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Device Security: How Border Searches Are Really Used

timothy posted 1 year,13 days | from the nature-of-the-state dept.

United States 223

onehitwonder writes "Newly released documents reveal how the government uses border crossings to seize and examine travelers' electronic devices instead of obtaining a search warrant to take them, according to The New York Times' Susan Stellin. The documents reveal what had been a mostly secretive process that allows the government to create a travel alert for a person (regardless of whether they're a suspect in an investigation), then detain that individual at a border crossing and confiscate or copy any electronic devices that person is carrying. The documents come courtesy of David House, a fund-raiser for the legal defense of Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning." A post at the ACLU blog (besides being free of NYT paywall headaches) gives more details, and provides handy links the documents themselves.

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Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807599)

This isn't exactly shocking news.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (5, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807701)

This isn't exactly shocking news.

To save them and you the inconvenience of physically handing it over, I guess?

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808241)

I didn't know all email and FTP servers were located in the USA.

hey, look over there! new iphones. (3, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808801)

horrifying news about civil rights, but obama shouldn't sweat it because new iphones are being announced in an hour so everybody's attention will swing to that.

Re:hey, look over there! new iphones. (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809417)

New iPhone with a fingerprint scanner, wink-wink. Know what I mean?

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809019)

Access to offshore routers (eg. East side of the Pacific ones owned by Telstra) has been confirmed as well. All your traffic is 0wned by the US.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808383)

I guess you missed the part about it being encrypted?

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (5, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809495)

I guess you missed the part about it being encrypted?

I doubt it; did you miss the recent news regarding the NSA?

People are still trying to figure out if TrueCrypt is compromised.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (5, Informative)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807715)

This isn't exactly shocking news.

Oh, I disagree! The USG has established 100-mile 'non-Constitution' zones around the national borders. Due process and security of personal information is suspended.

How is that not shocking?

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807837)

I guess he means that it is not unexpected enough to classify as "shock"

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (1)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807957)

This makes ALL of Michigan such a zone. Be wary of travelling here.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (1)

poetmatt (793785) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808077)

this just in. crazy gov't overreach results in a terrible loss to the economy.

is anyone really surprised?

time to impeach (1, Interesting)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808781)

It's time to impeach obama. It's the best way for citizens to send a message to gov't that we will not accept these programs. Not just impeach, but impeach in the house, convict in the senate, and remove from office.

To do so, repubs need to win the senate in 2014. So anybody who cares about their civil rights, regardless of political persuasion (liberal, conservative, republican), needs to support and donate to republican candidates in the 2 or 3 swing states in the next election. Nate Silver knows which states these are.

Disclosure: I am a dem and voted for Obama in the last two elections. but I'm disgusted at his actions. He took an oath in front of the entire nation to defend the constitution. Time to go.

Re:time to impeach (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808983)

... So anybody who cares about their civil rights, regardless of political persuasion (liberal, conservative, republican), needs to support and donate to republican candidates...

The solution to the problem of an overreaching Democrat president is not, nor ever will be, to elect Republicans. The only peaceful solution is to never elect a Dem or Repub again.

Re:time to impeach (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809175)

Disclosure: I am a dem and voted for Obama in the last two elections.

Yeah. Right.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808447)

And most of the population of the entire East and West coasts, at all times. Scary.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (4, Interesting)

rfolkker (443051) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808015)

It's not shocking, considering the current disregard for personal privacy currently administered by the government. It may be shocking if you take out the fact that many people are already aware of the fact that we have lost the war on privacy, and now are just going through the dance pretending that it's something we can win.

The US government has had a taste of knowing everything, and now thinks that it is our best interest to suspend/revoke/rewrite privacy laws because they just hinder investigations. Nevermind the fact that the rights of citizens should come first by our own principals.

Either way, shocking or not, this has been going on for over 10 years now, and will only get more invasive as new ways are revealed, and we become more complacent to the methods already used.

Even though there are those of us that disagree with this, and fight it as much as we can, it will not change the fact that the general population already has the mentality of "If you have nothing to hide...", and the government continues to keep it's mis-fires localized and on the "fringe", people will continue to give up their rights until we reach that ever lovable point of no return (which I honestly believe we have already passed).

