back to article Bill seeks guidelines for US laptop searches

US border agents can still snatch and search your laptop, mobile phone, or hard drive without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. But a bill introduced in Congress last week may enforce some guidelines on how the inspection is done. The bill, titled the Border Security Search Accountability Act of 2008, would establish rules on …

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Unhappy

Unless...

... is the keyword here. They can't share the info, and have to notify you, unless they say "it's important for homeland security". Which they say all the time. This bill is a buble of hot air. Full stop.

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Who is Sanchez?

It don't say. Electroclash band Dirty Sanchez?

Sub!

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Anonymous Coward

Don't like being searched?

Then don't go to the US. States like Florida that depend on tourism might start kicking up a fuss if enough people started to refuse to allow themselves to be treated as criminals when they've done nothing wrong.

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Alien

Just say no

Since they reserve the right to confiscate, without due process, ANY electronic equipment (it's not just laptops but anything that might contain electronic data, from laptops to flash drives to cameras), I suggest just saying NO.

Say NO to that next visit to the USA. Go someplace where the term "innocent until proven guilty in a court" means something. Go someplace where you don't run the risk of being "renditioned" to a 3rd party country for torture and indefinite incarceration.

There is nothing in the USA that isn't available elsewhere in either better quality or better price or just simply "better". And if it's your work paying for and demanding that you put up with the risk, get it in writing that they'll continue paying you if you get renditioned to Syria or Algeria, and that you won't be held personally responsible if and when the US border bandits take your laptop, iPod and Nikon away. Permanently.

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Encryption containers

If you create an encrypted container inside another encrypted container then it is completely invisible.

Truecrypt is completely free and runs on multiple architectures. http://www.truecrypt.org/ But if you want a commercial license then go for Bestcrypt. http://www.jetico.com/

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Come to Canada

We like tourists! We don't search and seize everything you own on the off chance it might contain a drawn image of a hentai female that may possibly be a few days under 18!

Plus, we're about to vote Harper (Bush Jr.) out of office! GIVE US YOUR MONIES!

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Americans only?

No protection for the rest of the world again i guess.

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Coat

What's all the fuss

On a personal note, I'm not worried about the possibility of this happening to me, even though I travel regular like to the USA. It's just a theoretical possibility as far as I am concerned.

I often get profiled as a security watch (denoted by the ever-so-subtle ****S**** on the boarding pass) because I fly first/business and am usually in and out of the country in a few days, work for a foreign government which isn't a coalition partner, and have red hair. Well, it's probably just that last one that does it.

My laptop carries only programs, a few, non-classified, working files and media that I 'own'. If I need to access sensitive data I do that via an AES256-encrypted VPN using my friend Citrix. It is all good, and I can happily lose my laptop to the goons and not give a monkeys.

HOWEVER

this is another example of the bully wondering why he has no mates (or only has mates who are scared of him). I doubt that any terrorist organisation that has the intellectual capability to properly plan a meaningful attack would have files on their laptops called 'secret nuclear bomb plans.rtf' or 'how to knock off the whitehouse.ppt'.

Mines the one with the microfilm hidden in the buttons

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Silver badge

With Advanced Artificial Intelligence ...... NEUKlearer Power.

And what of Projected Total Market Value of Intellectual Property Purloined? Is that Paid to the IPCreator to Further Enable IPCreations or does its IT/Binary DNA Remain Stolen and Diverted to .... Whomever?

There therefore remains that Debt XXXXPected to Be Honourably Paid to Rectify the Situation and Prevent Forfeiture, in Order to QuITe Literally, Virtualise Reality.

And CHanging History is Something of a Passion in Mother Russia's Golden Goose Cuckoos Nest/Crows Nest/Foreign LookOut . Building a Completely New Virtualised Future InfraStructure would Change History into Memory2, with Memory1 being Viable Harmless Imagination for a New Beginning just before a Financial System Crash Ending.

The Creative Lending of Written Down and Written Off Funds to Virtuoso Virtuoso for Infrastructure Network Build would be a Noble Enabler for a Direly Depressed and Suppressed Market.

Now that is a Real Big Picture on dDisPlay ... for dDistant Playgrounds too.

And One always has to be Aware that Laptops can Lead Others on an XXXXPensive Wild Golden Goose Chase too, with their Embedded Proxy Stealth Attraction/Infection Systems.

Specialised CyberIntelAIgents Spyware.

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simple solution.....

Don't travel to the US. They'll be irrelevant anyway in a few years when China is the new world super power (both economically and militarily).

When people stop visiting them, stop doing business with them then, maybe, they'll wake up and become a bit more "user friendly".

