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  • Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

    Anyone else see this:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/02/11...ref=newssearch

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/10/1251233

    they can have my laptop when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    xor
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

  • #2
    Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

    Originally posted by xor View Post
    they can have my laptop when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    xor
    Playing devil's advocate: What will you do when they deny you re-entry to the country because of it?
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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    • #3
      Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

      Fly to Mexico or Canada and walk across the border like everyone else.

      xor
      Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

        they will just search you at the boarder. i live in yuma az and go to mexico a lot. they search bags and when they find computers they will sometimes check them.
        Soulidium (So-li-de-um) The place within us that contains the mystical spirit and soul of our creative artistry. A place where the fabric of our lives and experiences are transformed into their artistic equivalents; A housing for the very voice of our souls...

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        • #5
          Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

          Assuming they do, do you think they might find a note left behind by the previous customs official? "Refused search. Left country."

          I wonder if that would be enough to get a person placed on a watch list.

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          • #6
            Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

            I was referring to crossing under/over the fence, or across the lack of a fence. :-)

            xor
            Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

              If you are a citizen and you cross the border without crossing a "point of entry" are you technically crossing illegally assuming there is no intention to defraud or circumvent any US laws.

              xor
              Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                Originally posted by xor View Post
                If you are a citizen and you cross the border without crossing a "point of entry" are you technically crossing illegally assuming there is no intention to defraud or circumvent any US laws.

                xor
                It's absolutely illegal. Being a citizen gives you no right to enter the country at whatever point you presume. And you are intending to circumvent the law, as in most cases you are required to show a passport to re-enter the country.
                Last edited by theprez98; February 11, 2008, 20:22.
                "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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                • #9
                  Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                  Originally posted by xor View Post
                  I was referring to crossing under/over the fence, or across the lack of a fence. :-)

                  xor
                  As someone who lives near a US/Canadian border and seen first hand a Border Patrol control room, let me be the first to say to you, "Good luck with that."

                  Based on current cases, it would be better at this point to encrypt all important files, and refuse to give up the password, based on your rights under the Fifth Amendment. A current case in this US District Court has affirmed that legal stand. Of course, the US Attorney's Office here is appealing, so that may change soon. Officials at international border crossings have typically been given greater legal leeway in searches.

                  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...011503663.html
                  Thorn
                  "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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                  • #10
                    Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                    It's technically impossible to enforce this on a legal citizen especially in remote areas. Even in not so remote areas where they have "voluntary check in". You would have to be seen actually crossing the border. Police aren't going to check whether or not your are suppose to be in the country if you appear to be an American citizen and are already inside the border. They won't ask you for a passport, just your drivers license. Where it would become a problem is when you wanted to leave again and they already had you listed as being out of the country. Even then it would unfortunately be chalked up as an error in the immigration database.

                    Though I doubt that you are incorrect, enforcing it is another problem entirely. Though passports mite end up being the ID of choice in the distant future. International drivers licenses as the worlds borders disappear.

                    xor

                    Thorn there are remote places, logging roads, and the like where there is no effective border patrol. Then again I just hear what they keep saying on the news, unless they have in the recent years beefed up border security.
                    Last edited by xor; February 11, 2008, 20:50.
                    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                      Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                      As someone who lives near a US/Canadian border and seen first hand a Border Patrol control room, let me be the first to say to you, "Good luck with that."

                      Based on current cases, it would be better at this point to encrypt all important files, and refuse to give up the password, based on your rights under the Fifth Amendment. A current case in this US District Court has affirmed that legal stand. Of course, the US Attorney's Office here is appealing, so that may change soon. Officials at international border crossings have typically been given greater legal leeway in searches.

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...011503663.html

                      Now I get to play double devils advocate. Won't having an encrypted drive and refusing to give up a password be admitting guilt and that your in league with the terrorists?
                      Never drink anything larger than your head!





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                      • #12
                        Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                        I think renderman has an excellent point. Would be a LONG drawn out court process either way.
                        "I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art." -Kahlil Gibran

                        "Half the world is composed of idiots, the other half of people clever enough to take indecent advantage of them." -Walter Kerr

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                        • #13
                          Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                          Russ Knocke, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, equates searches of electronic devices to those of papers in briefcases.

                          "You forgo your right to privacy when you are seeking admission into the country," he says. "This is the kind of scrutiny the American public expects."
                          I'm sorry, sir, but what the fuck did you just say?
                          One Nation Under Surveillance
                          "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                            Originally posted by Dept. of Homeland Security
                            "You forgo your right to privacy when you are seeking admission into the country"
                            Originally posted by Samurai Drifter View Post
                            I'm sorry, sir, but what the fuck did you just say?
                            much as you may disagree with it (and it makes my stomach turn) it's wholly and fully supported by the constitution and the rule of law. the US is (in theory) an island of liberty in the middle of an uncertain sea. while the laws and rights of people in other lands can fluctuate out of our hands, our own laws are (again, in theory) guarantees of our constitutional freedoms.