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808139)

The entire country is a Constitution-free zone.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (5, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808255)

This isn't exactly shocking news.

Oh, I disagree! The USG has established 100-mile 'non-Constitution' zones around the national borders. Due process and security of personal information is suspended.

How is that not shocking?

Yeah, but many of this have been fully aware of this for some time... Shocking news would be if the general public and mainstream media gave a fuck.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809173)

The general public and the media would possibly give a fuck if they actually encountered any of the "Customs and Border Protection" stations inside US borders.

Most often located on highways in the southwest, these stations require US citizens to submit to scrutiny and threat of detention for questioning by armed and uniformed officers.

If this program is successful (and it must be or I'm just certain that it would be discontinued) several of these stations should be built within 100 miles of the East Coast. I suggest that the first new stations be built along the major connector highways around Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.

Lots of suspicious traffic in those areas.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (3, Interesting)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808995)

Definitely shocking, and likely unconstitutional. According to the ACLU, about 197 million (or nearly 2/3rds) of the US population live within 100 miles of the US border. It is highly unlikely that the newly proclaimed 100 mile wide "constitution free zone" would hold up in court if it essentially permanently suspends constitutionally guaranteed rights to 2/3rds of the population. Not even the US Government can get away with that (at least, not yet).

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (1)

Silvrmane (773720) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809465)

It isn't newly proclaimed... the 100 mile constitution free zone was established during Bush's administration, I believe.

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807963)

So instead of giving it to the border patrol, you tell them to give it to the NSA?

You got it backwards (2)

davidwr (791652) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808355)

So instead of giving it to the border patrol, you tell them to get there own copy from the NSA.

There, fixed that for you.

Re: You got it backwards (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808513)

So instead of giving it to the border patrol, you tell them to get *their* own copy from the NSA.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:You got it backwards (2)

oPless (63249) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809119)

So instead of giving it to the border patrol, you tell them to get their own copy from the NSA.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:You got it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809243)

So instead of giving it to the border patrol, you tell them to get their own copy from the NSA.

There, fixed that for you.

Their fsked that four ewe

Re:Just upload your encrypted data online (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808365)

So instead of giving it to the border patrol, you tell them to give it to the NSA?

Better Response: I already gave to the NSA. Sorry.

Is that against the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807641)

That's the problem with "law-free zone" at the border. I assume this is highly un-ethical but perfectly legal to do things like that?

Re:Is that against the law? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807823)

Not if they abuse it to target and gain access to things they couldn't legally inside the country. It seems to be coming to a head here -- here are documents showing exactly this -- the illegal motivation.

Any different than those other governments? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807645)

The documents reveal what had been a mostly secretive process that allows the government to create a travel alert for a person (regardless of whether they're a suspect in an investigation), then detain that individual at a border crossing and confiscate or copy any electronic devices that person is carrying.

Can some fella convince me that the government here, is any different as compared to those other governments?

Ohh wait, those governments are not democratic but ours is...

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807709)

Can some fella convince me that the government here, is any different as compared to those other governments?

They'll try very hard to say "but we're the good guys", but fascists are the same everywhere.

America can try to keep believing they're different from 'those' governments, but they're catching up fast.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807841)

Can some fella convince me that the government here, is any different as compared to those other governments? Ohh wait, those governments are not democratic but ours is...

America can try to keep believing they're different from 'those' governments, but they're catching up fast.

"those" governments include England, Belgium, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, etc. Every country has always secured its borders. This story is as much not-news as not-news gets. Yes, Customs will seize electronic devices on suspicion of criminal activity just like they used to seize books and personal journals because 1) that's where evidence of a crime is likely to be, and 2) it takes a long time to search them.

In the context of US law, the government has never needed a judge-issued warrant to search the belongings of a person crossing the border. The fact that a person is crossing the border is sufficient warrant and always has been in every country on Earth in all of human history.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808223)

You might want to check history of passports [wikipedia.org] as an hint that crossing borders has not always been so traumatic, even when borders were as well established as now (ref to Europe before WWI)

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809075)

England doesn't have a government. It also doesn't secure its borders.

