US customs agents can examine, copy data from searched laptops
Here are two rather alarming stories re. global infringement of privacy by the US government:
First, David Edwards and Mike Sheehan present details from CNN report on US customs agents, who can examine, and copy data from electronic devices.
Published, Monday February 11, 2008
EXCERPT: Customs agents have the prerogative to examine and even copy data from travelling citizens' laptops they search, CNN's American Morning reports.
"A new alert for travellers: be careful what you store on your laptop or your BlackBerry when entering the United States," warns CNN's John Roberts. "Customs agents can examine your computer and even keep your private information."
CNN reporter Jeanne Meserve adds ominously, "Your banking records, your music choices, your emails, your business contacts -- all can be examined, copied and stored by the government when you enter the country, if they're in an electronic device."
See the full report here, including CNN footage:
And, further information, from Ian Traynor in Brussells, via the Guadian
Bush orders clampdown on flights to US
- The Guardian,
- Monday February 11 2008
The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.
According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals, EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America, senior EU officials said.
And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days.
As part of a controversial passenger data exchange programme allegedly aimed at combating terrorism, the EU has for the past few months been supplying the American authorities with 19 items of information on every traveller flying from the EU to the US.
The new American demands go well beyond what was agreed under that passenger name record (PNR) system and look certain to cause disputes within Europe and between Europe and the US.