border.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 7:08am

    how quaint

    Citizens clamor for their governments to protect them, and then they start complaining when they take steps to protect you.

    Remember, every time you turn to government for your safety needs, this is what you get, "their interpretations on what it takes to keep you safe". When will it get through your thick little noggins that you ARE getting what you asked for here?

    This is government in a nutshell, "abusing authority" citizens ignorantly allow them to have!

    Citizens: but but but....
    Government: I have altered the deal, pray I do not alter it any further.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    But the devices are wiped, there is no password to hand over to them.

    That is why, when I cross into the USA and Canada, when I take road trips all over North America, I wipe my devices, and don't leave any passwords on them they can CBP or CBSA can demand.

    If the data has been wiped, there is no data or passwords for them to demand

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re:

    As far as digial services, you have have "dummy" accounts to give to HM Customs, and keep the real accounts hidden.

    As far as them wanting to login to your work network, your boss can also set up a "dummy" account on the company VPN, and you just give that to HM Customs, so they will not find anything.

    I am trying to start my own company soon, and it will be policy for any employees travelling abroad to be given temporary "dummy" accounts on the company network, so HM Customs, CBSA, or CBP will not find anything, when they access those accounts. It CBSA, CBP, or HM Customs do not like my policy, they can all just kiss my ASS.

    Same thing with your home computer. Just set up a "dummy" account on your computer, if they want to examine the contents on your computer back home. Make sure that account does not have admin access.

    HM Customs has no jurisdiction over a computer in the United States. The British cannot seize a computer in the United States.

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

  22. icon
    Christopher (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Ouch

    The only proper response to such a request is "Fuck you"

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

  23. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Remember that the US border patrol can and does seize phones and laptops - including those of returning Americans - often without returning them.

    Wipe your device, and they might hold onto it "until they can recover the data."

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "you have have "dummy" accounts to give to"

    most places call this resisting, obstruction, and/or lying.

    Enough to go to jail on those alone in pretty much all nations, think again before you advise people to mislead or lie to authorities.

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

  25. identicon
    Scote, 19 May 2017 @ 8:10am

    Proceedure to the rescue.

    "Dummy Accounts" could be trouble. However, if a company had a consistent policy of providing limited "Travel Accounts" while also consistently temporarily revoking full account access of traveling employees then I'd think that would be legal and above board.

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

  26. identicon
    Machin Shin, 19 May 2017 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    Probably around 97% cave in under an hour and give up their passwords. This guy stood his ground and told them "No".

    Also, being an asshole is not a crime. No matter how many authority figures really wish "being asshole to authority" was a crime, it still isn't. (Unless your in such wonderful places as North Korea)

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 8:50am

    Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    the law and judges really hate this type of bullshittery.

    The company involved in this would quickly be charged for facilitating this. Laws are usually written specifically to account for these kinds of tricks. There literally would have to be a way for the business to allow law enforcement full access "or else".

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is no possible way they know the device was wiped. If, after a factory reset, you put a few apps on to make it impossible to determine the phone was wiped.

    it would be obvious if you had a squeaky clean phone with no apps installed on it. Just install a few apps to make it look like the phone has been used since the last factory reset.

    You just need to know how to fool Customs where they will not know the phone has been reset.

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 8:55am

    the UK used to value privacy and freedom above all else, condemning countries that were of the opposite opinion and enactment. now, under the Tory government that has screwed the UK continuously and, unfortunately, has taken over from the USA in surveillance and spying on it's own and everyone else citizens, as well as bending over whenever told to by the USA so as to be able to do on it's behalf, what is wanted but, officially at any rate, it is prevented from doing, just because it is afraid of losing the USA as an ally, as well as wanting to ensure as much as possible that all the dastardly deeds the UK government, the rich and the famous are up to, never get 'out in the wild'. it has become more important than anything to keep UK citizens in the dark and under the cosh! Hitler would have been proud of what successive governments have done in the UK, all under the excuse of pornography, pedophilia and terrorism, none of which are anything at all to do with the reasons the government is executing these procedures!

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    "Also, being an asshole is not a crime."

    Correction, it is a crime, and people are arrested for it frequently as well. "disorderly conduct", "failure to comply", "interfering with the process of law enforcement performing its functions", there are really a lot of laws that can get you arrested and fined for being an asshole.