Britain, however.....

Re:Any different than those other governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807751)

Ours is more efficient!

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808027)

Ours is more efficient!

Well, yours is spending 40billion dollars for eavesdropping on the internet during few years. There are perhaps 2billion people online, so that's 20 dollars per person on the internet just for eavesdropping. Is that efficient? What happens with the eavesdropped material? It is analyzed, sure, but the analysis does not reach the government: the NSA would have to admit to the amount of constitutional violations they do, so they just make up shit to feed the government and fantasize about, say, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It's not hard to do that. Figure out what you want to fib about, and even without fabrication you'll be able to find thousands of mails that, when properly arranged, will paint an alarming picture.

It's policy porn. It's also useless. If you don't presift the information by actually eavesdropping only on those people who are suspicious enough to warrant a judicial warrant, you get arbitrary crap proving anything you want. And then the CIA will go and eliminate the people who happened to be at too many crossings of random tangents. And report about a thwarted terrorist attack.

Can you spell Gestapo?

Re:Any different than those other governments? (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807781)

Ohh wait, those governments are not democratic but ours is...

No it's not. If you're only allowed to vote for 1 of 2 people that mostly agree on everything, your vote doesn't really count. If you're voting democrat or republican YOU are the problem.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807945)

voters are not the problem. the system, being rigged to ONLY allow D or R to get in, is the problem.

people like you keep perpetuating the myth that american voting system matters at the national level. it does not. stop being stupid, ok? the sooner we remove this myth, the sooner we can get on with fixing THE SYSTEM.

voters are not the main problem. we'll always have idiots who vote against their own best interests, but the last few cycles, D or R would not have mattered one bit when it comes to privacy and removing PATRIOT (etc).

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808053)

One of the things the parties do cooperate in is making sure that no third party ever gets influential enough to threaten the duopoly at the federal level. They keep campaign spending high to maintain a financial barrier entry, and make sure that there is no media coverage for competitors by shunning any media organisation that acknowledges third parties or independents exist.

3rd parties are viable -- see 1992. (1)

drnb (2434720) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808855)

One of the things the parties do cooperate in is making sure that no third party ever gets influential enough to threaten the duopoly at the federal level. They keep campaign spending high to maintain a financial barrier entry, and make sure that there is no media coverage for competitors by shunning any media organisation that acknowledges third parties or independents exist.

The R and D parties do no such thing. Voters do this. When voters have shown sufficient interest in a 3rd party candidate the media gives that 3rd party candidate coverage and access. In 1992 Ross Perot was leading the presidential race at one point with 39% of likely voters, an 8% lead over incumbent George Bush and a 14% lead over Bill Clinton. He not only participated in the debates but was considered by many in the media to have won the first debate. After a severely f'ed up campaign he still received 19% of the popular vote.

Re:3rd parties are viable -- see 1992. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808963)

Jesus Christ that was 20 years ago. That's literally a new generation of voters now. And don't know you 9-11 changed everything?

Re:3rd parties are viable -- see 1992. (1)

drnb (2434720) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809269)

Jesus Christ that was 20 years ago. That's literally a new generation of voters now. And don't know you 9-11 changed everything?

And 20 years ago people were saying the same thing as today. That the Republicans and Democrats and media prevent 3rd parties from getting any traction. Those people were wrong back then and those continuing to say so are wrong today. Its all about a candidate's ideas connecting with the voters. Perot made the connection, Nader and others did not.

Re:3rd parties are viable -- see 1992. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808993)

Perot solved the spending problem by throwing his own wealth into the campaign - no-one not a billionaire could hope to do what he did.

Donald Trump proves its more than money ... (1)

drnb (2434720) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809325)

Perot solved the spending problem by throwing his own wealth into the campaign - no-one not a billionaire could hope to do what he did.

Perot's wealth may have jump started his campaign but it was his message and how it was received by the voters that made him a viable candidate. With today's social media it is easier than ever for a 3rd party to get his candidacy off the ground. Recent 3rd party candidates have failed because of their message, it didn't connect with many voters. Unlike Perot who had a message that initially connected with voters on a very large scale.

