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New Bill To Rein In DHS Laptop Seizures

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the give-it-back-now dept.

Privacy 311

twigles writes with news of a new proposed bill that seeks to curtail DHS's power to search and seize laptops at the border without suspicion of wrongdoing. Here is Sen. Feingold's press release on the bill. The new bill has more privacy-protecting safeguards than the previous one, which we discussed last month. "The Travelers Privacy Protection Act, a bill written by US Senators Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., would allow border agents to search electronic devices only if they had reasonable suspicions of wrongdoing. In addition, the legislation would limit the length of time that a device could be out of its owner's possession to 24 hours, after which the search becomes a seizure, requiring probable cause."

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311 comments

you can't have it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295137)

frosty piss assholes!!!!!

I'll teach you how to troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295381)

The time is right to finally reveal that Barak Obama is a member of the G.N.A.A

Vote Ron Paul 2008!

Re:I'll teach you how to troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295681)

he;s only half gay nigger you insensitive clod.

No, no good enough. (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295139)

Probable cause required after 24 hours? No. Probable cause must be required before search.

Mod parent up. (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295175)

It's a bit like saying the police can break down my door and search my apartment for 24 hours before I can complain.

I think I speak for all of us when I say: FUCK NO.

Re:Mod parent up. (5, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295595)

This is funny.

Didn't FISA get revised just this year (combined with giving immunity to the telephone companies involved with illegal wiretapping), so that the NSA can wait up to two weeks AFTER beginning to wiretap a phone line, to apply for the warrant to do the wiretapping? Even though there are rubber-stamp FISA judges available on speed-dial 24/7/365. All you need to do is make a long-distance phone call to a person and/or a phone number that somebody thinks is associated with terrorism (no evidence required for this belief!).

Re:Mod parent up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295867)

I believe a key portion of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is that it has to do with foreigners. Could be the name, but I think it has to involve a communication with one end outside of the United States.

For calls entirely within the United States FISA does not apply.

Re:No, no good enough. (2, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295221)

If they have probably cause, they can do a hell of a lot more than search your laptop anyway. Very, very few cases would exist where they have probable cause before crossing the border.

Think in computer terms. You can't block spam, spam, and only spam. Sometimes you have to block non-spam to catch most of the spam, or you block nothing but the most obvious spam, and still have a trashed inbox.

Yes, there is an order of magnitude of difference between a penis pill e-mail and a terrorist, but the general principle is the same. It's a pain in the ass to sort through your junk mail box to get that legitimate message, just like it would be a royal pain in the ass to have your laptop siezed for a day.

I think this is a fairly reasonable compromise, assuming the terms for the laptop return (expedited shipping to whever you are going to be) are favorable and reasonable suspicion is truly reasonable.

Re:No, no good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295247)

I think this is a fairly reasonable compromise, assuming the terms for the laptop return (expedited shipping to whever you are going to be) are favorable and reasonable suspicion is truly reasonable.

Even if I agreed that this was reasonable - which I absolutely do not - your two required assumptions are the most ludicrous assumptions you can make. You HAVE TO assume that any allowance, flaw, or loophole is going to be exploited, regularly, and not for the good of our country.

Re:No, no good enough. (4, Insightful)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295353)

Think in computer terms. You can't block spam, spam, and only spam. Sometimes you have to block non-spam to catch most of the spam, or you block nothing but the most obvious spam, and still have a trashed inbox.

The two are nothing alike.

When you're filtering spam, you aren't dealing with a person's personal belongings worth at the very least a few dollars plus the contents of the hard drive, which is priceless.

You aren't dealing with something that makes or breaks someones livelihood, you're dealing with something with an email. The two are absolutely nothing alike,and while I'll accept a high false positive rate and a high success rate with spam filtering, I'm not going to accept a high false positive rate with a system that deprives me of physical property and my livelihood for at least 24 hours without any reason.

