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Old August 3rd, 2008, 01:10 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Big Brother wants your hard drive!

August 1 2008

Now the US government has taken on the right to retain for a reasonable period of time your laptop, cell phone or other recording devices and share its recorded information to any number of public and private agencies.

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border
No Suspicion Required Under DHS Policies

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer


Friday, August 1, 2008; Page A01

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer 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.

Read the entire article here.

So what about if one simply encrypts the hard drive or else loads up the material on to one's idisk before hand and erases one's private data? What then? Will they force us to give them the password?

If they won't then why can they touch the laptop in the first place. To apply this to US citizens with no cause seems to smack of "big brother!

Asher
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  #2  
Old August 3rd, 2008, 06:00 AM
John_Nevill John_Nevill is offline
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Asher,

You think that's an infringement, our Mr Brown wants to create a national "Big Brother" database to monitor all phones calls, emails and web use, so the UK government will have all your data before its even stored on a hard drive! - So there will be no need to confiscate your laptop if this legislation gets the green light.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 08:55 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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no worries, mates, echelon runs quite for a long while
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  #4  
Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:19 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
To apply this to US citizens with no cause seems to smack of "big brother!
And when you think about it, who decides which laptop gets searched? What are the criteria? Race, religion, political preferences, eating habits, ... ?

It smacks too much of what happened in WWII, and still happens in e.g. China.

Next thing is that people will have to wear certain symbols on their clothes, so they can be easily identified in a raid/razzia. Civilized people should not allow this to happen, again.

Bart
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Old August 4th, 2008, 10:49 AM
Don Shreve Don Shreve is offline
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It's absolutely OUTRAGEOUS.
I just wrote to my two senators, my US Rep (though he screens out anyone not affiliated with his party affiliation), the TSA and the Customs department.
It's amazing how we never know these things until a tenacious reporter backed by a courageous news organization exposes these outrageous attacks on our liberties.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 06:06 AM
Georg R. Baumann Georg R. Baumann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
So what about if one simply encrypts the hard drive or else loads up the material on to one's idisk before hand and erases one's private data? What then? Will they force us to give them the password?
If idisk is that .mac account thing which now is mobile me, I would question the privacy of data on such a system in the first place.

As for encryption, I think you would have to make some serious efforts to have a encrypted system they could notaccess, I am not even sure it is possible.

All this is getting really out of hand.
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  #7  
Old August 10th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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"The Department of Homemade Security ...

"... A nation ... consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation. ...

"Are you really so scared of terrorists that you'll dismantle the structures that made America what it is? ... If you are, you let the terrorist win. Because that is exactly, specifically, his goal, his only goal: to frighten you into surrendering the rule of law. That why they call him 'terrorist.' He uses terrifing threats to induce you to degrade your own society. ...

"It's based on the same glitch in human psychology that allows people to believe they can win the lottery. Statistically, almost nobody ever wins the lottery. Statistically, terrorist attacks almost never happen."

óWilliam Gibson, Spook Country
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  #8  
Old August 19th, 2008, 02:44 PM
Rhys Sage Rhys Sage is offline
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Interesting read. The UK has a law that if your hard drive is encrypted and you don't tell the police the password you go to jail. There's no get-out if you forget the password.

The answer to this is to store all your personal files - emails etc on a memory card of some kind that can be easily removed and stored safely away from prying eyes.

I am in favour of having NO data on a hard drive. Given the prepoderance for viruses and operating systems to wreak their own havoc (my wife's XP installation lost her user account then a couple of months later, forgot how to access the hard drive), it makes sense for data to be portable between machines.

Ideally, I'd have the software all on one USB Memory stick, the data on another and the OS on a 3rd. That way if the OS went belly-up then it's a simple matter of plugging a new OS in to be up and running in minutes.

BUT back to the point...

These days, I don't travel with my laptop. I travel with DVDs. They're lighter, more portable and there's a computer at each end anyway. Working while travelling isn't that great anyway.
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