If it were merely a question of money Donald Trump would have been a viable candidate. Money helps, but it takes a lot more than money.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808105)

voters are not the problem. the system, being rigged to ONLY allow D or R to get in, is the problem.

To a certain degree, this is correct; look at how hard many groups and organizations worked to keep Ron Paul off the ballot and out of the spotlight during the last Presidential election, for example.

However, that does not absolve the voter from responsibility - there's a write-in slot on the ballot for a reason.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808569)

...we'll always have idiots who vote against their own best interests...

Yes, the 98% that vote for democrats or republicans.. The problem lies squarely on their shoulders, and people like you who like to pass blame onto others is precisely THE problem. The system is 'rigged' only to the extent the voters allow it to be. Nobody is forcing them to vote the way they do. They do it out of perceived self interest. Nothing will change until real introspection becomes the norm.

Voters are the problem, voters have the power (1)

drnb (2434720) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808627)

voters are not the problem.

You are mistaken. Voters absolutely have the power and they squander it. Folks who say that money controls politics are mistaken. Money is just a tool to persuade those who have not made up their mind or are wavering in their commitment. The true political currency is ***votes***. This is easily proven, if a voter is resolute no amount of expensive TV ads can change their mind. Two examples. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the American Association of Retire Persons (AARP). These are two of the most successful lobbying groups in American politics. Sure politicians appreciate their financial contributions but that is not the true source of power for these groups. Their true source of power are their members who do show up on election day and vote. A group that can deliver ***voters*** is more powerful than a group that can only deliver money.

The primary failing of voters is their party loyalty. If you are loyal to a particular party then that party can ignore you. They have your vote, they need do nothing to receive your vote. Similar story for a candidate. If he or she votes contrary to your wishes, yet you remain loyal because of a stance on some particular wedge issue, then he or she may ignore you, the wedge issue (guns, abortion, gay rights, etc) gets your vote so you may be ignored on anything else.

If voters showed no loyalty to a candidate and voted only on how well the candidate supported all the issues that a voter was concerned about, and voted for the other candidate if the incumbent falls short, then after a few cycles politicians will get the message and be reminded as to who is in charge, the voter. Again, the ultimate political currency is the vote, nothing is more valuable. Politicians will do whatever they need to do in order to get that vote and attain and more importantly retain elected office. Even in a D and R dominated environment always voting out candidates who severely disappoints you will eventually make candidates more accountable. Lobbyists and PACs can only save their butt if voters put aside their disappointment.

Lobbyists and PACs successfully get voters to put aside their disappointment by demonizing the opponent. Yet you claim the D and R parties/candidates are largely the same, different only cosmetically. If so then there is little risk in voting for the "other" candidate. Yet constantly voting for the "other" candidate in response to a disappointing candidate can restore accountability to the voter.

... the system, being rigged to ONLY allow D or R to get in, is the problem ...

More than D and R appear on the ballots, voters ***choose*** to vote primarily for D and R.

... people like you keep perpetuating the myth that american voting system matters at the national level ...

Voters ***choose*** what candidates will be representing each party in the national elections during primary elections. Voters have ***chosen*** increasing polarizing candidates in both the D and R parties. Voters have ***chosen*** not to support moderate candidates in the primaries and in the general elections.

... it does not. stop being stupid, ok? the sooner we remove this myth, the sooner we can get on with fixing THE SYSTEM.

The myth is that "voters are not to blame". As long as we have a one person one vote system voters are absolutely in charge. As long as voters are loyal to parties and/or vote for a candidate because of a wedge issue then voters can be ignored. If a voter is loyal to a party because of its platform or stance on an issue then that voter can be ignored, the party already has their vote and the candidate need do nothing for that voter.

What is stupid is failing to recognize that ***votes*** are the ultimate currency of politics, that money is just a tool to persuade people who have not made up their mind. Yes money is useful in that respect but the vote is still the ultimate political currency. If a voter is determined no amount of expensive TV advertisements will change their mind.

voters are not the main problem. we'll always have idiots who vote against their own best interests, but the last few cycles, D or R would not have mattered one bit when it comes to privacy and removing PATRIOT (etc).

