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Author Topic: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops  (Read 4575 times)

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quaxo

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US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« on: August 20, 2008, 08:02:05 AM »
From: http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20080801/tc_pcworld/149303;_ylt=Ao.Y38biGbS525EBM2cyAxas0NUE

Quote
Travelers beware: U.S. agents now have the authority to seize and retain laptops indefinitely, according to a new policy detailed in documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As part of border search policy, government agents are now authorized to seize electronic devices and inspect documents in them, the document states. The electronic devices might include laptops, cell phones, portable music players or storage devices such as portable hard drives.

Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection will also be allowed to translate and share documents with other government agencies.

The DHS document, issued July 16, appears to state publicly a policy that has already existed. Laptops and electronic devices have been subject to search in the past, and travelers have reported not getting their devices back. The policy has drawn strong criticism from lawmakers and nonprofit groups, who charged that the searches were invasive and a violation of an individual's privacy rights. Computers contain a vast amount of private information about family, finances and health, which could be easily copied and stored in government databases, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has complained.

The policy document states that being able to examine documents and electronic devices is crucial for "detecting information concerning terrorism, narcotics smuggling... contraband including child pornography, and... other import or export control laws."

The new DHS policies allow customs agents to analyze the contents of laptops without any suspicion of wrongdoing, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold said in a statement.

"The policies that have been disclosed are truly alarming," Feingold wrote.

The policy could blur the distinction between "search" and "seizure," which could also allow DHS officials to steal personal documents from laptops it has retained, Feingold wrote.

Carbon Dudeoxide

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 08:04:18 AM »
I think this has been posted before....but this is completely:
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a violation of an individual's privacy rights.

If I was asked to give up my laptop, I think I would make a scene at the airport..and then they would arrest me :P.

quaxo

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 10:25:01 AM »
The original article posted stated:
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Anyone found with infringing content in their possession would be open to a fine. They may also have their device confiscated or destroyed, according to the four-page document.

The newer article seems to lean towards seizure without cause.

Bones92



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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2008, 05:58:02 PM »
I was never planning to travel to America anyway. Seems as though they want to turn people away.

Dias de verano

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 02:56:51 AM »
I was never planning to travel to America anyway. Seems as though they want to turn people away.

Me neither. Because of my appearance, they'd probably call me a "sand n****r" and arrest me.

Carbon Dudeoxide

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 03:01:50 AM »
America isn't that bad.........

I go there for about a month every year.

kpac

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 03:16:13 AM »
That law is ridiculous.  >:(

If I was asked to give up my laptop, I think I would make a scene at the airport..and then they would arrest me :P.

Exactly. ;D

Dias de verano

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 03:36:51 AM »
That law is ridiculous.  >:(

If I was asked to give up my laptop, I think I would make a scene at the airport..and then they would arrest me :P.

Exactly. ;D

And then you'd be off to Gitmo. I read about a Spanish guy (from Spain, Europe) who was detained at JFK and assaulted by the immigration staff, called a "dirty Latino", imprisoned for 48 hours, and then released with an apology. Non-Americans have no idea what their country's reputation is around the world these days.

evilfantasy

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 10:40:36 AM »
No, we know what our reputation is. Were not (all) stupid. Those who point the finger fail to miss seeing it's the politicians who give us a bad image. The majority of hard working Americans who make this country tick would do things different (in my opinion). We love to travel in and out of the US and go through the same hassles in our airports/borders as everyone else.

Dias de verano

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Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2008, 11:08:14 AM »
It wasn't a politician who called the Spaniard a "dirty Latino" and struck him while he was handcuffed. It was a regular female New York employee of the INS.



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    Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
    « Reply #10 on: August 24, 2008, 12:28:28 PM »
    Fortunately, the British have never exhibited such behavior.

    Separated from any religious context, this is not a bad rule of thumb: Let him without sin among you cast the first stone.

    Unnecessary pointing of fingers is an ego game that belies the commonality of the human species.
    If you don't have time to do it right
                    ...when will you have time to do it over?

    drmsucks



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      Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
      « Reply #11 on: August 24, 2008, 01:29:26 PM »
      Btw, thanks, Quaxo. A hideous usurpation of rights, if I understand the article; i.e., the government can take away (and keep!) your electronic device without probable (indeed, without any) cause.

      Time to "right" (sic!) the Congressmen and Senators!
      If you don't have time to do it right
                      ...when will you have time to do it over?

      Bones92



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      Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
      « Reply #12 on: August 24, 2008, 10:18:11 PM »
      I fully respect America and Americans in every way, shape and form. I have many American friends down here in New Zealand, and some of them are the nicest people I know.

      I just don't like the American government!

      evilfantasy

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      Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
      « Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 10:26:05 PM »

      I just don't like the American government!

      You would fit right in 8)


      soybean



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      Re: US Border Agency Says It Can Seize Laptops
      « Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 02:24:23 PM »
      This paragraph states the key issue:
      Quote
      The policy document states that being able to examine documents and electronic devices is crucial for "detecting information concerning terrorism, narcotics smuggling... contraband including child pornography, and... other import or export control laws.

      Yes, it's very distasteful but I think foreigner's don't try to see this through our eyes.  The plain fact is, if we are not vigilant in our security measures, we certainly will be attacked again.