The Department of Homeland Security has outlined what we've all known for some time - that border agents are allowed to snoop through files on your computer, mobile phone or any other digital device. Officials can keep documents or computers, take them to an off-site location, copy the contents and share the data with other …
@how about this
..while we're talking Chinese tanks....
...since more than one poster has mentioned them I'll see you and raise you and raise you some gunships....
"As darkness fell, soldiers, tanks, and police secretly surrounded the crowd. At a preset signal, helicopters, undercover agents in the crowd, two columns of soldiers advancing in a pincer movement, and tanks opened fire. Over 300 people were murdered and thousands wounded and jailed on that October 2 evening..."
(Mexico City, 1968)
The thing that's annoying about the CBP's attitude to search and seizure is that they maintain that nothing they do is protected by the Constitution since it all happens -- technically -- outside US borders. They're probably trampling on the Constitution but it will take some very deep pockets to sort it out.
What would they say ?
All the people who fought and died for freedom, only to see it taken away by governments in the interests of protecting the polulation ?
For fucks sake if I have to live with this bullshit drop a fucking bomb on me and have done with it. I am sick of all this fuckwitted security crap when travelling. I am *NOT* a fucking criminal, yet I am treated as such. This is worse than prison - anything I say, own, posess or do can get me locked up.
The terrorists have won already. We have already lost.
Fucking stupid bastard government wake up !
Brown, be a good retard and fuck off back to the asylum. Bush you're already in one !
And when it doesn't sell, for the same reasons as last time
They will drop their prices. Shit, I thought Apple put SOME value on what customers thought, obviously not.
If this is the way operators are going to treat their customers, this iPhone will flop just like the last one did (outside of America). Purses are being tightened and people know what extortion is when they see it.
I was going to buy one but I am off to get an N95 instead... better phone too.
Everyone insists on blaming the current administration for the pain of becoming a police state, but the fact of the matter is that these are all bipartisan efforts that are making you safer. For your own good. Trust us.
Monkeywrench the Fascist AmeriKKKan state
"so, just because the border cops *may* search your laptop your not gonna take your kids on a holiday to Florida ? that's the most lame excuse i have heard yet for not taking the kids on holiday, at least blame the credit crunch...... forget euro Disney anyway, for what it costs, its not much more to go to Florida..."
And provide some financial support for the Fascist State of AmeriKKKa?
I don't think so.
Barking up the wrong tree
Encrypted hard drives: It's my understanding that you can be held (indefinitely) until you give up your password. So no help there. I've heard of people encrypting their actual data on an unmounted partition and keeping a "dummy" OS on the active partition, but a good forensics expert would find a partition containing what could be encrypted data, and then you're back to the "held indefinitely" part.
However, there is a practical workaround that works almost anywhere. Find a Taco Bell or coffee shop with wifi, upload encrypted data to a server somewhere on the Internet, erase from your laptop (*really* erase, not just "empty recycle bin") cross border, download data on the other side. Leave a few Page 3 images lying about so you don't seem too squeaky-clean.
Alternately, leave encrypted data on server, work with it only through internet connection. Then the only challenge is to clean temporary files off the local computer before going over the border.
If you're really serious, upload data to server, discard laptop, cross border, purchase laptop on other side, download data.
With practically any system on the Internet available on both sides of most borders, it's kind of naive to assume that anyone really serious about privacy would carry the goods across the border on their own laptop or PDA. That might be cool in spy/action flicks but it's not necessary in real life.
Cry a river for me
Yes, it's awful isn't that we have a country so obsessed with watching everyone that it's capital is the most heavily surveilled city in the world. A country where you can be detained without a warrant for weeks until they decide to let you go. A country where simply carrying a camera can make you seen as a terrorist. Where you can go to jail if you don't give up your passwords when they want them.
Wait a minutes.....that's England we're talking about, not the USA.
The US is a fascist neo-con paranoid state, eh? Pot.....kettle..........
Good luck to them
Well if the US authorities can get information out of my bad tempered laptop they are welcome to it. The beastly thing is forever locking up and losing documents just before I'm about to save the work.
