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Unreasonable Searches When Going to Work?

Cliff posted about 13 years ago | from the realities-of-post-9/11-America dept.

News 786

Chico Science asks: "I'm a scientist, not a lawyer, so I'm a little beleaguered by the fact that since 2001-Sep-11, I have been forced to submit to searches on my campus as I enter buildings. I work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and have been shouldering the burden of increasingly draconian security measures. Most recently, they've instituted a policy of 100% bag/package searches on entering buildings. Initially it didn't bother me, but after having my bag searched on my way to my car (which was also thoroughly inspected) after work, I decided I'm not comfortable subjecting myself to searches of my personal belongings at every turn. I want to know if I have a right to refuse searches? And why should it be considered acceptable for me to relinquish my Fourth Ammendment rights so I can go work on in my lab?" In this climate of increasing security consciousness, how far can vigilance go before it becomes an invasion of our rights?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It's not unreasonable... (-1)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | about 13 years ago | (#2466277)

...to search for the First Post.

And I found one here...looky...

Re:It's not unreasonable... (-1)

Clint Trollwood (528787) | about 13 years ago | (#2466301)

Hello friend,

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Propz to evil_spork (-1)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | about 13 years ago | (#2466347)

Use W's or some other wide character. It's much more effective.

Re:Propz to evil_spork (-1)

Clint Trollwood (528787) | about 13 years ago | (#2466417)

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Here we go, here we go, here we go now!

f1rst anal (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | about 13 years ago | (#2466280)

