View Full Version : Laptop confiscation at the border. Do something about it.

08-07-2008, 06:47 PM
As many here know, I wrote an article in the Tripso Blog about US CBPís practice of searching and seizing travelersí digital information and electronic devices at US borders, entitled "Warning: US Customs and Border Protection may confiscate your laptop and PDA (http://www.tripso.com/today/warning-us-customs-and-border-protection-may-confiscate-your-laptop-and-pda/)."

Today the ACLU posted an emailable letter with the subject "Tell Congress to Rein in DHS Travel Abuses (https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=1009&page=UserAction)." If you click there you can send a customizable email to your US Senators and Representative asking for the following:

1. Overhaul the broken terrorist watch list.

In July, the terrorist watch list surpassed one million names, and it is growing at over twenty thousand names per month, according to reports by the DOJ Inspector General. Congress needs to rip this list up and start again. It should be limited to actual terrorists. Innocent travelers need a way to get off the watch list and real checks and balances if DHS is non-responsive.

2. Require reasonable suspicion for electronic searches at the border.

According to the published policy of DHS, the government reserves the right to look through any laptop or electronic device crossing the border, saying it is no different from any other luggage. DHS has even seized laptops, holding them indefinitely. The government should have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing before doing laptop searches.

It's time for some sanity when it comes to security. Yet, in addition to the above abuses, DHS has already started conducting virtual strip searches of travelers using new, invasive scanners. Remarkably, there has even been interest in having every traveler wear an "electro-muscular disruption" bracelet that airline personnel or marshals could use to shock passengers into submission.If you agree with me that these problems need fixing, even if you don't agree with, or even like the ACLU one bit, I urge you to use the link above, and send the email to your Senators and Representative, or write an email of your own and send it to them. Congress has shown it needs one hell of a push before they'll do anything about anything. So push them if these issues are important to you.

08-07-2008, 09:12 PM
Done! I'm surprised I didn't receive an email on this from the ACLU.

08-08-2008, 09:27 AM
Done! You're right, it's out of control!

08-08-2008, 02:51 PM
Done! I had to edit it just a smidge. There was one sentence that was poorly written. I wasn't signing my name to that. Plus, I removed that part about the shock bracelet. I'm still not convinced anyone was truly serious about that.