Voters are absolutely the problem. They are loyal to a party/candidate as described above. If the majority of voters want accountable leaders then they need to stop being party loyal and vote for the "other" candidate when faced with an incumbent who severely disappoints them. Even with only viable D and R candidates to alternate between politicians will eventually get the message as successive candidate are thrown out when they do not do the people's will. A politician's ultimate goal is to get re-elected. If the only path to re-election is to do the voter's will they will eventually do the voter's will.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809093)

Then get off your arse and agitate to fix it. Your voting systems (multiple and an enormous clusterfuck) are an international joke which they should not be since US staff have very effectively supervised elections in other countries. Universal voting, not doing it on a weekday - that's two fixes that would make a massive difference and probably make third parties as viable as they are in other places.
Cutting down on bribery ("lobbying" with cash in hand) would help make this possible.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807867)

For one thing, you are free to post on slashdot about it without serious concern that you'll be dragged away to a secret prison. Yes, there *are* government abuses in the land of the free, but realistically, they're pretty rare. It is the freedom that exists that allows you to hear about them in the first place, and to have that discussion.

And yes, we are a democracy, but like all large organizations, the ship of state turns slowly. We do screw up, spectacularly (Dred Scott, Volstead act, etc), but on the whole, these things do get corrected. It just takes decades, not the minutes or hours that modern society working on "internet time" seems to want.

It has been 50 years since the famous march on Washington. While there is still a ways to go, if you look at what has changed since then, it is dramatic: in the 60s, DC was still segregated: African Americans riding the train south had to get off in Baltimore and move to the "colored cars" at the back. There were riots and conniptions in the 70s & 80s about integrating schools. When was the last time you heard about people firebombing school buses in the US?

Yes, all of this stuff about the NSA is disturbing, and it should be. But realistically, the mere fact that we are discussing it here is a good thing, and for all the grandstanding in Congress, there will be changes. They'll be slow; there will be bodies of dead pioneers along the sides of the paths of progress; but change will happen.

And here's your chance to poke at your representatives. Ask them (or tell them) how unhappy you are. Granted, your comment will likely just wind up as a checkmark on a tally sheet prepared by an underpaid congressional intern, but the existence of those tally marks does have an effect in the long run. Politicians aren't totally stupid and beholden to their funding sources. You start seeing 90% of the tally marks in the column for change, and you start thinking.. there's not enough money in the world to buy ads to support the 10% column, I'd better start thinking about it.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808031)

For one thing, you are free to post on slashdot about it without serious concern that you'll be dragged away to a secret prison.

The problem with everything you say is it can be countered with "for now".

As your government gives itself more and more power to intrude on your lives, ignore your Constitution, or use one set of laws to skirt around another the abuses magnify.

Yes, all of this stuff about the NSA is disturbing, and it should be. But realistically, the mere fact that we are discussing it here is a good thing

So, you can say to yourself now "well, they haven't taken this away yet" and convince yourself everything is OK. But in a few years if they've taken that and even more away from you, it's too late.

Complacently thinking everything is fine when it's increasingly not just means that by the time you've got nothing left there's not a damned thing you can do about it.

Slowly expanding the scope of these things over time means you should be worried, because eventually that 100 mile 'border' zone can cover your entire country, and searching your digital devices or scanning through all of your information can be used for everything they feel like.

Nobody plans on ending up in a police state, but if you don't stop the steady march while you can, it's all too easy to wake up one day and realize just how badly screwed you are. Joseph McCarthy demonstrated how easily things can change.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. --Edmund Burke"

Re:Any different than those other governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808499)

Slippery slope is an argument people resort to when they lack a real argument.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808511)

Slippery slope is an argument people resort to when they lack a real argument.

Except the GP is right, and these things have been increasing over time.

Rejecting the fact that it's been getting worse is what people who are too stupid to realize that resort to when they have no argument.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808605)

Slippery slope is an argument people resort to when they lack a real argument.

Fine, but one day when you can be detained anywhere based on arbitrary things, ask yourself if your willingness to pretend that nothing is happening was the problem.

It's a fact that they've been steadily cutting into Constitutionally protected things, and that it's getting worse. Just ask anybody in a state where these 'border' stops covers the whole state.