happy Troll Tuesday!!! fucks Aimee was bending over, with a plastic bag in hand picking up dog poop when a pair of tanned, muscular male legs came running up the drive behind her. She'd had to wake up an hour early to get her sister's dog Jake walked and beat the traffic to her end of town. And of course, Jake headed straight for the neighbor's yard the minute they'd started their morning run. Aimee's sister, Anna had called in a rush the day before to ask her to dog-sit Jake, their golden retriever. Anna and her husband Jeff were flying over seas to Europe, on the spur of the moment. Jeff had some business there and Anna couldn't stay behind for some reason. Anna assured Aimee she would make all the arrangements with the neighbors so they knew Aimee would be house-sitting. All Aimee had to do was pick up a key next door with Mrs. Jenkins. Anna had said, come and sleep in our guest room, swim in our pool, drink our wine, watch our dog. In other words, Aimee thought, Anna was really saying to her, you are single and can drop your poor excuse for a life and come and baby-sit our life so we don't have to pay someone to do it. Aimee twisted the bag outside in and tied it. The muscular legs approaching were attached to a matching body that was tall, dark and ripped. She eyed the man whose yard she was standing in while holding a bag of dog poop. So much for shaking hands with him. Shit, Anna had been holding out on her. She'd told her the neighborhood was full of retirees. Aimee was getting ready to say something when Jake yanked the leash out of her hand and rushed the man. "Jake!!! Damn it Jake." Aimee cussed. "What?" he answered. The man looked truly annoyed with her. "I'm sorry," he said. "I'll try not to prolong this. He is just saying hi." Jake had his paws up on the man's stomach. His muscled, sweaty stomach led to hips a girl could wrap her legs around. Aimee snapped herself out of it. "Oh I know. It's just?" She started. The man looked at her rather intensely and then glanced Anna's house. "Awkward, I know?" He finished her sentence for her. "Look I better get going." "Oh, okay," Aimee answered a little disappointed. She wanted to talk to him a little longer. His legs and chest were glistening with sweat from his run. Dark springy covered his chest and trailed down into his shorts. She licked her lips and looked up to his face. He had been watching her tracing his hair patterns with her eyes. And he looked just a little mad about it. "Here, take Jake. I've got to go," he said. He almost threw the leash at her before stalking off. Aimee started off to the road thinking he was either uptight or gay. She passed the mailbox and read the name, Jake Morris. What else should she expect from a man who had a dog's name? After one very long day, with two long commutes and another very long dog walk, Aimee decided she would rev up the hot tub. As she wandered her sister's house, she decided that it really was a nice house-- enough bedrooms for one extra and an office, a small garage and an enclosed hot tub and pool. When she'd called, Anna had been full of news but had been telling very little of it. She had alluded that everything wasn't quite right but said she would explain when she and Jeff got back. Anna also said Jeff had put the house up for sale and wouldn't say why. It was the perfect house for a new couple starting out. Aimee asked if it was haunted and Anna just laughed and told her it was something like that. As long as it wasn't haunted, Aimee was thinking about buying the house herself. About midnight, Aimee grabbed a glass of wine, stripped down and padded out the hot tub wrapped in only a towel. She turned the dials and managed to get the jets running. She flipped the outside light off and lit a candle near the tub. In the cover of darkness, she slipped naked into the foaming tub. The house wasn't far enough outside of the city limits to really see the stars well but a few shone through the smog and the haze. When she looked back on it later, Aimee was never sure how long it was before she heard and saw something move in the bushes. Where she had been lethargic from the wine and the long day, she was suddenly alert. She wondered wildly about her Anna's comments about the house being something like haunted. "Who is it?? Jake?? Get over here." Aimee whispered in the dark for the dog. "Shhh? That is what I am working on," a voice answered her from of the bushes. "What? Oh, it's you." Aimee watched Jake, the man emerge from the bushes. She couldn't really get up out of the tub. Jake, the dog had finally come to investigate. He wagged his tail at the intruder. "Is Jeff around?" Jake asked. He nodded toward the house. "Oh, no. I'm sorry. He's in Europe." Aimee said. "Good, that's great." Jake said. He was heading toward one of the doors of the screened enclosure. Aimee was trying to figure out how she was going to stand up, get her towel and open the screen door for him when she saw him slip a key from the ledge over the door and let himself in. "I didn't realize that key was there? " Aimee sat back and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "Yeah. I guess Jeff didn't either." Jake said. He walked over to the hot tub. "Would you like to come in?" Aimee asked, thinking the offer was a little belated. "Yeah. I would." Jake answered and pulled off his t-shirt. He kicked off his running shoes and peeled his shorts off. Aimee sipped wine with a raised eyebrow and watched the man strip down to the skin completely unashamed and slip into the tub beside her. He was even better looking naked with the candlelight washing over him. "Wow. You aren't shy, are you?" Aimee said and took another sip of her wine. "You're drinking?" Jake asked. He moved close to her. "Yes, wine," she answered him. Aimee wasn't shy but she wasn't ready to walk naked across the pool enclosure to offer the man a glass of wine. She handed him the glass instead. "Would you like some?" she asked. Jake took her glass and sipped it. Then, handed it back. She sipped again and he bent and kissed her earlobe. Aimee turned her head and kissed him. He tasted a little like wine and little like toothpaste. She liked the idea that he brushed his teeth before coming over. The kiss ended with the hot tub's cycle, the bubbles fizzling to a stop around them. For a moment Jake and Aimee were quiet while she watched him. He really was a damned fine looking man. It just figured that Anna had been holding out on her by not telling her about her neighbor. "Hold on Jake, I'll hit the timer again," Aimee told him. She set the wine glass down on the side of the tub and climbed up on one of the benches and reached for the hot tub dials. Aimee closed her eyes and tried not to think about her