Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border
The last time I travelled was in April when I went to Boston. The baggage checks and metal detector lineups weren't as bad as I thought it would be. It was quite a hassle to take off your shoes and belt but what really got to me was having to take your laptop out of your bag and out of the protective case. With the amount of people unwrapping their laptops, taking clothing articles off, going through the detector, putting their clothes back on, shoes back on, and repackaging their laptop and their personal bags, the lineups can be quite long.
I am sure many of you all have horror airport security stories to tell, but I think many more people are about to have interesting stories to share under this DHS policy.
Federal agents may have the power to take a traveler's laptop or electronic device for however long they want no questions asked. They could also share the content they retrieve with other agencies.
I can just see the headline, "angry passengers misses flight due to laptop checkup, now sues _____"
Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.
Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"The policies . . . are truly alarming," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.
I am sure people of certain race and relgious background are about to have their items rummaged through because of a "random check."
The policies state that officers may "detain" laptops "for a reasonable period of time" to "review and analyze information." This may take place "absent individualized suspicion."
The policies cover "any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form," including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover "all papers and other written documentation," including books, pamphlets and "written materials commonly referred to as 'pocket trash' or 'pocket litter.' "
I know this is all for "security" but maybe its going a little too far? Seems like we are slowly losing our rights and privacy. What do you all think, is this necessary for our safety? or its another scheme to blame something on terrorism in order to keep an eye on everybody.