Re:No, no good enough. (2, Interesting)

Kickersny.com (913902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295377)

I'd rather let a million spam emails slip through than block one legitimate one.

Same deal with suspicious characters at the border.

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

ratsbane (1363433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295573)

If you use any kind of spam filtering now (and as your email address is GMail you certainly do) then you are, in fact, blocking some small percentage of legitimate emails so that most of the junk messages will be blocked. And the only way to block every suspicious character at the border is to block every person at the border. No one can come into our country - including Americans returning from vacation. Zero tolerance. Clearly this would not work. Also, most suspicious characters are just that - harmless but somehow outside the norm. There is a certain amount of risk that will always exist in anything. We can't get rid of all of it and the harder we try the more good things we'll get rid of at the same time. And none of this explains why searching someone's laptop for more than 24 hours would be helpful in weeding out the dodgy characters.

Re:No, no good enough. (2, Interesting)

Kickersny.com (913902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295737)

The email I use for slashdot is far from a critical email address. For my important one(s) I run my own mail server with spam digests (it emails me a list of everything in the quarantine at the end of the week).

Other than that, I agree with your reply :)

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295879)

I'd rather let a million spam emails slip through than block one legitimate one.

Same deal with suspicious characters at the border.

Ahem... I think I have.

Odd way to terrorize people... (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295413)

Yes, there is an order of magnitude of difference between a penis pill e-mail and a terrorist, but the general principle is the same.

So you're saying that terrorists want to enlarge my penis by an order of magnitude greater than the pills? Well I guess a massive penis could be rather threatening, but how would the terrorists make use of my terrifyingly huge penis? Write a message on it? Or maybe they're just trying to get the point across that they have to ability to produce Wangs of Mass Destruction?

Re:Odd way to terrorize people... (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295787)

Well I guess a massive penis could be rather threatening, but how would the terrorists make use of my terrifyingly huge penis?

Well, he said it would be a pain in the ass.

Re:Odd way to terrorize people... (3, Funny)

Legrow (1023457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295991)

Well I guess a massive penis could be rather threatening, but how would the terrorists make use of my terrifyingly huge penis? Write a message on it? Or maybe they're just trying to get the point across that they have to ability to produce Wangs of Mass Destruction?

I believe you meant, Weapons of Ass Destruction.

Re:Odd way to terrorize people... (1)

zaivala (887815) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296099)

Don't know if they could manage Wangs. Might have to settle for NBIs.

Re:Odd way to terrorize people... (1)

dark42 (1085797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296103)

"but how would the terrorists make use of my terrifyingly huge penis?"

They will sell you Chinpokomon dolls.

More than a pita (3, Interesting)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295427)

How do i get my laptop back after 24hours when i'm just a tourist with no address to have it sent to?
Also if the "reasonable suspicion is truly reasonable" wouldn't that be the probable cause that the op was stating should be required?

Re:More than a pita (4, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296201)

Unless you're hiking in the wilderness (in which case you probably didn't need it too badly), you will have a hotel address your laptop can be shipped to rather easily.

IANAL, but probable cause is much more than just reasonable suspicion. Soemthing along the lines of having other evidence against the person than what you gathered simply by noticing something at customs.

Expedited shipping? (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295451)

Yeah, right....

More like "we're done installing rootkits, you can come and pick it up whenever you want".

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295473)

i think you're confusing probably cause with something else.

you don't just put random incoming e-mails into the spam folder. you try to detect patterns that would indicate that a particular e-mail is spam, then you put the suspected spam message in the spam folder.

likewise, you don't just do search and seizures on random people. you have to find probable cause to warrant impinging on that person's rights and privacy. probable cause isn't a court conviction. it doesn't require a police officer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this person has committed a crime. but it does forbid police officers from encroaching the rights of individuals for no apparent reason.

most people who are searched based on probably cause will likely still be innocent. that is a necessary evil. but just because we live in an imperfect world doesn't mean that we have to intentionally write imperfections into our legal system.