naked ass in the air as she bent and turned the dial. The tub hummed to life and Aimee didn't hear Jake come up behind her. He pulled her by her hips back down into the tub. "You are gorgeous, you know that?" Jake held her body to his in the center of the tub. His mouth was on her ear. His hands were all over her, on her stomach, breasts, thighs, pushing her back against him. Aimee wanted to tell him he wasn't so bad himself but his hand slipped down to her pussy and he found her clit and rolled it between his thumb and finger. Aimee thought, Oh fuck it, he probably knew he was beautiful. She moaned instead. Jake pulled her legs apart and then plunged his cock into her pussy from behind. "Oh Jake?"Aimee moaned. "I know? I know. I've been thinking about doing this since this morning," Jake told her. "I wanted you too, Jake," Aimee said. Jake moved her with him and put her hands on the side of the tub. "Hold on to the side and put your knees up here, baby," he said. Aimee was on her knees on the perimeter bench of the tub holding the side for balance. The water was shooting around her and the point where they were joined was just above water. Jake gripped her hips and pushed up into her slowly, leisurely. "When I saw you this morning bent over in my yard with your ass in the air I wanted to drag you into the house and fuck your blond little brains out," Jake told her. Aimee moaned and pushed her hips back to meet him. "Oh yeah?" Aimee moaned. "Lean forward and put your weight on the side of the tub and arch your back," Jake told her and pulled out. "I want to see you with your ass in the air again," Jake said. Aimee followed his lead and was bent over the side of the hot tub, with her ass in the air. She held her breath as she felt his mouth start to lick her pussy and travel up to the top of her crack. His hands gripped her cheeks, squeezing them and pulling them apart. He held her ass open and she could feel his breath and the night air on her backside. Her senses were heightened by the fact that she was wet all over-- outside and in. Aimee was biting her bottom lip, completely unsure of what to do next when she felt his tongue circling her asshole and press into it. "Oh my god, Jake? " Aimee said. She wasn't sure whether she should crawl away or push back into his mouth. Since it felt incredible and she was starting to melt, she reached back and pulled her cheeks apart for him. Jake worked her little bud open with his mouth a little more aggressively before pulling back. He gripped her hips with both hands. "Anna, you are so hot," Jake said. "Ohh. Yeah.. WHAT??" Aimee exclaimed. Jake dipped his cock into the hot tub and then began pushing into Aimee's ass. "Anna? baby, I missed you?" Jake groaned as he pressed up her tight backdoor. "What? awww.. fuck! Jake?" Aimee exclaimed. Aimee's mind was trying to assimilate everything that seemed to be happening at once. His cock was invading her virgin asshole and he thought she was her sister, Anna. Anna-- who really was holding out on her. Big time. Aimee wanted to find a way to resist him but couldn't find seem to find the muscular center to do it. His cock hurt and at the same time, it didn?t. She wanted him to stop and at the same time, she really didn't. "I know Anna baby. I know," Jack answered her. "Your ass is so fucking tight tonight, Anna." He pumped slowly, pulling out a little and then pushing in further with each stroke. She was like a glove gripping his cock. Jake was slowly wedging himself up her ass. Before long, he was in her ass to the hilt. Aimee whimpered a little. Having him up her ass was an incredible turn on. She felt virginal and nasty all at once. And it seemed like his cock throbbed back there. "C'm here baby," Jake said. He pulled her back up against him and turned around so she was sitting on his lap, her ass impaled on his cock. He gripped her hips and she sat slightly between his legs. His cock was felt foreign, solid and so present in her ass. She needed to do something. If he didn't move soon, she was going to go a little crazy. She constricted her ass around his cock and thought to herself, oh yeah. That's exactly it. "Ahh? I can?t believe you are so tight tonight," Jake whispered in her ear. "Wait a minute. Why are you so tight tonight? Aimee looked back at him over her shoulder and smiled. "Hmm. There is a very good reason for that Jake." She tightened her grip on his cock with her ass and then released it. Jake was looking at her, scrutinizing. "And what? ugh?. is that reason?" He asked. He could barely talk when she did that. He wondered where she learned that little trick. She was beginning to really milk his cock with her ass. "Well, why do you think Jake? Maybe because I'm not Anna?" Aimee answered. She watched his face over her shoulder. "Oh no. Oh fuck!" Jake started to push her off but she gripped him again. He wanted to push her off his cock but her ass was like a constrictor. Anna's ass had never felt like this. "No! No, don't stop. I mean, I kinda like it." Aimee wiggled her ass on his cock. "Who the fuck are you?" Jake demanded. "Anna's sister, Aimee." She answered moved her hips in a circle. "Wait. Stop moving a minute. The twin?" Jake said. He sounded a little horrified. His cock in her ass was like a loose tooth she couldn't keep her tongue away from. Aimee started to milk him again. "Yeah. That's me," Aimee murmured and moved on his cock a little, fucking him. "Mmmm. And, oh yeah, Jake?" "What?" he answered. He was relaxing a little, it sounded "Are you going to fuck me tonight?" Aimee asked and moved her ass in a small circle. "Do you still want me to?" Jake asked. "Oh yeah, definitely," Aimee answered. "Then yeah. I'm going to fuck you. As soon as possible and as hard as possible," Jake said. The water gave her buoyancy and he pushed her up and pulled her back down on his cock. He held her hips and started to change positions again. "Aimee baby, I'm going to turn around again and you get on your knees like before," Jake said. Aimee bent over the side of the tub, her knees on the bench with the front of her thighs pressed against the side to brace herself. Jake gripped the side of the tub and began to pump in and out of her ass. Aimee grunted as his speed increased until he was pounding into her ass. She supposed the cliché of his balls beating up against her could have been a reality but she couldn't tell with the waves of water from the hot tub washing out over her. What she could tell was an orgasm was starting to build at the base of her spine and was spreading through her legs. What sent her over the edge was feeling Jake's cock jerking as he came deep in her ass. When Anna and Jeff came back, Aimee bought their house. Anna's ghost and all.