With a bit of luck they will seize it and I will get a replacement with a CPU somewhat faster than a Z80.
ps - don't tell my laptop that I sent this message
Be a spanner
So before you leave, you load up your HDD with all sorts of disgusting (but legal!) pr0n, rename all the files to suspect names like 'Plan A - Whitehouse.jpg', 'Plan B - New Yolk.jpg', etc.
A nice goatse background and flying vagina mouse cursors for the desktop and use some stegno s/ware to hide the text string "I hope you've enjoyed wasting tax payers dollars!" in every single image. Set the background image to a closeup of goatse and the mouse cursors various flying penis.
Look very nervous as you approach the gates, then kick back and get a good laugh as they waste hours upon hours going through your laptop.
Data dellenda sunt
"If there is no probable cause to keep the information after this it must be destroyed."
The data, or the laptop?
RE:Cry a river for me
Well, SOMEONE hasn't been reading the comments properly: at least half of them are lamenting the fact that the UK is going the same way as this. Talk about commenters with pre-conceived agendas...
The solution is simple
Don't visit the Evil Empire.
Americans as individuals (well, the couple of dozen I know personally) are great people. But they live under a vicious government with a political system based on wealth and corruption. Bush and Cheney have, almost singlehandly, destroyed American's reputation in the world outside their borders.
Anti-American feeling is very strong in Europe. That is wrong when it comes to the American people (as opposed to the USA's national government, trade policy and foreign policy). We should judge individuals on their merits.
But we should Boycott the USA.
Democracy and freedom costs jobs dammit!
Yes they are badddd, since all these new regulations came into force they have created thousands and thousands of jobs for the mentally retarded and easily led.
Its a wonderful world, freedom just keeps folks poor. Ahem.
As mentioned earlier they are just after industrial secrets. As they are now waking up to the fact their US lifestyle is about to crash around them they need all the info possible on how the rest of the world lives in this new fangled 21st century. They could just ask but that would be too humiliating.
Delete my iPod
If they delete my iPod files I want my money back from Apple.
because remember those downloads cost a lot more in the UK.
Also they are not allowed to copy them off otherwise I'm reporting
them to the RIAA as music pirates.
And how can you have "revealing information" and "something to hide"
at the same time. Oh wait ...
The end of the free world is neigh
Defeating this kind of laws and rules is not hard, however, the West cannot claim to be the "Free World" anymore, as we have left the free bit behind, a very long time ago, Neither USA, England, or other European country can claim to be a truly free society, if the word free relates to freedom, privacy rights, and civil rights. Big brother is watching your every move, and they are slowly conning the population in to giving up more and more privacy rights, and freedoms, in the name of combating Terror.
Historically, this means that a significant war is neigh, because to obtain the freedoms, that have been given up, a bloody war is historically necessary.
If you want to hide something, hide it literally in plain sight, use a pseudoramdom sequence and XOR, with a layer of encryption, then encode the data into some pornographic images, and share via P2P, now no one knows who the recipient is, amongst the millions of downloaders, nor do they know that there is a message, and proving that the sharer knew what was in the image is also hard.
That's a pretty good comment...
The big problem...
Maybe instead of letting them do a search some terrorists might decide to oh I don't know... hijack the plane before hand and crash it?
Well done America, you did a great job of stopping that one. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Flame? Because that's what you get when you crash a plane into a building. Flames. Lots and lots of flames. No doubt I'll be due some too if a yank reads this.
@ Darren Sandford
No, the US didn't use tanks.
There are some doubts about the real drivers behind the use of some planes to kick-start central NY real estate development at the cost of an awful lot of lives, however. Note that said event has been the overarching excuse for an awful lot of questionable activities from invading a country that had little to do with the event (but just happened to start selling oil in Euros) to permitting an unprecedented raid on people's rights (which, too, is strange way to respond to a threat to democracy, call me picky). Oh, and since when does a genuine democracy allow its leader and enforcement to basically stand above the law?
It sometimes makes you wonder who the real enemy is. Terrorists appear overall a miniature problem. But anyone who's lived through the IRA years in London knew that already.