If you want to act like it isn't getting worse and isn't likely to continue to do so, then you haven't been paying attention.

Dismissing the argument on the basis that it's a slippery slope and therefore invalid is the height of willful ignorance.

Re:Any different than those other governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808613)

This is silly, there's a story on /. today: even China allows this kind of debate. You really are giving the US too much credit.

You can do that in NK too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809301)

So in what way is that "proof" of the USA being nicer?

Re:Any different than those other governments? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809027)

Can some fella convince me that the government here, is any different as compared to those other governments?

Yes. The ACLU filed lawsuits and the judge ruled against the government. Documents were then compelled to be released.

In those 'other' countries the ACLU would not exist (members dead or tortured and rotting in jail), the judge would not exist, or if he did and he ruled against the government he would have been shot and no documents would have been released. Oh yeah, and I would have been dragged away in the night for making this Slashdot post.

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807663)

We have known this for a long time, and the courts have no excuse for not knowing it either, which is why many of us no longer recognize the courts

What's the point (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807777)

Only reasons I see to examine everyone's electronic devices are:

A) keep privatized prison populations growing
B) revenue from confiscated electronics
C) revenue from war on drugs

I guess that's believable

Re:What's the point (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807941)

D) Install the NSA's secret backdoors.

In the light of recent developments, if I were to get any of my devices searched at the border of a country (any country) and it wasn't confiscated outright, my default stance now is to treat the device as compromised until I can nuke it from orbit, do a complete re-install of the OS and reload any data from backups.

Re:What's the point (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808073)

Installing backdoors would be too easily detected, eventually. But if I were running a secretive national spy agency, I'd have the border patrol grab any certificate files, credentials or VPN keys as a matter of routine to go into the big database. Never know when they might come in handy.

If anyone objects, claim it's to fight terrorism or child porn.

Re:What's the point (1)

mybecq (131456) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808629)

my default stance now is to treat the device as compromised until I can nuke it from orbit, do a complete re-install of the OS and reload any data from backups.

I know how to do an OS re-install and data restore, but can you tell me where you get the nukes?

Re:What's the point (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808831)

I know how to do an OS re-install and data restore

How do you do an OS reinstall on a tablet?

Because unless you're installing your own ROMs, from what I've been able to tell the "wipe device" only deletes the user stuff, but doesn't reset the OS to what it was when you got it.

I'm not being sarcastic, it's a real question ... because I'm not convinced that if I wiped my Nexus 7 it would actually throw away any updates I've received, just clear off some of the stuff.

Re:What's the point (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808679)

I'd just eBay it and get a new device. if it were at all cost effective anyhow.

Re:What's the point (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809307)

... and then sell my compromised one on eBay... to pay for the cost of replacement... no way that one I just bought from someone else who had the same idea.... Just sayin'.

Re:What's the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808017)

You forgot

        D) TSA needs new pr0n

They too tire of looking at the same old images over and over.

Re:What's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808203)

They make their own porn with the nudie-scan machines.

Re:What's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808479)

That fuzzy millimeter wave or backscatter X-ray stuff?!? No bro, TSA wants them some sweet, 41-megapixel vacation pr0n.

Re:What's the point (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808133)

There's the reason from TFA: "Circumventing due process w.r.t. search warrants, court orders, etc."

Also, how about industrial/commercial espionage? The US Government expects companies to do some dirty work for them, maybe they return the favor every so often so there's no hard feelings.

Re:What's the point (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808253)

D) Harass anyone the government doesn't like, e.g. reporters who have written stuff critical of US war efforts.
E) Find out privileged secrets by illegally searching attorneys representing defendants on high-profile cases, e.g. Chelsea Manning's counsel.

OT: Seized items should not be sold (1)

davidwr (791652) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808291)

If any police agency seizes anything and it's later legally forfeited or abandoned, it should not be used for the benefit of the seizing authority.

Either destroy it, or if it has some historical or other value that would make destruction not in the public interest, store or display it but do so in a way that there is no benefit to the agency that seizes it or auction it off and take the auction proceeds and have a bonfire.