Re:No, no good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296257)

More to the point, this is something cops deal with every day. If they have suspicions they try to get the person to give them permission to search or to unwittingly give them probable cause.

But when the specter of terrorism, etc. is raised, suddenly we accept these absurd arguments, when all those arguments really say is that these guys are less competent than your average beat cop because they can't manage without all sorts of special treatment.

Re:No, no good enough. (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295631)

Just wanted to say I think that there are a couple of problems with what you have said. First, spam filtering is the equivalent of 'racial profiling' and that is simply not allowed... right? What you suggest is tantamount to giving the green light to racial profiling.

Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. You are arguing from a naive logic point of view. You seem to believe that those on the working end of this process have no reason to be mean or would never abuse their authority based on their own tepid personal morals?

Indeed, there should be very very few cases of probable cause, and thus very very very few cases of search/seizure of papers(data).

Sometimes you have to block non-spam to catch most of the spam, or you block nothing but the most obvious spam, and still have a trashed inbox.

This is what we call a 'FAIL' in the bizz. Yes, there is no perfect world, but the last thing you want to do is block a valid email. The effects become chilling when you consider that what you are talking about is 'blocking' humans.

Lets put some theoretical numbers in here: How many terrorists are there in the world? 500? 5000? How many people fly through airports every day? What is that, like 0.000001% of possible passenger traffic? So, you think it is ok to inconvenience grandmas and 4 year olds for the sake of finding a needle in a haystack that has exactly zero probability of actually existing.

Yes, for you statisticians, that was awful, but it does illustrate my point. This is NOT like blocking spam. Spam is certain. Terrorists are not. Any inconvenience to normal passenger traffic is tantamount to the terrorists winning. game. set. match.

TTFN

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296009)

Have you been drinking today? You make no sense whatsoever. I am not even talking about your arguments - I can't get past your syntax. Are you saying its OK for the government to rummage through personal data on your laptop without probable cause as long as they pay shipping to send it back to you? What about searching your house without a warrant - would this be OK if they clean up after themselves?

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296291)

Yeah, we could search every single apartment, house, etc. for illegal stuff. I mean, it would make sense to scan all incoming email, right? It's obviously the same thing.

Emails are not terrorists and handling them in the same way is insanely stupid. You simply cannot apply mail handling principles to dealing with terrorism. Sacrificing freedom for security is incredibly stupid. You can go to some other country if you don't want the rights guaranteed by our constitution, but don't try to remove those rights for everyone else.

Re:No, no good enough. (4, Informative)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295495)

Probable cause required after 24 hours? No. Probable cause must be required before search.

Your views on this political question* are admirable (and I would even agree but the devil's in the details of implementation) but they are also at variance with most of the electorate. For myself, I have (grudgingly) accepted that such political preferences are legitimate even when they conflict with my personal preferences. I have no qualms saying that people are making a big mistake giving up freedom for liberty but, from a point of view of epistemic humility, I also have to concede that they have every right to make the decision.

The best thing we can do is attempt to convince people and that starts first and foremost with acknowledging the legitimacy of their position (while, of course, reserving the right to respectfully disagree).

* Since for 250 years, the Constitution has permitted warrantless, suspicionless searches of anything crossing an international border, it is considered a settled legal question. /.ers can complain that the true meaning of the fourth amendment is something different (I'm sure many will) but the law remains.

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295837)

No. Probable cause must be required before search.

Not if you are crossing the border, unfortunately. The discussed bill is an improvement over the current situation, though...

As far as the border-patrol are concerned, it seems, everyone is to be searched. They are doing you a favor, when they let you through unmolested.

And it has always been this way, although their practices related to laptops have brought some attention. And it can't be easily changed, regretfully, even if Feingold is aiming for some "low-hanging fruit" of the silliest of their practices.