GW, I think the plan is working
They all are staying out of our Blessed country. Now, how about that fence on the North and South borders?
all those who...
are talking of ways to defeat this defence measure brought about by the great statesmen to fight the terrorists are now considered enemy combatants....Any second now, a knock on your doors...
Guess what...now they come for you but, there is no one left to speak...
Countdown to screensaver
Bunch of paranoids and liberty restricters! Just put this on boot-up or as a screen saver and "laugh". ;-)
a bit belated
I've been thinking about some of the comments; leaving your laptop behind and buying one once you are in the US. Call me paranoid, but....
Don't forget that they now insist on having your personal deails before you fly. It would be fairly easy to set-up a check on credit card details. If you then buy a laptop, they will then be alerted to the fact that you have done so (unless you pay cash). Similarly if you pay for any high speed data access.
The fact that you have done this would immediately indicate that here is something going on worth investigating.
Someting I forgot to mention above:
"Excuse me sir, we found a large amount of random data on a flash drive in your bag. We believe it is encrypted information. Could you please provide the key to decrypt the information?"
"It's blank. I used a secure deletion program to write random data to the drive once the files were deleted. There's nothing on it."
"Could you please provide the key to decrypt the information?"
@ Michael Nielsen
Quote: "... a significant war is neigh..."
One that will be fought by cavalry, presumably? ;)
Mine's the horsehair one
War on terror
This was on terror sounds more and more like a war of terror.
I'm happy to stick to my plan never to go to the states again after visiting the place a few years back. I don't like to be treated like a criminal.
@ShaggyDoggy - Report TSA to the RIAA
"they are not allowed to copy [my mp3's] off otherwise I'm reporting them to the RIAA as music pirates."
LOL - absolutely classic mate :-)
Automated searches and why they would suck ...
"You (and everyone else who made that suggestion) seem to think that they will inspect all those files manually, apparently? Did it occur to you that they could use ... you know ... computers to do that?"
Yes it did.
This mythical scanner would have to cope with multiple operating systems and an enormous number of files. Ever virus scan 300GB of data? did you consider how practical this would be to do for every passenger?
You can't find a Truecrypt file unless you already know it is one. It is just a sequence of ones and zeroes.
If I create a file called dumb_border_guard.tmp there is no software that is going to identify it as an encrypted file and not a bunch of random data.
Although being the US they will just assume any information not stored in MS doc files must mean you a terrorist.
Paris, because even she can see it is easy to hide an encrypted file from jack-booted officials.
Re: Constitutions, Encryption, and other points.
Ash, if the constitution doesn't apply then this must be because you aren't in the US.
If you aren't in the US then the border guards have no rights.
Either argument means they are forked.
What it really is is that the US government have wiped their claggs off on the constitution so much that they can't read the writing any more. Worse, it's losing its absorbency.
So, could some clever virus author create a program that when transferred from the hard drive on which it was installed to another hard drive, messes up the new drive - eg randomly deleting files?
The icon appears to be of a mysterious bug.
What really sucks...
>>Ash, if the constitution doesn't apply then this must be because you aren't in the US.
If you aren't in the US then the border guards have no rights.<<
True. Thing is though that the US policies tend to get driven forward by the US into governments outside the US (even though the US won't give anything back). That's why this gets people outside the US so inflamed.
When flying from most EU countries to the any country except the US, you get processed by the country you're in. Going to the US? You get processed by a US official. Funny thing, wonder if the "search and seize" will apply there too.... even when you're not on US soil.
This year, for the first time EVER I've had to produce a passport on arrival in Dublin from Cork. That's a domestic flight... no arrival from another country, nothing.
Try transit in CDG
If the trainees in CDG confiscate another item of mine that is not on the list of prohibited items...well I guess they are not trainees...simple overall French incompetency.
CDG still beats LHR to the number one spot in mind bogglingly frustrating ways.
Why is there no way to complain about this sort of treatment or legal recourse to over-aggressive customs/security in any airport throughout the world? Sigh.
Better yet, stand up for your Rights.
As an American caught in the middle of the Government's BS & the President's utter disdain for "the god damned piece of paper" he swore to Uphold & Protect, I am now forced to travel with my Visa (passport, not CC) on me any time I need to board a plane.