    Remember, you are ALREADY GUILTY, now we are just waiting for a cop to decide to process you.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Another way I will do it is to block all access to the company network, at the firewall level, from all known government IP ranges.

    In other words, they will be blocked at the firewall level, so even if those working for me are forced to give their passwords for the company network, the goverment will be blocked at the firewall level. I will block all ranges belonging to the US government, as well as those used by HM Customs and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

    Plus anyone workking for mee will be instructed to notify immiedately if Customs, anywhere, demanded their password, and then the password would be changed ASAP to lock CBSA, CBP, or HM Customs out of the network. That will be company policy. That person working for me can get their new password when they next report for work.

    That will be company policy, and CBP, CBSA, or HM Customs do not like my policy on that, they can KISS MY *ASS*!!!!

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:00am

    Re:

    >the UK used to value privacy and freedom above all else,

    They still do, if you are part of the government, as that is what state secrets are all about. However for everybody else they have decided that there will be no privacy.

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re:

    I like the fact that he is dumb enough to think the US used to value privacy and freedom "ever".

    Even the USA whom kicked those fucks to the curb for greater independence didn't value privacy and freedom above all else for long.

    It is just not in government's nature to value anything other than complete obedience from the people.

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I like the fact that he is dumb enough to think the US used to value privacy and freedom "ever".

    should have been

    I like the fact that he is dumb enough to think the UK used to value privacy and freedom "ever".

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Ouch

    For bank account details, of course. Just keep one bank account with enough for your trip, and all the rest of your money in another account, and only give HM Customs the details for the account you intend to use while in the UK. And, of course, keep your travelling account and your main account in separate banks.

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What if they cannot recover the data?

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

  37. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The call history logs are a lot harder to fake. No calls having ever been made on the phone would be a dead giveaway.

    You'll also need to create fake contacts, fake email, fake web favorites, fake web browser logs etc. By that point it's not worth the hassle.

    (I'm guessing that it's those contacts and emails that they're want. Trying to create a vast database of who knows who. So that when a person of interest is identified, they can see everyone they've ever been in contact with based on OTHER people's contact history.)

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    Sure - warrants and subpoenas. It's pretty well-established law, and the vast majority of the time the validity of the search is not disputed.

    Limiting access to company systems from foreign countries can be considered good security policy, much like a blanket policy to delete emails over six months old.

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

  39. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then it'll be a long, long wait to get your device back.

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

  40. icon
    jdgalt (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 9:35am

    I would simply not carry any electronics when crossing the border. It'll be a lot harder for them to demand passwords when I can simply say I have no electronic accounts and there is no evidence around to the contrary.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    I agree that limiting access is a very good policy. the problem comes to when there is any attempt at subterfuge in the process.

    Well... if you get caught that is...

    You do not have to be guilty of anything else, just guilty of misleading law enforcement to get into a heap of trouble.

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

  42. icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 9:53am

    Re:

    I don't recall the government ever mentioning that they 'captured' a bona fide terrorist, so I'm going to say zero.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    Just wipe out the evidence of what company did. After full access has been restored when an employee has come back, just use one of the many "evidence elimination" programs on the market to get rid of the evidence. Just delete the logs and then overwrite all the empty space so that law enforcement will get nothing when they do come and seize the serve.

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:13am

    So, what's the justification? "Miranda is a terrorist"?

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Deleting a call log is not illegal. I do that all the time to keep from accdidentally butt-dialing people. I find that periodically clearing the call log is the only solution to that.

    If a Customs agent asks why there is no call log, just tell them you periodically clear the call log to keep from butt-dialing people.

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

  46. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    If only we detained all apologists for assholery, right?

    It was never portrayed as "random harassment". Exactly the opposite. Sorry he isn't the most sympathetic victim for you. But being a British citizen, they are free to serve a proper warrant on him at any time. (Or intercept all his shit like they are probably doing anyway.) It's not like he is some faceless entity in the wind.