Re:No, no good enough. (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295933)

Because boarder searches include some probable cause built in. But a border search is supposed to be specific to the differences of international laws. If you're coming from a day trip in Canada it's not appropriate to look for stolen iPods from the USA... but this is what they're doing with laptops. The point is that to secure the boarder of the country items must be searched, but it must be reasonable. You are not IN the USA yet. But there needs to be limits, if customs can't find a good reason to tell a judge they need a laptop or electronic device after 24 hours they should be required to send you on your way. Similar rules apply to "real" property, along with the need to free up space for travelers, that's why they can't pile up cars or boats, etc. even though they try. It's just that "on the internet" thing being used to get around another rule everybody would normally follow. The current practice was learned in the drug war to use flimsy "seizure" rules to put items into a place where they weren't "criminal" evidence but couldn't be released because they "might be" evidence or "poisoned fruit"...until the room was cleared out at auction for police profit. The same game is going on here.

Re:No, no good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295963)

I'll do you one better: I want the law that repeals ALL the new paranoid bullshit from the last 15 years. I liked "Free as in America" a lot more than "Free as in at least it ain't Stalin"

Good luck with that, Feingold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295145)

Seriously.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295161)

After 24 hours it becomes a seizure? Does that exclude holidays/weekends? This "border" place is it an airport if so which timezone would be followed considering planes can fly against the time zone.

Yeah nothing but junk here, where the steak and potatos at in this article?

Accountability (5, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295165)

If they take a laptop to search it for 24 hours they should first detail their "reasonable suspicion" on a form to which the person's whose laptop is being taken receives a copy to chat with their lawyer about.

Re:Accountability (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295277)

Better yet, they should detail their "reasonable suspicion" on a warrant beforehand and give it to a judge to decide whether or not their suspicion really is reasonable.

Re:Accountability (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295311)

Hm.. i'd be more concerned about their definition of "probable cause" and them finding (or planting) it on the 23rd hour.

For example... is the existence of a secure encrypted volume they can't read probable cause? (Noone innocent would have any need to encrypt anything, right?? What have they got to hide????)

Re:Accountability (1)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295319)

You're new the US, right?

Real reason: He is a dark haired male between the age of 16 and 65 and has a funny name.

Reason on paper: Classified.

Re:Accountability (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295545)

If they take a laptop to search it for 24 hours they should first detail their "reasonable suspicion" on a form to which the person's whose laptop is being taken receives a copy to chat with their lawyer about.

What exactly are you going to sue them for? Seizure for inspection at the border is legal (how else would the USDA inspect imported food?) and so you can S1983 them for violation of a Constitutional right.

I don't particularly object to your suggestion, I just don't see that it would be of any use.

Re:Accountability (1)

2Bits (167227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295797)

If they take a laptop to search it for 24 hours they should first detail their "reasonable suspicion" on a form to which the person's whose laptop is being taken receives a copy to chat with their lawyer about.

Right, search and seizure are mostly done to aliens (although they sometimes do to their natives too), what rights to lawyer do they have? Who cares about aliens anyway?

Re:Accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296171)

Im an alien in new-yooork!

good start (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295183)

but we really need to rein in hairy pussies. Nothing worse than pulling down a chick's panties only to be reminded of richard stallman.

Re:good start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295481)

He may be an Anonymous Coward, but he's right!

Re:good start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295489)

but we really need to rein in hairy pussies.

I heard this was a major point in the leadership debates. It was the one thing the leaders could agree on.

still won't convince me to visit the usa (1, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295289)

there's no way in hell i'd ever visit the USA under the current regime. the same goes for the UK. detain without charge or trail indefinitely, government sponsored theft of your property. fuck that.

Note: The bill applies to US citizens only (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295475)

If you're a foreigner, you're screwed.

Re:Note: The bill applies to US citizens only (2, Informative)

Knackered (311164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296187)

US Citizens and legal residents, according to the bill itself. So not all "foreigners" are screwed.