And you ask /. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466287)

You can't ask this on /., you'll never get an answer. You'll get 3,000 "IANAL but.." posts. Talk to an attorney. Then write a followup and post it here. You won't get the answer you seek from /.

Re:And you ask /. (1)

FortKnox (169099) | about 13 years ago | (#2466314)

I entirely agree.

I'm surprised this wasn't filtered out, Cliff.

I understand its something that may happen to several slashdotters, but we can't answer the question as well as your lawyer can.

Re:And you ask /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466349)

IANAL, but...

...You can legally tell them to kiss your hairy butt. Granted, they can then tell you to take your hairy butt to the unemployment office.

Why does Everything require a Lawyer? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466404)


Some posters seem to act as if you need a lawyer to scratch your own ass.


This is unnecessary: All he has to to is talk to his fellow employees- If enough of them agree that the searches are unreasonable them they can have a strike. (or a Work to Win strike if a normal one is too risky)


And even if noone else cares about it- then he should start hunting for a better job- at a place with a no body cavity policy. Once his current employer loses enough scientists, theyll fix their problems.

Re:And you ask /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466423)

UANAL
heh...
heh...

Asking Techies a lawyer question? (-1)

Dead Fart Warrior (525970) | about 13 years ago | (#2466288)

Your asking a bunch of techies a law question instead of contacting you lawyer?!!??!?!?!?!

You, sir, are a MORON!

And shame on you Cliff (You are the only editor I like). Jumping on the Sept 11th bandwagon? Pathetic!

here here!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466428)

i simply cannot stomach the "Your Rights Online"(as if my offline rights didn't count as much) and the moronic "Ask Slashdot" questions that could be answered with 2 seconds of googling.

But now you combine them into this article, you have one big mass of dogshit..and the comments will hardly be any more insightful..

Searches (1)

deanj (519759) | about 13 years ago | (#2466294)

Many places do this already. The place you're working for is protecting themselves from some wacko carrying things in and out of work. And actually, more places should do it...it's surprising the number of things that get taken by people when they leave or are pissed off. If you're uncomfortable with it, tell management. If that doesn't do anything, quit.

Re:Searches (1)

deanj (519759) | about 13 years ago | (#2466337)

Oh and one more thing...they'll probably be a lot of people saying "they have no right to do this"... If they institute a new policy and give fair warning they're going to do it, they have every right to do so...it's there business, not yours. I don't like getting searched anymore than the next guy. It's a pain the ass. If you don't like it, do what I did...quit and work for someone else.

Re:Searches (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 13 years ago | (#2466401)

not true. You cn't enfirce a policy that braks the law(or regulation, or...etc.)
For example, If my company had a policy of not hiring minorities, doesn't make that policy enforcable by law.
You quit and worked for someone else, gee what are you going to do when everybody is doing it? Take some time to change the law. Yes it CAN be done. I have changed laws. It difficult, a pain in the ass, take a lot of people, but it can be done.
Change the world.

Re:Searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466367)

Just cause your a crackwhore terrorist, thieving dangerous mofo, doesn't mean that I'm one!

You need to be searched cause your dangerous, thats fine. Just don't put me in the same category.

Hmm.. (1)

eric434 (161022) | about 13 years ago | (#2466307)

Well, you could try telecommuting.

Only thing is how to bring the lab with you?

However, since you do work at a public-health-related lab, searches are something to be expected, since your field possibly deals with biological attacks. But getting searched on the way to a car is, well, rediculous. IANAL, but unless it's a government agency you should be able to refuse being searched. Perhaps you and your fellow scientists should organize a strike or something, like they recently did at a TLA, although I'm not sure which one.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Coz (178857) | about 13 years ago | (#2466354)

Read the article - he works at the National Institutes of Health - a government agency.

As for the search on the way to his car... look at where he works, and ask yourself, what kind of things could they possibly have at NIH that the government doesn't want escaping?

that's the problem (1)

DiveX (322721) | about 13 years ago | (#2466383)

>Only thing is how to bring the lab with you?

I think that is exactly what they are trying to prevent. When all this is over, will the investigation find that the anthrax spores were stolen from a lab by some scientist with a grudge or for money? With the current crisis, I am willing to forgo some privileges rather than argue every step of the way.

Humm check your contract (2, Informative)

haplo21112 (184264) | about 13 years ago | (#2466308)

Check your contract, terms of employment, what have you...when you took the job, you may have agreed to such measures. Given your line of work, don't you feel a little more secure that things are being monitored after all. I do agree that the number and level of searches is a little extreme. however, I also feel that being checked in and out at the entrance is not a horrible thing.

Re:Humm check your contract (1)

WebGuyCS (78752) | about 13 years ago | (#2466384)

The places that I have worked for that were related to the government (USAF and TI, which used to do lots of defense contracting), you had to agree to such searches as part of the employment. I think you will pretty much have to learn to live with it.

You have a right to refuse searches (5, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | about 13 years ago | (#2466312)

and they have a right to fire you for doing so. You don't have to work there, so the searches can be considered voluntary, or a condition of employment. You're working for the Federal Government, which is definitely a target for attacks these days.

Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466316)

land of the free indeed

Right... (2, Interesting)

GiorgioG (225675) | about 13 years ago | (#2466318)

I'm sure if they caught someone entering your building with a bomb, or exiting the building with 'suspicious' materials - you'd be relieved. Put it in perspective and deal with it.

Re:Right... (2, Insightful)

pe1rxq (141710) | about 13 years ago | (#2466412)

So we should just abandon privacy and freedom completly.
I am sure you would feel really comfortable in your police state knowing that your 'goverment' (lets also get rid of democracy in case one of those terorists gets elected....) controls your every move.