    This is nothing but expensive security theater, a waste of everyone's time, an invasion, a stripping of rights, an annoyance, and significant inconvenience to everyone who travels (or no longer does). It's not about defending this one guy (oh look Techdirt is sticking up for criminals again). The point is that it is wrong. It's wrong regardless of who it catches. Unreasonable laws, powers, and methods are not justified by catching someone occasionally and annoying people whose views are wrong or unlikable, along with everyone else.

    Never mind the British government, and the US, and friends, are just as much terrorists as the groups this guy apparently chooses to be an apologist for. The Telegraph article also, while maybe technically correct, glibly dismisses the the ambient bigotry, and the special government targeting Muslims face. So there is about zero moral high ground here. But that is wholly irrelevant to the unconscionable dumpster fire that is "border security".

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    However, British law enforcement has ZERO authority over a computer network in the United States, so if the admins block access, at the firewall level, from any address belonging to HM Governmenet, they are not subject to any kind of prosecution in Britain, as HM Government has no jurisdiction over computer networks in the United States.

    So, a US company blocking all IP addresses belonging to HM government is only subject to US laws, and is not subject to prosecution in Britain

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

  48. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They got pissed about business interests is what happened. Then incited riots that got people killed in overreactive responses.

    The result was better. In theory.

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    Not if you delete the logs and overwrite the unused sectors. this way if they seize the servers to examine them for evidence of misleading law enforcement they will not be able to recover. KillDisk has this option. You can either wipe the entire disk, or just the empty sectors. Just overwrite the unused sectors, to prevent any evidence from recovered, after deleting all the logs.

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

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    The US has not actually made refusal to hand over passwords a criminal offence yet.

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

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    One way to foil any file recovery is to go to the cellphone store, get a new phone, and have the seized phone bricked. When a phone is reported as lost or stolen, the phone company bricks it, so that it cannot be used. Then Customs cannot do anything with the phone on account of it being bricked.

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

  52. icon
    DocRobot (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 11:34am

    Yes Officer...

    "Yes I will give you my passwords if you give me yours, and your phone...

    You get your phone back when I get mine back and I am free to go. By the way, anything interesting i find will be posted to www.shitfoundonbordersecurityofficerphones.com"

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

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Congratulations, you've just added an obstruction of justice charge to anything else they want to hit you with.

    You can't beat these bastards. You'll only hurt yourself if you try anything 'smart' like that.

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That assume that it remains connected to the network, and a faraday cage prevents that.

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    While we're going on and on about conjecture...Yeah I'm almost 100% certain that you'd be singing a different tune if it was a Nazi sympathizer acting like an asshole...

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

  56. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re:

    The US has not actually made refusal to hand over passwords a criminal offence yet.

    On a large scale, no, but the key word there is 'yet'.

    On a smaller scale? Unfortunately that's not so true, and the charge is 'contempt of court', or in the case of DHS, 'Because we can'.

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

  57. identicon
    Alphonse Tomato, 19 May 2017 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Another way I will do it is to block all access to the company network, at the firewall level, from all known government IP ranges.

    That's so cute. You don't think a govt employee is capable of using a VPN service to change his location/IP address. And that no govt controls any IP addresses that aren't publicly identified as govt.

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, it is pursuing a political enemy. The fact that he has been stopped 20 times shows that he is on their watch list. Like Laura Poitras.

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

  59. icon
    Bergman (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re:

    It would be easier to crack a 20,480,000 bit encryption key than calculate pi that far.

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

  60. icon
    Bergman (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Ouch

    If it's legal to require people divulge any secret data they have, then anyone with a security clearance would be unable to leave the country for fear of being required to commit espionage or even treason as a condition of being allowed to return home.

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

  61. identicon
    Personanongrata, 19 May 2017 @ 5:03pm

    Petty Authoritarian Control Freaks, Charades and Utopia

    British Human Rights Activist Faces Prison For Refusing To Hand Over Passwords At UK Border

    All persons should refuse to hand over their passwords at all borders at all times to any petty tyrant representing any totalitarian government masquerading as a republic or constitutional monarchy.

    These authoritarian acts (based upon the most specious motives) of the US/UK governments require either mass non-violent civil disobedience where jet load after jet load of travelers refuse to divulge their passwords thus filling the "authorities" detention centers until they are bursting at the seams with non-compliant persons or travelers can simply boycott traveling to the US/UK and deny both governments the revenue associated with business persons and holiday seekers.