Re:still won't convince me to visit the usa (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295509)

government sponsored theft of your property. fuck that.

Taxes?

Re:still won't convince me to visit the usa (4, Insightful)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295537)

government sponsored theft of your property. fuck that.

Taxes?

No Highway for you!

Re:still won't convince me to visit the usa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295575)

Good. If the government had never gotten involved in building roads, our transportation options could have been developed without the assumption that there's always going to be freshly paved roads everywhere you want to go.

Can you say "flying cars"?

Re:still won't convince me to visit the usa (1)

IanHurst (979275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295549)

So, we'll see you after November, then? Cool.

Re:still won't convince me to visit the usa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295779)

He's a self important troll. You don't want him.

Re:still won't convince me to visit the usa (1)

IanHurst (979275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295939)

I want his dollars, though. More money coming to the USA = good, yeah?

And I wouldn't mind if he decided to respond, either.

Won't stop DHS agents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295331)

This won't stop DHS agents from stealing laptops. How often are laptops seized by DHS, never seen again, and DHS has no record of it ever having been seized? Should I ever find myself entering the USA with a laptop, I'm entering with a freshly wiped HD, a fresh Windows XP install, and the knowledge that I may never see the laptop again.

wake me in March (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295355)

This bill is going nowhere until the next session of Congress - and that on the assumption that Obama wins and the Democrats have a much stronger hold on the Senate.

Re:wake me in March (0, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295383)

from an outsiders view, it would seem obama has the popular vote and would make a better president than mccain. having said that, you people elected bush twice, so anything is possible.

Not necessarily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295563)

it would seem obama has the popular vote and would make a better president than mccain

Not necessarily. Obama will create a government healthcare system, that has been a failed idea in Canada, the UK and other countries. Their healthcare systems are nationalized, but they suck! It would also drive us deeper into debt, the last thing we need right now.

I don't think Americans want spongers getting free healthcare, particularly if it's going to bankrupt the country (more).

Re:Not necessarily (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295669)

and your existing system better because...?

Re:Not necessarily (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295757)

I don't have government twits telling me what healthcare I can and can't have.

The government has screwed over the economy and used fear to enforce security and yet now we're supposed to trust them with our medical services?

No thank you.

Or to paraphrase...
Those who are willing to give up medical freedom for medical security deserve neither.

Re:Not necessarily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295819)

Freedom is only meaningful if the services are available and affordable. In the United States, for most middle-income Americans it's a choice between getting necessary medical procedures or having a house to live in.

Privatization has led only to gouging and deprivation -if the current economic crisis proves nothing else it proves that Capitalism and trickle-down economics inevitably leads to corruption and looting with no accountability ($700 bailout, anyone?).

Like Marxism, Capitalism has been tried and has failed (twice now, in this Depression and during the one in the 1930s).

We need change, we need REAL change, right fucking now.

Re:Not necessarily (1)

gonzo67 (612392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295985)

Currently the US does have socialized medicine. It is called the emergency room. And those without insurance use that government paid resource.

National Healthcare would cost less than the current way the US handles those without insurance.

And, you can get private health insurance in the UK, Canada and other nations which have national healthcare systems. Of course, because it is not needed, the insurance actually has to be good value (read less expensive than in the US) and you can choose the option for catastrophic coverage and use the National system for preventative care.

I have experience in both the US and British systems of health care. Never had a problem seeing a doctor in Britain and have found the US system requires me to plan ahead with being sick or ill (and I have very good coverage and have the added use of the VA as well if I were truly desperate) in comparison.

 

Re:Not necessarily (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296211)

I don't have government twits telling me what healthcare I can and can't have.

The government has screwed over the economy and used fear to enforce security and yet now we're supposed to trust them with our medical services?

No thank you.

Or to paraphrase...
Those who are willing to give up medical freedom for medical security deserve neither.

Who said universal health care had to involve government administration?