My Canadian cousin has this story about a friend (Canadian) who had lived and worked in the US for 13 years. Had a house and family and good job. He returned to Canada for a visit with all his family. When he returned the border he was refused entry because his job could be done by a US citizen. He lost his house (had to sell at below market value for a quick sale), his job. His family lost their home. How often is this being repeated at the US borders.

XENPHOBIA RULES OK at the US borders.

BTW: The cousins said that they found the UK Customs and Security very polite and helpful even if security checks were stringent. Perhaps, says more about the people employed for these jobs in North America than it does about the UK.

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Unhappy

I'm not a panicker just staying true to my beliefs

Sadly I have come to the same conclusion. I had lots of plans to visit the US, relatives have moved there I would love see again, kids would like to see Disneyland, I would love to see the Grand Canyon having studied it for a project back when I was 11 years old, but I'm afraid I just don't agree with the way foreign nationals are being treated by a fellow NATO country. So much for our special relationship with Uncle Sam, obviously that only applies when it suits them!

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Typical

I have a friend. She's been in US for 15 years, studied there and lives and works there. But she still cannot obtain a citizenship so is still treated as 3rd class citizen. That includes those rubbish security checks.

How stupid is that? Also I agree with all before: just don't go there!

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@amanfrommars

pardon?

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Anonymous Coward

@Norfolk Enchants Paris @amanfrommars

You must be new here...

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Stop

re: a simple solution

"Don't travel to the US. They'll be irrelevant anyway in a few years when China is the new world super power (both economically and militarily)."

Seems like a lot of people are almost giddy, waiting for that day to arrive.

I'm sure it'll happen - but I doubt you'll be quite so happy when it does.

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@James

It sounds like your cousins friends buddies neighbor told a tall tell. One thing that ISN'T going on here is keeping people OUT so there will be more jobs for citizens.

Period.

Companies are out sourcing jobs left and right. They also buy up the assorted tech visas just about as fast as they become available. Each and every year. Not to mention, Congress has expanded that pool of visas pretty much every year.

So, if he had a sponsored visa and he was fired, THEN he would not be able to work in the US. But he wasn't denied entry just because "his job could be done by a US citizen".

Hell, we have over 18 MILLION "guest" workers here that don't have visas. Or any other form of legal entry documents and they seem to be doing pretty well.

Maybe your cousins friends buddies neighbor should have just walked down the street a bit and crossed at the "unofficial" crossing and then went back to find a new job.

As for the bull shit going on at the border crossings, don't think for a minute I support it. Hell, I hate traveling withing the country (flying) because of the "guilty until proven POSSIBLY innocent" security model they have enacted these days.

Jefferson is rolling over in his grave right now.

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Heart

Perhaps the real problem?

The onerous searches are bad but the loss of use of the computer is worse.

What they should do is allow Big Mother to justify it's existence with the searches as that is not going to change any time soon but at least allow the poor victim possible would-be terrorist to have the computer back after say copying the contents of the drive or something like that.

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@Chris re: Come to Canada

actually, we do seize drawings of japanese girls who may be a day under 18. A friend of mine had a collection of vintage manga seized at customs when coming back from Japan. Took 6 months to get his books back as they finally found someone who could read Japanese and confirmed that the characters were in fact collage students like my friend said.

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Excuse me

My Canadian cousin has this story about a friend (Canadian) who had lived and worked in the US for 13 years. Had a house and family and good job. He returned to Canada for a visit with all his family. When he returned the border he was refused entry because his job could be done by a US citizen. He lost his house (had to sell at below market value for a quick sale), his job. His family lost their home. How often is this being repeated at the US borders.

Sounds like the friend was deported and trying to come back in. I've never heard of Canadian be denied entry to the US unless they were previously deported or bared from entering the US based on a criminal conviction.

There are so many holes in that story its ridiculous. There are so many jobs being done by foring workers on h1b visa its outrageous. I don't here about them losing their jobs, unless it gets out sourced .

If he worked here in the US for 13 years he should of had an alien resident card .. THat means he he is legal to stay as long as he wants..

\

I have a friend. She's been in US for 15 years, studied there and lives and works there. But she still cannot obtain a citizenship so is still treated as 3rd class citizen.

Again there is something she is not telling you. After five years of living she should be able to get citizenship. If not they would of deported her. There is some thing she is not telling you.

ligibility Requirements: All naturalization applicants must demonstrate good moral character. Other naturalization requirements may be modified or waived for certain applicants, such as spouses of U.S. Citizens or individuals currently serving in the United States military. Additional requirements include:

* A period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States

* The ability to read, write and speak English

* Good moral character

* Knowledge of the principles of the U.S. Constitution

* Favorable disposition towards the United States

* Pass the United States Citizenship Test

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Online storage...

is looking better every day. And it's probably more secure than HLS.

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