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Old 04-29-2008, 08:17 PM  
jAZ jAZ is offline
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Feds: We will search through your laptop files at the border

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/90325
Feds: We will search through your laptop files at the border

Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:58AM EDT

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Buzz up!on Yahoo!

Following in the wake of February's news that customs agents were seizing electronics and making copies of all the files on cell phones and laptop hard drives, a federal appeals court has ruled on the legality of such searches. The result: Yeah, customs can do whatever it wants to your computer when you come across the border, without a warrant, and without cause.

The ruling extends to all electronics: In addition to laptops, feds can seize phone records and even digital pictures on your camera as they hunt for evidence. The ruling was unanimous among the three appellate judges.

Be assured that the ruling has little to do with thwarting terrorism. The appeal was actually part of an ongoing trial of a man named Michael Arnold, who returned from the Philippines and had his laptop scoured by the feds. They found purported images of child pornography on the laptop and later arrested him. In his trial, the evidence was suppressed for probable cause issues, as the court said that customs had no reasonable suspicion to search his laptop in the first place. That ruling has now been overturned.

As Wired notes, the court did not rule on whether you have to help agents access your hard drive. If you use a password or encryption, the court was mum on whether you can be compelled to provide information on bypassing that security in order to access materials on the drive. If you find yourself in such a situation and have anything on your computer that might be considered at all suspicious, you are probably wise to keep mum on providing login information.

This is an issue that will undoubtedly keep developing (and will probably be submitted, in the end, to the Supreme Court), but anyone traveling overseas with sensitive information (even confidential, legal stuff) should for now consider storing it elsewhere (online, perhaps) or simply leaving it at home.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:08 PM   #2
jAZ jAZ is offline
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This dropped off the front page in a matter of 5 minutes. So I'm bumping.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:09 PM   #3
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stay in the USA?
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:52 PM   #6
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This is bad. Very bad.
Seriously...being able to search/seize without cause...that's crazy. I can see it if the ruling was for non-citizens, but if you're a U.S. citizen coming back into the country, that shouldn't be the case.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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As Wired notes, the court did not rule on whether you have to help agents access your hard drive. If you use a password or encryption, the court was mum on whether you can be compelled to provide information on bypassing that security in order to access materials on the drive. If you find yourself in such a situation and have anything on your computer that might be considered at all suspicious, you are probably wise to keep mum on providing login information.
It seems like it would be self-incrimination if you were required to provide a password and they then find something with which they can charge you.

This will change dramatically the first time some corporate bigwig gets his confidential laptop raided and someone sells the industrial secrets they find.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:26 PM   #8
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:47 PM   #10
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I'm password protecting everything I have on my laptop now.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #11
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:00 PM   #12
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:05 PM   #13
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Well if you dont like it..... you can GGIIIT OUT!

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Old 04-30-2008, 04:16 PM   #14
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:17 PM   #15
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