Just pass strict new regulations:

A - you must charge a flat rate to all comers, subject to audits against gouging, and regulated the way utilities are regulated.

B - you must accept any applicant to your medical insurance program, no testing, your economic function is to spread risk not avoid it.

C - Anyone willing to subject themselves to a full financial audit by the IRS and SEC to prove they are unable to pay the national flat rate can receive a tax credit toward their coverage.

Re:Not necessarily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296255)

Who said universal health care had to involve government administration?

Just pass strict new regulations:

A - you must charge a flat rate to all comers, subject to audits against gouging, and regulated the way utilities are regulated.

B - you must accept any applicant to your medical insurance program, no testing, your economic function is to spread risk not avoid it.

C - Anyone willing to subject themselves to a full financial audit by the IRS and SEC to prove they are unable to pay the national flat rate can receive a tax credit toward their coverage.

Exactly. This is basically how private health cover works in Australia. Insurance companies have to charge everyone the same (for a given level of coverage) and accept everyone. If you have a pre-existing condition, it's not covered for 12 months (unless you are switching funds).

It works well. Top flight health coverage for a whole family costs on the order of $300 a month. Much cheaper options are available.

The truth is, a little regulation goes a long way.

Re:Not necessarily (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296267)

Except it SHOULD cover pre-existing conditions.

I should not be forced to pay double any time I switch coverage for a condition beyond my control.

Re:Not necessarily (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295893)

Because I can afford healthcare, and I don't have to pay for other people's healthcare (well, I do, but not nearly on the scale that I would with a national gimme gimme plan).

Sorry if I have my shit otgether and don't feel like the government attacking more leeches to me and my wallet.

Re:Not necessarily (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296227)

I'm such a leech.

I mean.. i ate right, have never been overweight, got plenty of exercise, and was diagnosed with crohns at age 17.

Now im out of college, unable to get insurance of any kind, and suffering from excruciating pain, chronic diarrhea, and lethargy approaching narcolepsy, all because I can't get 2 perscriptions which would make it all go away

This is because of authoritarians like you who believe in "guilty until proven innocent"

Re:Not necessarily (0)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295719)

Not necessarily. Obama will create a government healthcare system, that has been a failed idea in Canada.

Where did you hear that? FoxNews? Most Canadians would strongly disagree with you that its a 'failed idea'. An imperfect execution to be sure, but not a failed idea.

Their healthcare systems are nationalized, but they suck!

The American system sucks much worse. Its all relative. I'm not sure why anyone who actually knows what's going on in both systems would prefer the system you've got.

It would also drive us deeper into debt, the last thing we need right now.

Oh come now, you are ALREADY going into stupid amounts of debt for much less intelligent reasons. Seriously, if you draw the line at 'health care' you're priorities are pretty fucked up. Hell, you'd be better off cancelling the bailout and doing health care with that money instead.

Re:Not necessarily (4, Informative)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295967)

I'm Canadian and I definitely wouldn't classify our health care system as a "failed idea." It's not perfect, but I bet most Canadians would agree that it's far better than the system you have.

Re:Not necessarily (1)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296049)

a government healthcare system, that has been a failed idea in Canada, the UK and other countries.

Whoah there. I can't speak to the system in the UK. I am Canadian however, and as such I can tell you that while our system has its problems, we certainly don't feel that is has "failed". I'd be interested to know what criteria you used in coming to that conclusion.

Where are the Republicans? (4, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295363)

Why on Earth isn't this bill co-sponsored by a Republican? Have they stopped even paying lip-service to freedom?

Ten years ago the Republican party had two things going for it, fiscal conservatism and a strong stance on freedom. What happened? (It would be easy to say, "George Bush", but I refuse to believe that he could have done it single handedly.)

-Peter

Re:Where are the Republicans? (3, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295429)

... fiscal conservatism and a strong stance on freedom.

That party got renamed to the "Libertarian" party?