Freedom has risks, deal with that.

I think its ironic that after what many people call an atack on 'the free/democratic/western world' the first thing we do is get rid of the things it stood for.
Looks like the attacks were successfull afterall...

Jeroen

Is the 4th ammendment applicable to employers? (1)

DigitalDreg (206095) | about 13 years ago | (#2466320)

I doubt it ...

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Private Property (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | about 13 years ago | (#2466324)

They have the right to ask you to submit to such searches and the right if you declined not to allow you on the property. It's private property, I don't see you have much choice.

Land of the free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466325)

Ha! You continue to fool yourselves.

Sure... (0)

Marcos the Jackle (7778) | about 13 years ago | (#2466326)

you can refuse to be searched. And then they can refuse to let you in. Explain that one to your boss.
Look, I'm a libertarian at heart, but these searches that many of us are have to deal with every day are there for our protection. You don't like it? Then stay home.
At least they're not cavity searches. ;-)

Have a day

Mk.

Re:Sure... (-1)

Dead Fart Warrior (525970) | about 13 years ago | (#2466364)

"Cavity search him, I'm talking roto-rooter! Don't stop till you hit the back of his teeth!"

Re:Sure... (0)

darkfnord2 (412233) | about 13 years ago | (#2466368)

That means by definition you are not a libertarian. For some reason it's popular to say one is a libertarian when one isn't.

Matt

Re:Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466400)

Ew..

An appointment with Dr. Jellyfinger twice a day?

Telecommuting sounds better all the time.

Seek legal advice. (1)

rx (133386) | about 13 years ago | (#2466327)

This is not the place to ask for legal advice. For a small fee if not for nothing you should be able to retain a lawyer and find out where you stand.

There are lawyers who specialize in this area, with years of experience unlike the masses of Slashdot readers like myself.

I would equate your post to someone asking a lawyer how to make the best apple pie.

Phil

You're wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466332)

The fourth amendment applies to illegal searches on "your" property. Not on someone elses. For example if i take a gun to work in my car and threaten someone they have the right to call the police and search my car since it's on their property.

As a taxpayer... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466334)

... who is footing the bill for your salary for you to work at a place that could potentially contain VERY dangerous substances, I insist that you submit to such searches.

If you don't like it, work for the private sector.

Re:As a taxpayer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466452)

I also work at NIH, and let me tell you, I'm glad they've finally started implementing some more stringent searches around here. For a long time, you barely needed a parking pass to drive on the campus. The guards would barely check to see if you had an ID card, and even after 9/11, it took them a week to notice mine had expired a year ago.

I'm not an alarmist, but it seems like a few extra minutes on your way in or out is not that demanding and is worth the extra sense of safety. The search is not that onerous, and takes under 30 seconds. If you are uncomfortable with that, perhaps you would be better off in the private sector, where they had these kind of searches before the attacks.

Not your lab (1)

tedd (30053) | about 13 years ago | (#2466335)

Not your lab -- they can search you if they want.

You might be trying to sneak out some infectious organisms to sell to bad guys.

Security Checks During "Wartime" (2, Insightful)

an_art (521552) | about 13 years ago | (#2466336)

Given the recent anthrax attacks, and our national War posture, your security hassles are not inconsistent with US 20th Century history. You might look at a good history of the Manhattan Project for a picture of just how draconian security measures can get during wartime in the US. As they say, "you haven't seen anything yet!"

Melted Fudge (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466338)

Fill your bag with melted fudge.

Sort of an answer. (2)

Eagle7 (111475) | about 13 years ago | (#2466339)

If you're employer was a private entity, I think they could basically do whatever they wanted, as long as they did not discrimnate (the Fourth amendment doesn't apply to private entities)

On the other hand, it sounds like you work for the government, so the Fourth amendment might apply. However, I know that defense contractor employees (Lockheed Martin, etc) are subject to searches by the DOD when they enter or leave the site, and those searches are legal.

I'd say your best bet might be to talk to an attorney, or pay your legal dept. a visit and ask them about it. If the searching is legal, there is almost surely a federal or DOD statute that makes them legit - ask for a copy.

Oh, IANAL of course.

Democracy at work (3, Informative)

gentlewizard (300741) | about 13 years ago | (#2466342)

To paraphrase a line from the movie Crimson Tide:

"We're here to sell things in a democracy, not to practice it."

Manufacturing plants have always had searches like this. You'd be amazed what walks out of the plant in lunchboxes, etc. What is new is that we white collar workers are starting to be subject to the same rules that blue collar workers have had to put up with for decades.

Re:Democracy at work (1)

ArsSineArtificio (150115) | about 13 years ago | (#2466399)

You'd be amazed what walks out of the plant in lunchboxes, etc.



The little things I could get in my big lunchbox, like nuts and bolts and all four shocks. But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

My plan went all right till we tried to put it together one night. And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.