Not just Internationally, but *at all*.
As a US Citizen, there's that pesky Constitutional Right against Unwarranted Search & Seizure, my Visa has the words "Shall not be subject to unwarranted delay" on it, and my Right to not be harassed without Probable Cause.
Oh, and that whole "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" clause.
So stand up for your Rights.
Throw a copy of the Constitution at the TSA Agent's head as you walk around the line for the metal detectors / body cavity search.
Sorry, I'm Innocent, there's no Probable Cause, and you're not allowed to Search my person nor belonging without a Warrant.
Oh, and you can take your "No liquids, nail files, blah blah blah" and cram it RIGHT up your ass.
None of those objects is illegal to carry on the street, nor into a Federal Building, thus you can't ban them from *Public Transport*.
And YES, that airline is subsidized by my tax dollars, just like Greyhound, Amtrack, & the local Public Transportation System.
So the next time I have to fly, I'll be bitch-slapping a TSA agent or two on my way past the lines.
Because I paid for my ticket (with cash - you don't need my information), I have a right to be on that plane (because I paid for my ticket), and unless you want to refund me my money (in cash, immediately) AND reimburse me for what-ever it is I'll miss due to your illegal cancellation of our contract, you'd better let me aboard...
And if I suddenly disappear, my family/friends will know where & why.
The resulting shit storm will probably make headlines.
And all because I refused to let the asshole in charge strip me of my Constitutional Rights.
[Pirate icon because it was people unafraid to stand up to their oppressive government who created this Nation in the first place.
Posted Anon because my government needs to fear the populace, not the other way around.]
They are that stupid
"Do they honestly expect a terrorist to be carrying a laptop with a document on the desktop entitled "Plans to blow up the United States"? What REALLY are the objectives behind allowing these numpties this sort of power? I suppose the least paranoid explanation is it allows them to say to the right wing press that they're "doing something" about terrorism."
One question on the immigration form used to be "do you plan to overthrow the Government of the United States" - I can't remember who was alleged to have written "sole purpose of trip"...
@The information they're looking for
You're right, they would not know a terrorist plan if you called the file How_To_Blowup_the_USA.odf
They might say that's what they are looking for but I think it more likely that they will be learning the following:
1. If you visit infowars.com
2. If you have any good porn that they can copy and that might be held against you
3. If you have taken the trouble to encrypt anything.
We are being trained to accept being searched.
I still think it's a good idea to encrypt anything you don't want others to see. You never know who might get hold of the laptop.
I am not sure how much anyone believes in anti-terror measures as a way to tackel terrorists. Many people simply go through the motions of their job. Others will believe what they are paid to believe. Think of how you believed in Father Christmas because by doing so you recieved presents. The grown up version is doing your job to recieve your wages.
Just copyright your hard drive, DNA, face and fingerprints.
Re: War on terro? My arse!
"Big round applause for the DHS and government, you finally got what you wanted! I always wanted to take my kids to Disneyland and visit me relies in Florida, but that has now gone out the window."
Take a holiday in Cuba and invite the rellies to join you there.
Job's a good'n.
so is this the shock or the awe?
i think i'll wait for obama to get in and give him a few years too un-nazi the US before i think about a visit
I believe that the original text was "do you intend to overthrow the Government of the United States by means of armed insurrection" (just a note: the way that the USA was created in the first place?)
It was the wonderfully irascible Gilbert Harding back in the early 60's, having spent many hours waiting for a delayed flight, then a foul trip due to bad weather and yet more delays at immigration that wrote "sole purpose of visit" in large plain text. It appears that he was allowed through.
Simple solution indeed
The solution to this is in two parts:
1: Refuse doing any business that requires you, or information from you, entering the Uncivilized Surveillance Area (USA)
2: Refuse doing business with any person going BACK to the Uncivilized Surveillance Area.
An optional third is:
3: Refuse doing business that requires you to be paid in currency from any country that doesn't acknowledge the United Nations charter of Human Rights (and yes, this includes the Uncivilized Surveillance Area)
When I used to travel to the USA, on return I had four boarding passes. Almost always the top one (Dalls-New york) wsa samped "SSSS" whrich meant exra security checks. So, when I went thro' border control, I swapped the order of the BP's, so it read "JFK-Frankfurt". Dumb shits never noticed, and waved me through.