                            but border crossings are just that... places where we meet the edge of our own laws. just like a hospital surgery area or a microchip plant's clean rooms, the entrance and exit to a place of such extremely-maintained ideal conditions must be tightly controlled to ensure that no contamination or improper passage from one side to the other happens.

                            even the ACLU will tell you (in their great educational film "Busted" about knowing your rights against search and seizure. google or youtube it now if you've never heard of it) that you have no guarantees of freedom from intrusion when crossing international borders.

                            it's a shitty prospect, but the best way to exercise all your American freedoms to their maximum potential is to never leave the "safe" confines of this bubble of liberty we call our nation.


                            now, on to more practical matters... yes, crypto and use of the internet is the best policy overall. my laptop that travels with me has no home directory or work product saved on it. that computer can be stolen or invaded by any party and it will make no difference to me (aside from the financial ramifications) because everything I work on is contained in a crypto volume. That volume is saved on a removable device and (security through obscurity's flaws notwithstanding) disguised as something wholly innocuous. Beyond that, any essential work product that I produce when out of the country (or just photos that i take) I transfer back home via the internet before i leave on my return journey.

                            At the border i would be willing (in accordance with the law) to let people boot my laptop, etc etc. I wouldn't assist them at all in logging in but I would have no recourse to them using any utilities that they wish to forcibly gain access. I doubt that any encrypted drives would be on the radar, but if they were i would show similar behavior... allowing them to use any tools at their disposal to copy data, attempt to decipher, etc etc. I would likely, however, develop severe amnesia regarding any of my passphrases and (despite the massive headache that would likely ensue) opt to become a test case for the law if i was ordered to unlock anything myself.

                            it's an important question, you know... how someone would behave in these sorts of situations. what would you do?
                            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                            - Trent Reznor

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                            • #15
                              Re: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

                              Originally posted by xor View Post
                              It's technically impossible to enforce this on a legal citizen especially in remote areas. Even in not so remote areas where they have "voluntary check in". You would have to be seen actually crossing the border. Police aren't going to check whether or not your are suppose to be in the country if you appear to be an American citizen and are already inside the border. They won't ask you for a passport, just your drivers license. Where it would become a problem is when you wanted to leave again and they already had you listed as being out of the country. Even then it would unfortunately be chalked up as an error in the immigration database.

                              Though I doubt that you are incorrect, enforcing it is another problem entirely. Though passports mite end up being the ID of choice in the distant future. International drivers licenses as the worlds borders disappear.

                              xor

                              Thorn there are remote places, logging roads, and the like where there is no effective border patrol. Then again I just hear what they keep saying on the news, unless they have in the recent years beefed up border security.
                              Those "remote places" are well know to the Homeland Security types and those locations have remote cameras and other sensors. Crossing in a vehicle is almost impossible. Crossing on foot might be possible, although knowing about some of the arrests for illegal crossings, it is difficult.

                              As far as the local police not stopping you, if you "lf you appear to be an American citizen", you're wrong, and it's obvious you've never dealt with local law enforcement in those areas. First of all, there is no way to differentiate between a US Citizen and a Canadian in those areas. Things like clothing, speech patterns, and the like are very similar. However, in most of these remote places on the US Canadian border, you are dealing with a small towns* where the locals and their habits are all known. Strangers showing up within the town -especially at odd locations- are going to be suspect. Some of the biggest busts for cross-border smuggling have been initiated by the locals who noticed a stranger in the wrong place.

                              Secondly, the local cops can and do make stops for this type of thing all the time. If they suspect that a crossing violation has been made, they simply detain the person until the Border Partol can take of the case.

                              *Coming from Pennsylvania, you would probably call a town a "township." That is the type of thing that will get you noticed as a stanger.


                              Originally posted by renderman View Post
                              Now I get to play double devils advocate. Won't having an encrypted drive and refusing to give up a password be admitting guilt and that your in league with the terrorists?
                              If may make you more suspicous in their eyes, but "pleading the Fifth" just means that you don't want to say anything that is possibly self-incrimiating. It is not an admission of guilt. Considering that you don't know what they might be looking for, and that there seems to be no guidelines as to what files are being scrutinized, it would seem to be a prudent action at this time.

                              They may seize the laptop, but according to some news reports they may do that anyway.

                              After thinking this through further, the best bet may be to have backups of all important files that are remotely accessible and are synced to the laptop. Even if the laptop is seized, you could still make a VPN connection to your home server that crosses borders.
                              Thorn
                              "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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