Re:Democracy at work (1)

dadams (9665) | about 13 years ago | (#2466458)

Crap. Looks like the Johnny Cash lyric filter is broken again. Although I think Shel Silverstien wrote that song. Whatever. Time to get back to hackin' the slashcode.

anoying but the alternative is worse (0, Troll)

Redav (190972) | about 13 years ago | (#2466345)

While manual checks like this can be somewhat cumbersome they beat the socks off of an automated (national ID card) system. In short I'd much rather take a little time out of my day for time consuming but decentralized security measures than be subject to more efficient centralized systems. Unfortunatly I think it likely that we will be forced to comply with both types. doh

Re:anoying but the alternative is worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466429)


Are you saying that you like Little Brother better than Big Brother?
.

well... (1)

Spagornasm (444846) | about 13 years ago | (#2466346)

Fourth amendment rights can be abrogated in certain places. Schools, for one, conduct random drug searches in kids' lockers. I think at places of work, warantless searches can be made on people, as long as it isn't a government agent (FBI, et. al) conducting the search. If your company wants to search you, I believe (I'm not sure here) they have every right to, because the thinking is that if you don't like it, you can always go work somewhere else.

I can maybe see the logic in that, but it doesn't make much sense from the outset.

Personally (1)

almeida (98786) | about 13 years ago | (#2466348)

I'd much rather have them annoy you with the searches, than for you to one day tweak out and try to blow up the rest of us. Sure, it might not ever happen, but I'm willing to put you through these minor inconveniences for my safety.

We're at War ... (1)

CriticalMass (152640) | about 13 years ago | (#2466350)

... and we live in the battleground ...
Stop whining!

Re:We're at War ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466402)

Amen.


Suck it up and soldier on!

look were you work (2, Insightful)

Rubbersoul (199583) | about 13 years ago | (#2466351)

I work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD,

While I do not agree with all of the searches and invasions of privacy that have begin in the country, you have to keep in mind were you work.

If I worked at the National Institutes of Heath I would expect to be searched due to the threat of a biological attack and all. If I worked at Burger King or something of the like though I would be a bit more tense if they searched me every time, but that is just my 2cents.

Quitting not an option... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466352)

Why should this person quit? Quitting is the easy way out. He should fight for his rights. Quitting only makes it easier for "the man" to nibble away our rights.

Fourth Amendment rights? (3, Insightful)

dinivin (444905) | about 13 years ago | (#2466353)

And why should it be considered acceptable for me to relinquish my Fourth Ammendment rights so I can go work on in my lab?

I hate it when people do this... The Bill of Rights is a list of limitations on the federal government. When you submit to a search for your employer, you are not forfeiting your fouth amendment rights. That's like saying that you have the right to say whatever you want while in my apartment without fear of repurcussion. While you obviously can't get punished by the federal government (except in some extreme cases), I can certainly kick you out.

Dinivin

You probably don't... (2)

WombatControl (74685) | about 13 years ago | (#2466355)

Chances are you just have to live with it.

  • You work in a government laboratory that works with dangerous pathogens that could be suitable for biological warfare.
  • You probably signed a contract stating that you must consent to all necessary searches. (These are common in contracts for workers in critical government facilities as part of your standard security agreements.)
  • We're currently facing the first known biological attack in US history.

Considering all these factors, you either have the choice of quitting or just living with the inconvience. There is certainly nothing unreasonable about throughly searching someone who works in such a critical environment. While, yes, IANAL, I don't really thing you have any case to object to these searches.

My two cents... (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | about 13 years ago | (#2466358)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that after the Sept 11th attacks they're probably stepping up the security for pilot training schools, right? And given that the West is currently in the middle of an anthrax scare, doesn't it make a little sense that medical centres and chemical labs be under a little bit of heightened security?

I think the rationale being applied is this: if the place is a potential conduit for attacks by subterfuge, it's fair game while everything's still on red alert, which we currently are.

Now, ask me this again in five years when the War on Terrorism goes the same route as the War on Drugs or the War on Communism (ie: a nebulous foe that is redefined to justify continuing budgets for miscellaneous useless defense departments), and I'll probably have a different answer...

It'll only get worse (5, Interesting)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | about 13 years ago | (#2466360)

Especially if the Uniting and Strengthening America Act of 2001 (S.1510) gets finalized today. Newsforge [newsforge.com] had a little article written by RMS about it. It's pretty scary, but you can read the link for more information. It will basically:
* Allow for indefinite detention of non-citizens, denying them the chance to defend themselves in court.

* Expand secret searches.

* Grant the FBI broad access to sensitive business records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime. See http://www.aclu.org/congress/l100801a.html.