Why? Because this will send a strong message to police agencies: If you are seizing items out of a motivation for financial gain, forgetaboutit.

The same "throw a bonfire" principle should go for all fines and for all "court costs" that are in excess of reasonable and actual costs, where "reasonable and actual" are determined by an entity that is truly independent of and preferably antagonistic to the court in question.

Note - for reasons of safety, shredding or other non-flammable forms of destruction are usually preferable to a bonfire when destroying cash.

How is this news? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | 1 year,13 days | (#44807881)

Does anyone really think that the government wouldn't invoke any available power to achieve it's ends?

Re:How is this news? (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809111)

Doesn't look like martial law over there to me so I'll have to say no.

the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44807985)

"It is clear from these documents that the search of David Houseâ(TM)s computers had nothing to do with protecting the border or with enforcing immigration laws"

Of course not. They had everything to do with fascism.

Enforcing Immigration Law? (1)

arc86 (1815912) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808009)

To play devil's advocate, is there some aspect of "Immigration Law" that would pertain to a US Citizen crossing the border with information deemed sensitive to national security?

Re:Enforcing Immigration Law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808285)

"To play devil's advocate, is there some aspect of "Immigration Law" that would pertain to a US Citizen crossing the border with information deemed sensitive to national security?"

If you want to "play devil's advocate" you need to actually "advocate" something, an in "plead in favor of it". Not just suggest a topic for discussion.

Re:Enforcing Immigration Law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808477)

To play devil's advocate, is there some aspect of "Immigration Law" that would pertain to a US Citizen crossing the border with information deemed sensitive to national security?

If you are carrying such sensitive information you probably carry a handgun and are authorized to take appropriate action to protect said sensitive information.

Considering the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808049)

Since the source of these alleged documents is someone who is defending treason, I don't see any reason I should believe these are in any way real.

Re:Considering the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808707)

Since the source of these alleged documents is someone who is defending treason, I don't see any reason I should believe these are in any way real.

The source is the Department of Homeland Security, perhaps that's a good enough source for your red, white, and blue blood.

It's also interesting to note, the Department of Homeland Security released said documents because of a lawsuit they lost, in front of a judge. Much of said proceedings should be part of the public record, you can actually, you know, look it up. Even if you believe the plaintiff wasn't a good person, there's an old saying, I'm sure your mother shared it with you on occasion: two wrongs don't make a right.

Let them waste their time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808205)

Remind me to carry only devices that I can afford to lose when I travel abroad.

Plus a USB disk with a single file filled with output from a random-number generator.

If they seize the USB disk and waste their time trying to figure out what it means, they might just learn a lesson - sometimes random-looking data really is random data.

Re:Let them waste their time (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808455)

The problem is that they waste YOUR time. You could spend hours in detention. Miss your flight connection and need to buy very expensive last minute one-way tickets.

Then when they arrest you for possession of child-porn, what is the next part of your plan. Or are you sure that a government that is willing to apply this sort of underhanded trick is not willing to falsify data to arrest someone who is "obviously" a bad person.

Chelsea? (-1, Troll)

stevegee58 (1179505) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808239)

Until Bradley Manning has his name officially changed by a court order, his name is still Bradley.
Maybe people should stop catering to every silly whim of this traitor just because he's on their "Free Bradly Manning" tee-shirt.

Re:Chelsea? (2)

mrbester (200927) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808437)

*Her* name (and gender) is whatever the fuck *she* wants to call *herself* and be referred to as. That some "official" document says otherwise is irrelevant.

Re:Chelsea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808821)

Sorry bro, the weewee between his legs says otherwise.

Re:Chelsea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809521)

Gender and sex are 2 different things medically. Don't let that stop you from being misinformed though. It's your right as a red blooded American to speak your mind, and prove that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Chelsea? (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809149)

every silly whim of this traitor

The "treason" charge didn't seem to happen and Manning was certainly never convicted of that. Oliver North didn't get charged for treason for selling weapons to a terrorist group that had killed over a hundred US Marines only a year prior, selling them via a declared enemy of the USA no less. Manning doesn't even show up on the scale.

Re:Chelsea? (3, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809215)

Did someone remove the right to decide your own name too? They're falling so thick and fast now, I may have missed it.