    These are the actions of governments (ie criminals) that are fearful that people will find out the truth that they are really nothing more than criminal enterprises operating solely for their own benefit at the expense of all others while hiding behind the charade of national security justifications.

    “As God loves me, when I consider this, then every modern society seems to me to be nothing but a conspiracy of the rich, who while protesting their interest in the common good pursue their own interests and stop at no trick and deception to secure their ill-gotten possessions, to pay as little as possible for the labor that produces their wealth and so force its makers to accept the nearest thing to nothing. They contrive rules for securing and assuring these tidy profits for the rich in the name of the common good, including of course the poor, and call them laws!” ― Thomas More, Utopia

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

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 6:26pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 19th, 2017 @ 5:55am

    Starting out claiming a sort of lawyer client privilege when he is neither the lawyer or the client isn't wise.

    I would agree, i have a feeling that after 20 stops in the past, he has turned a little arrogant.

    I actually think people like this are trying to create incidents just to get attention to themselves and their work.

    He could have easily encrypted the data and put it on a cloud storage and not carried it over the border. He seems to have sort of set this up.

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They have to take it out of the fardday cage to examine it, when they turn the phone on, it will get the signal from the provider to brick it, so it cannot be used.

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2017 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then you block the IP ranges of ever known VPN service. There are services on the net that can handle this. When I was in online radio, I had problems with one troublesome user on my website who just dhd not get the message he was not welcome. Using such a service, I was able to easily block all known proxy, Tor, and VPN IP ranges and lock this guy out.

    You could do the same to keep the the government out of your network. After blocking all government IP ranges, you use a service like this to keep the government from using any kind of VPN or proxy to gain access to your network.

    Using a service, like blocked.com, is how sites like Netflix, BBC, and others are enforcing their VPN bans. The banned IP list is updated by the service, and it is foolproof, as it also blocks incoming access from all colocation centers, where VPNs are hosted.

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

  65. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 May 2017 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 19th, 2017 @ 5:55am

    Assuming for a moment that he did plan it, a 'trap' like that only works if both sides cooperate. Just as he could have encrypted the data and put it in cloud storage they could have easily decided not to push the matter when he refused to hand over the password.

    This however is not what happened.

    If he was 'trying to create an incident' then like bumbling buffoons they walked right into it, and that's entirely on them.

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

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 1:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I always delete my web history from my devices anymore, before crossing into either the USA or Canada.

    You can have illegal stuff on your devices without even knowing it, and people have been burned because of that.

    Deleting and obliterating web history on your devices, before passing through Customs is not illegal in the United States or Canada. So I am breaking no laws in either country by wiping out and reinstalling Windows on my laptops.

    I have two versions of my Windows installations, one with a pointer to the VPN on my home comptuer, and one without. I have the one without the VPN credentials to my home computer, or any indication I acessed my home PC remootely, on there when I pass through US or Canadian Customs, so they cannot demand the passwords to my home computer. Then, after passing Customs, I just re-image the laptops with the version of Windows that does have the credentials for my home computer stored.

    I also have a version that neither has my bank info on there, or any stored passwords for such. Of course PayPal, and some banks have made it where your login information does get stored, and you have to re-enter every time you log on.

    And there is no law against doing this in either Canada, or the United States. Deleting and wiping web history, and other stored browser info, before passing through Customs.

    And there is a way you can create fake call history. Before returning home, just use something like SpoofCard to make a few spoofed calls to your phone and put a bunch of random calls into the call log. Customs will never know you made spoofed calls to your phone, and this dos not violate either Canadian or US laws to make spoofed calls into your own phone for that purpose

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

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 1:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Since this would be after passing through Customs, if you are arrested, you just simply make bail then not appear in court.

    If they put a GPS "anklet" on you, that can be jammed with either a GPS jammer, or a jammer that jams mobile data connections, rendering the monitoring station not able to locate you.

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

  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A faraday cage the size of a room is quote simple to build, just paper all surfaces with kitchen foil. More sophisticated versions exist in various labs for the purposes of EMC testing. Also shipping containers, box vans and metal sheds work quite well, the latter often being used by thieves to defeat car tracking systems.