* Allow officials to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations. Membership in such an organization would become a deportable offense; see http://www.aclu.org/congress/l100801d.html.

Re:It'll only get worse (1)

jnik (1733) | about 13 years ago | (#2466381)

Allow officials to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations. Membership in such an organization would become a deportable offense

Sounds to me an awful lot like a bill of attainder. (sp?)

Scientist (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 13 years ago | (#2466361)

Since you claim to be a scientist, I suppose you're a smart guy. Why would a smart guy like you, ask the /. crowd this question instead of a lawyer?
It would seem to me that you could do yourself a favor(and the /. crowd as well) by talking to a lawyer and then report what you find out to /.

How much leverage do you have? If you are wroking on an important project, and the company thinks your irreplacable, make a demand that they stop searching property.
OTOH if your only a step above bottle washer, go to a lawyer. If you do have the right to refuse, document every activity you do, save every eMail, and be ready to sue when they fire you on some unrelated matter. I hope you do have the right to refuse, and I hope to hell you do refuse and stand your ground. If you do not have the right to refuse, use your intellegnce to figure out how you can get a law passed that makes it illegal for a company to search personal bags, even if an employee says its ok. Or at the very least, be forced to show probable cause.
I'm the guy that won't let people at the exit of stores search my purchase, and I refuse to stop if some stores alarm system goes off when I happen to be leaving. Personally I am very tired of having to prove my innocense, and I'm not stopping just becuaes soe faulty piece of hardware beeps and whirs at me.

A new way of life... (1)

jgrumbles (515918) | about 13 years ago | (#2466362)

Welcome to the new United States. Unfortunately it is going to be a necessary evil, for how long no one is sure. Of course we'd all like things to go back to normal, on the otherhand, we don't need anymore jumbo passenger jets slamming into huge skyscrapers or masses of people getting infected with "x" disease. People are either going to accept that the terrorists did their job to some extent, others will say that we will rebound better than before. The problem is that a lot of people saw how easy it is to rock the nation a little bit. As far as many government agencies and other places that could be in danger of being on the receiving end of a terrorist act, your rights will continue to be thrown out the window until something is instituted that will both make citizens feel comfortable but not invaded.

I hate to say this... (1)

GreenJeepMan (398443) | about 13 years ago | (#2466363)

But in these times, we all sooner or later need to make a few sacrificies. Wether it be the economy or acts of terror.

I have every belief that things WILL eventually get back to normal.

Just be thankfull you don't work in a post office or a high rise in a major city.

Re:I hate to say this... (1)

Syris (129850) | about 13 years ago | (#2466461)

I have every belief that things WILL eventually get back to normal.

I wish I had this same faith in our return to "normalcy." It seems that as our rights are continuously eroded(as they have been for a long, long time now), they never come back, or rather are never returned. There's always a new reason to "be more vigilant", etc. It's sad, really.

Obviously, we have to respond to the recent attacks and future threats.
It's just that the Government finds that easier to do with a lesser regard for our constitutional rights.

Why are you getting upset? (0)

invisik (227250) | about 13 years ago | (#2466366)

Are you moving items around that you shouldn't be? Sure, it adds 5-10 minutes when going to and from the building. It's a reality now.

-m

You might wanna move to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466369)

Afghanistan
scientists are left alone there...
well, until they are shot or bombed by the US

Sanitation Engineer != Scientist (1)

Zico (14255) | about 13 years ago | (#2466370)

I would think that an NIH scientist would have better sense than to come here and ask a legal question. Oh well, maybe he gets turned on whenever he sees the string "IANAL" or something.

Out of curiosity... (1)

jea6 (117959) | about 13 years ago | (#2466372)

... to what degree do you come near/work with Anthrax? Or other such substances?

Awareness or Paranoia (2, Interesting)

nairnr (314138) | about 13 years ago | (#2466374)

They say the first casualty of war is the truth, the second seems to be personal liberty and freedom. The problem with terrorist war, is that you really don't know for certain who your enemy really is. The net result is that in order to catch the few, you inconvience the many. We have enjoyed a great deal of freedom as a result of being somewhat isolated from the rest of the world. The only threats were fairly well defined and easy to differentiate. The security measures are a reaction to events rather then precaution.

This is not unusual, witness the guarding of schools with the tragic violence experienced in the past. We recognize that the gun toting kids are not the norm, however we figure out who they are by searching everybody.

It is a balance, a pendulum. I am sure when we are not actively fighting a terrorist war things will relax. For now, we inconvience ourselves for perceived safety. As a Canadian, I haven't had to deal with this to any great degree. So, how free do you want to be, at what cost would you have freedom at the expense of safety...

You probably agreed to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466375)

As distasteful as these measures are, you probably agreed to them in one of the 284,729 forms you filled out when you hired on. I know that in my job (on an Army base), you agree that by coming on the base that you will submit to any and all searches under any conditions.