You have the right to decide whatever name you want to be called by. I have the right to form an opinion of you based on that name. If I really hate your name, I may choose not to use it, but that won't stop it being your name. That's as far as our respective rights go.

Gender identification is a bit more involved. But declaring it a "silly whim" just shows you know nothing about it.

Let's see what the constitution says about this... (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808265)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I keep looking for an exception for the government's imaginary 100-mile no-constitution zone, and it's just not in there. What the customs service is doing is a crime.

-jcr

Re:Let's see what the constitution says about this (2)

compro01 (777531) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808439)

The exception is an exceedingly narrow definition of what constitutes "unreasonable".

Re:Let's see what the constitution says about this (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808675)

I believe they call it the Patriot act.
It has been a decade or more since you(we) had any "constitutional" rights.
you know terror, thinking of the children, ect.
I think that the real crime has happened at a much higher level than the mouth breathers at customs.

That's Chelsea WOMANning! (1)

Guest316 (3014867) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808343)

You insensitive clods.

FTG (0)

AndyKron (937105) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808461)

Fuck the government

Doesn't anyone remember why we had the cold war? (1)

sandbagger (654585) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808843)

We built the largest military alliance in history, and built a massive fleet of weapons capable of destroying all life on the planet because we said that the idea that you could live in a state where you had no privacy was inherently wrong.

Re:Doesn't anyone remember why we had the cold war (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44808999)

we said that the idea that you could live in a state where you had no property was inherently wrong.

FTFY

Only devices? (1)

return 42 (459012) | 1 year,13 days | (#44808939)

I've been wondering if the OpenBSD CDs I got in the mail are the same ones they mailed me. Seems like they're all mailed from the same place; wouldn't be too hard for the American Stasi to swap them out for compromised ones, once they got it set up.

For some bizarre reason OpenBSD doesn't sign their releases. Way to throw us under the bus, Theo.

Not illegal, but perhaps detrimental (1)

climate_control (1381507) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809003)

The "border search exception" has been well vetted legally: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_search_exception [wikipedia.org] (Note that the ACLU's implication that this exception extends to 100 miles from the border is incorrect: http://news.yahoo.com/does-constitution-free-zone-really-exist-america-195813138.html [yahoo.com] ) But I would guess this search exercise does more harm than good. It can be easily circumvented (encrypted data over networks), so the question is empirical: Have criminals adapted to the law yet, in which case it becomes useless, and detrimental to the innocent (mostly for psychological reasons, but also for practical reasons if the government were to abuse the info it obtains).

So... what should I do? (1)

mspohr (589790) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809077)

I am a US citizen and travel out of the country fairly frequently. The work I do is "innocent" and "I have nothing to hide" but I do interact with "foreigners" and with the government random collection of metadata and "six degrees of separation", I could end up in this situation and considerable inconvenience (or worse).
I've been thinking of using a Chromebook which I could wipe before crossing the border.
Any ideas?

"Leave all electronic devices in the car" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809211)

I'm a Canadian and a lot of my friends travel to the US regularly. Occasionally they will be pulled in for secondary inspection, where they are told to get out of their vehicle but to leave all electronic devices in the car. They are then taken to a room where they can no longer see their car, told to wait about 30 minutes and then eventually released.

I'm wondering, are they using this as an opportunity to search the electronic devices?

Re:"Leave all electronic devices in the car" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44809475)

I'm a Canadian and we used to travel to the US regularly. We spent most anual holidays there, in fact.

We no longer travel to the US because we just don't need the hassle of being groped or pushed into a microwave oven. Your country has weirded out so much that we just don't feel safe there. Most of our friends say the same thing and their friends and families feel the same.

American people whine a lot about their government taking away their freedoms but they don't do anything about it. Good luck.

PS. I'm not saying Canadian government or people are any better.

Next time I travel with the broken laptop (1)

Ioldanach (88584) | 1 year,13 days | (#44809503)

The next time I have to travel across a border, I need to remember to leave the real laptop at home and bring the old & busted. I want to see them try and get data off of it. Maybe I'll even pull the hard drive.
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