Pay peanuts, etc...
My iPod will contain the classic....
America.... F*CK YEAH!!!
Coming again to save the motherf*cking day yeah!
America, f*ck yeah!
Freedom is the only weah yeah
Terrorists your game is through
Cos now you have to answer to...
AMERICA! F*CK YEAH!
So lick my butt and suck on my b@lls!
"It's the dream that we all share, it's our hope for tomoorrrrrooow".
Though I guess having posted this from my laptop I will now longer be able to take it to America.... DOH!
I love the fact that all of you are complaining about being searched. What are you afraid of? Perhaps the border folks will find your porn collection?
and when the happy Border folks PUT *their* pr0n collection there and say it is yours? Wot then??
("Border folks" sounds so much nicer than Grenzpolizei or Stasi or the Pogranitsnaya sluzhba FSB Rossiya)
@amanfromMars , I get a diplomatic Visa and they just allow you to bypass all queues and security controls, waved thru' no less. No photo , no fingerprints!
@ someone else, the microSD is usually wrapped in clingfilm and stored in the mouth, not the wallet, prior to being swallowed should you be cavity searched. see a recent French Oil executive , IRA and Dutch Nazi resistance back in history. I wonder what flavour my Kingston 2GB is? Maybe a bit of salt & pepper in the clingfilm!
Missed a trick (maybe)
I say maybe cause I lost the will to read through all the posts (seems nobody can resist a dig at the US government muppets).
The trick being pack your devices full of Virus' cause you can bet your bottom dollar that they won't have any virus protection when checking/scanning through your kit. What's even more likely is that they would also be networked to the rest of the US gov including defense.
Governments always want more power, especially if they are owned and run on behalf of the rich elites. They will market their power grabs to the people as 'good for you', 'for your protection' they may even simulate terrorist acts and crimes in order to bring in their new laws.
Everyone know this is what is going on right?
The people can always say to the State by what authority do you take away my liberties? Did I contract with you anywhere that your self-serving laws are applicable to me? They may throw you in jail with Bubba for a long time, but the truth is they have no authority to impose their laws on anyone, unless they have agreed to live by 'their laws'.
@AC "All Pre-Planned"
Name me one government that has NOT been "owned and run on behalf of the rich elites." The current problem with the former Constitutional republic once known as the "United States of America" is that the elites currently running the show have overreached so far that, now, everybody sees the "man behind the curtain in Oz" for what he really is. Lord Acton might have had the fictional legal "people" (corporations) which tell Shrub what to pretend to think in mind when he said "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
And for those who are holding out hope that, after 20 January 2009, the Democratic Wing of the Corporate Party will do any better...dream on. All you need to remember on that score is how much of the transition from "rule of law" to "rule BY law" occurred on the watch of President Blowjob (the DMCA is a shining example) and just how close he and his wife/partner came to resuming power this time 'round, until they finally endorsed Bush's Third Term via McCain. 2012 awaits.
As for where all this is going to lead... I'm presently living in a functional one-party state with pretensions of democracy, where those who dare less-than-stellar thoughts about the Great Leader, Father of the Nation, or his Son, the Dear Leader and current Prime Minister, can be made extremely unpleasant. The US Navy is a regular visitor here for shore leave... it has occurred to many expats here that this might well be a model for where the US and UK are headed. If so, then Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Wentworth and the lot made much ado over nothing, and we are much the poorer for it.
We're not happy either!
Most in the US are not happy about this either! Those that voted for our turdtastic leader probably like it though.
To the earlier poster that may have been answered, no, you are not immune from search of mail unless it is actively in the mail. Therefore, you cannot carry a sealed letter and expect it to not be searched.
There are suggestions on how to protect your laptop
though the smartest, safest way to do so is to wipe it clean with secure erase, reinstall the OS, and put everything you need online so it can be downloaded via secure connection after you pass the gestapo. Do NOT put movies, music, or contraband on there. Presumably, you could put some movies/music on a laptop so long as you can secure erase it prior to inspection.
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