Re:Where are the Republicans? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295449)

Ten years ago the Republican party had two things going for it, fiscal conservatism and a strong stance on freedom.

You must be one of those new kids who wasn't here when Nixon was around.

Re:Where are the Republicans? (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295523)

Off the top of my head?

John Yoo
John Ashcroft
Alberto Gonzales
Dick Cheney
Donald Rumsfeld

He had help.

Re:Where are the Republicans? (2, Insightful)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295551)

Didn't you hear? The Communists are now Democrats, the Democrats are now Republicans, and the Republicans are now Libertarians, and the Libertarians are shit out of luck.

Re:Where are the Republicans? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296241)

Didn't you hear? The Communists are now Democrats, the Democrats are now Republicans, and the Republicans are now Libertarians, and the Libertarians are shit out of luck.

I believe you have that backwards..

The communists are dead, the democrats are now republicans, the republicans are now the manifestations of orwell's worst nightmare, and the real "conservatives" are shit out of luck.

Re:Where are the Republicans? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295847)

Why on Earth isn't this bill co-sponsored by a Republican?
Have they stopped even paying lip-service to freedom?

Too busy paying for lip-service in the Men's room.

In our current political climate (4, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295371)

I'd also like to know what measures the bill takes to prevent the border guards from saying "well, we lost it, sucks to be you". Does it have guarantees spelled out? If my laptop gets "lost" while they have it, will they buy me a new one? Will someone lose their job or go to jail over it?

Because if the answer is "no", then at this point I just plain don't believe it will matter.

Re:In our current political climate (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295491)

Of course the answer is "no". It has always been "no". If you are crossing the border and your vehicle gets impounded, you will pay for everything, including storage fees, etc. Whatever damage they cause is your problem. You would be very fortunate if you even get an apology.

Re:In our current political climate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295635)

You can submit a claim. If they do not pay you, you can sue them in US District Court, for either 1,000 damages, or your actual loss whichever is greater. If the plaintiff prevails, the court can also award attorneys fees.

Re:In our current political climate (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295747)

At which point, a year after your laptop was taken, you're awarded the value that your now-obsolete laptop would fetch on eBay. (Or, probably, $1000.) Your data is gone, you had to buy a new laptop a year ago to continue your work, and the dude who swiped your laptop is using it to jerk off to transvestite goat porn.

If criminals had those kinds of penalties, you'd see crime rates many, many times higher than we currently have. "If you commit a crime, and you're caught, then you have a year to hold on to whatever you got, and then you have to pay them the current value of that stuff! No more." Yeah. That's not exactly a deterrent.

Perhaps a good start (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295445)

But this "government limiting its own power" never seems to go where one would wish it to. They all want to look good on national security (particularly on the run up to the election), and a shallow look sees that as associated with a strong central government.

But real security can't rest on trampling the essential liberties of the people (citizens or not). There is not much understanding of that in Washington, or they mostly prefer willful disregard.

And something that this discussion needs: probably cause [wikipedia.org] vs. reasonable suspicion [wikipedia.org].

A good shot (1)

Derek Loev (1050412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295519)

Feingold, one of the writers of the bill, has a history of getting big bills to pass. McCain and Feingold wrote the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act [wikipedia.org] in 2002 which caused two changes in election campaigns: limiting the use of soft money and stopping corporations from paying for TV ads.
Obviously, just because he passed a bill before doesn't mean this one is a sure bet; however, it does give it a better chance.

Re:A good shot (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295585)

Feingold got BiCRA passed but one of the main planks didn't make it past the Supreme Court. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Election_Commission_v._Wisconsin_Right_to_Life,_Inc. [wikipedia.org] that created a huge loophole through the "TV ads" part of the law. Essentially, unless the ad cannot be interpreted in any other way as supporting/opposing a candidate, the FEC cannot constitutionally prevent individuals from airing it.

