“New DHS policies allow customs agents to analyze the contents of laptops without any suspicion of wrongdoing.” via MacWorld
Americans are willingly sacrificing their freedom in the service of an amorphous war on terrorism. Fueled by fear we blindly accept unthinkable and unwarranted intrusions into our privacy, thinking by doing so we are protecting ourselves from harm.
History tells us otherwise.
Once the precedent is set for the government’s seizure of our persons and property without cause we are vulnerable to that action forever. Today the target is ostensibly terrorists or pedophiles, but the DHS policies treat all of us as suspects. The travesty of internment of American citizens of Japanese decent during WWII raises it head as a specter of what can happen to innocent people when the government is given unbridled power.
In simple terns – it is not what you did but who you are that triggers suspicion.
MacWorld reports on the continuing insidious erosion of our Fourth Amendment Rights*:
Travelers beware: US agents now have the authority to seize and retain laptops indefinitely, according to a new policy detailed in documents issued by the US 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. US border agents can seize iPods, iPhones, laptops, Agam Shah, August 4, 2008.
Tip of the hat to @billfishkin for the link
Teach Your Children Well
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. LIT, Cornell Law Information Institute