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re:

    Maybe not, the no fly list is a big baseball bat for them to wield.

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

  70. identicon
    Joel, 20 May 2017 @ 2:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You could proabably get plausible deniability if you wiped the device, then used it for a few days to get some typical travel stuff on there and when asked just say you were worried about data being lost to pickpokets etc on your travels. Basically you admit to wiping it, but also have a sensible cover story. Protecting trade secrets from the highened risk of thieves on your travel would be plausible I think. In a sense it's even true, only that the criminals are the border agents.

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

  71. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 3:07am

    Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    Another way the boss could do it is to backup the files in that employee's account and then temporarily delete them, only keeping files in the account an employee will need while they are away. There would no way for law enforcement to find out what you the boss it up to. The restore those files when the employee comes back. There is no possible way the boss can get caught.

    Here is another thing. If you are fired for giving Customs your workplace password, you just leave that company OFF the list of places you worked for when you apply for your next job.

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

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 3:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wiping the device is not criminal offence in the USA or Canada. True, they can seize the device, but they cannot charge you with a crime for doing so in either the USA or Canada.

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

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A better way to defeat a car tracking system is to use a GPS jammer. It is more foolproof way to do it.

    Jammers are going to be an issue, if God forbid, we have WWIII, which could well happen, assuming it did not go total nuclear, which I don't think Putin would want to do right away.

    When gas rationing was done in WWII, it was not for a shortage of gas, but a shortage of rubber. With electric and hybrid cars out there, enforcing mileage limits, which is what WWII gas rationing was meant for, to save rubber, could only be done on electric cars using GPS tracking.

    There is also the fact that, unlike WWII, cars get all different kids of mileage, where all cars got pretty much the same in WWII, so GPS tracking is the only it can be enforced, but it can also be jammed.

    GPS tracking can be defeated with a jammer, making wartime mileage limits, to save rubber, unenforceable, if WWIII should happen.

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

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2017 @ 7:57am

    Theresa May wants to create her own censored internet.

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

  75. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 20 May 2017 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re:

    No, but if a judge orders you to do it, and you refuse, you go to jail for contempt of court - and you stay there until you are no longer in contempt, i.e., until you comply with the order. If you never do that? Life in prison, without a conviction and even potentially without charges.

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

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2017 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also depends on how much money you have. A well-monied person could hire a hacker to break into that computer network and erase it.

    If you have the means to afford it, you can get your name removed from the database.

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

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2017 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Proceedure to the rescue.

    Limiting access is not illegal. When I ran my online radio station, I blocked all access from all known ip addresses for K-12 schools in the USA.

    This is because I also had a message forum as well, and decided to block all known IP ranges for K-12 schools, just in a student was among the users, and school administration decided to demand his/her password for any reason, they would be unable to access my site. And the same service was also configured to block access from all known VPNs and proxies, so that block could not be circumvented.

    I was breaking no laws by doing this to prevent school administrators who might demand passwords from students from being able to access.

    My network, my rules, I had a right to deny access from whomever I wanted, and if some school administrator did not like that, they could just kiss my ass.

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

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2017 @ 3:13pm

    one man's human rights activist is another man's terrorist. you say tomato I say tomato, let's call the whole thing off.

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

  79. identicon
    Cowardly Lion, 22 May 2017 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Typo...?

    Yep, this includes me, some family members and friends. A group of us were to go to the USA to watch the 2017 eclipse but it's all dead in the water. The killer came a few months ago when a TSA spokesperson said that their screening was going to be even more rapey. That got added to the sad litany; Trump's racist travel ban back in January, the recent bullshit about electronic devices in carry-on, the threat of being robbed by cops, the quality of the drinking water, being forced to hand passwords over to immigration officials...

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

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2017 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Typo...?

    Nothing Raciest about Trumps travel bans other then in your mind.

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

  81. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 24 May 2017 @ 2:25am

    Re:

    Confirmed correct. Awful woman.

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

  82. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2017 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    These guys are in no way human rights advocates, there are to Isis what Sin Fein is to the IRA!

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

  83. icon
    Danielaspley (profile), 25 May 2017 @ 11:07pm

    Re:

    Yeah down with fascists, we should totally support more of this

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40012738

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


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