I give Feingold a lot of credit for making it pass, but ultimately, it ends up in the dustbin.

To take or not to take? (4, Insightful)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295643)

This is particularly relevant to me as I'm travelling to the US next month. I'll be there for a couple of months so taking my laptop is kind of a necessity but really don't know what the hassle's going to be like at the border and whether it's worth it. I'm not particularly worried about them spying on my files since there isn't anything sensitive there and if there was, I could upload it onto a secure server and then download it once in the States but even that is a somewhat depressing course of action to take when entering the "land of the free".

It's almost as if they don't want visitors, tourists, skilled workers?

Re:To take or not to take? (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295783)

It's a numbers game. How many laptops are seized each month? Few. How many laptops are on all international flights? LOTS.

In the last year I have flown over 20 times. Once I was asked to turn the laptop on. All other times, they just wanted me to take it out of my carry-on bag.

Mail it (4, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295801)

Seriously. You will have a tracking number and a guarantee it will arrive. If I have to fly somewhere within the USA my clothes and belongings are going by Fedex. They don't seem to care if my tube of toothpaste is 3.04 ounces.

Not so fast. (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296253)

I bought a laptop from a guy in singapore on ebay.

The thing stayed in a customs warehouse for 20 days because someone tacked some arbitrarily arrived at "extra" duty in addition to the official ones.

Re:To take or not to take? (2, Interesting)

IanHurst (979275) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295907)

"I'm not particularly worried about them spying on my files since there isn't anything sensitive there and if there was, I could upload it onto a secure server and then download it once in the States but even that is a somewhat depressing course of action to take when entering the "land of the free"."

Yeah, and any half assed techie instinctively grasps the former. That we don't seem particularly bothered by the latter is, to me, a much bigger downer. It's one thing to have a technically ignorant policy - what government doesn't have those in spades? It's another to have one that at the very least *seems* to disregard freedom - that appearance alone can harm relations with the rest of the free world for generations. Even under a less pessimistic outlook it will take an election cycle or three. Either way, that's long enough to reek a lot of tangible damage. Sad indeed.

"It's almost as if they don't want visitors, tourists, skilled workers?"

I've seen some numbers thrown around showing the amount of tourism money lost in the last several years amounts to some tens of billions of dollars. Which isn't that much on the scale of our whole economy, but it is a quantifiable change for the worse, and so you'd think it would at least have influenced policy by now, because it's just irresponsible to avoid minimizing damage. But then, it's irresponsible government that lead us here, so perhaps it's not that surprising at all.

Re:To take or not to take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296031)

There is no major problem in paractice. It is only a matters of principle that we are talking about here.

I have travelled multiple times with it and and apart from having to take it out of your bag unlike all other items under the xray scan, there is no hassle. I think secretly they only do seize on real suspicion, and I haven't read of any cases.

And Note: I am Arabian of origin.

Re:To take or not to take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296183)

I'm black, and I don't mind being pulled over all the time.

Non USians are not affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295741)

For those of us who aren't "American citizens and legal residents", we will be treated as terrorists. Doesn't matter if you are white. McVeigh took care of that one.

H.

Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295817)

Laptops have seizures?

This is of course independent of... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296125)

A similar bill to protect you from the HDS [flixster.com], which should not be trusted with your laptop for more than 1 second.

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296273)

Figures. Dems would make this kind of behavior official. All this does is remove liability in court cases. What a bunch of clowns.

Question here (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296295)

I'm a US citizen visiting Canada in the Vancouver area. I had all of my crap in my car when I crossed the border to B.C., and I'll have to cross the border again to get back home relatively soon. I've gone across the border twice since to get some essentials down in Washington, and I've been picked out and had my car searched going both ways. I can only assume that I'll get searched when I'm coming back for good and have a car full of crap.

Among my possessions is about 2.5 Tb of storage containing several life sentences of copyright infringement. Should I bother encrypting it before I go back?

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