The only real recourse is to vote with your feet.

Yes (5, Insightful)

Syberghost (10557) | about 13 years ago | (#2466376)

You have an absolute right to refuse those searches, by terminating your employment.

Either you signed a contract, in which case I guarantee you agreed to searches, or your employment is at-will, and every day is a new contract.

Seems pretty clear to me... (3, Interesting)

darklord22 (263184) | about 13 years ago | (#2466377)

Amendment IV
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.

Where is it written that this doesn't apply to private property?

Re:Seems pretty clear to me... (1)

scheming daemons (101928) | about 13 years ago | (#2466453)

"Persons, houses, papers, and effects" does not cover items taken off of work premises. You are in your "employers" house, using their "papers and effects", and as such the Bill of Rights does not apply.


The second part says "unreasonable searches and seizures". A strong case can be made that searching a scientist on his way out of the NIH is quite reasonable, considering some of the deadly stuff they have there.


Lastly, the individual signed away his 4th Ammendment rights with respect to the Company grounds when he signed his employment papers.


The 4th Ammendment protects one on/in one's personal property. The company's property is another matter.

What do you do? (1)

slackbits (158365) | about 13 years ago | (#2466380)

Is it just you or is everyone being searched.

You say you work at a lab, with what? If you work with viruses and what not, I hope that they would search you.

Some of this privacy stuff is being taken too far but this is not that extreme. They want to know what is going in and comming out of nih, and I have no problem with that as long as it is within work premisis. If they try and search your house that is a different story.

I suggest that you leave your 12" dildo home or anything else you do not want anyone to see. This is the annoying thing about all this people are bitching about searches at government institutions, but what are they hiding that they do not want others to see.

What's wrong with you? (2, Insightful)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | about 13 years ago | (#2466385)

What's wrong with you? Are you a terrrorist/thief/hacker? Why would object if you have nothing to hide? It's for your own protection!

Does that all sound familiar? When you didn't object to being x-rayed and having your bags searched at the airport, or going into city hall to pay a parking ticket, or being searched by the Fry's door nazis...You Asked for this! You allowed your freedom to be taken a little bit at a time for an illusion of security. Why are you complaining now? This is how we lose our rights, a little at a time.


[/rant]

NIH is particularly bad, but it's other places too (1)

tshoppa (513863) | about 13 years ago | (#2466386)

I live near the NIH, and the security being imposed there is particularly extreme. Especially considering that the NIH campus is like a big park, and how open it was before!

But there are other examples in the DC area too. For example, I just went to eat lunch at the Old Post Office in downtown DC and to get into the food court area, you have to go through a metal detector *and* show a photo ID.

I don't know about the legal implications, but the security crackdown is *sure* to drive the food court shops bankrupt - they were struggling already with the lack of tourist traffic.

Get Over It (1)

scheming daemons (101928) | about 13 years ago | (#2466388)

You work at the National Institute of Health. Most of the Bill of Rights does not apply when you are on company grounds or on company time:
  • You don't have freedom of speech. Your employer can, and will, fire you for speech that harms the company.
  • You most likely aren't allowed to bring firearms on site. The 2nd ammendment doesn't apply at work.
  • Your desk and person are subject to searches without cause.

Your rights at work are whatever the company says they are on the employment agreement you signed when you started there.


I work at a D.O.E. lab and have been subject to the same searches you have. It comes with the territory. It comes with your job. You agreed to it implicitly when you accepted employment. If you don't like it, go work somewhere else.


Do you have to like it? no. Do you have to put up with it? If you want to remain employed, yes.


You do have a choice here. You just don't like the options.

News for Nerds???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466389)

As a poster had eluded to in CmdrTaco's /. update, I have to wonder how this can possibly be news for nerds.. Is it relevant to many of us..maybe. But this type is article is a perfect example of how slashdot has strayed from its original purpose, and become such a mess.

The new editors are really using this site to push their own political agendas, and I'm surprised nobody has tried to reign them in.

Hey Taco, if you want this site to still be around in another 4 years..please dump articles like these and leave it to another place to handle them.

For the record -- and some questions (1)

LMacG (118321) | about 13 years ago | (#2466390)

Amendment IV:

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.
-----

Now, considering the questioner's place of employment, how is "unreasonable" going to be defined?

Should our interpretation of "unreasonable" be modified in light of the attacks of 9/11?

How much "stuff" can/should a person need to carry to/from work that is not strictly work-related?

Talk amongst yourselves . . .
--

yep ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466392)

IANAL

So far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466394)

most posts have been olong the lines of "This is a necessary evil."

Maybe I agree, but I also think it's the right thing to hope for something better. We may have to live with this sort of thing now, but we should make it our goal to produce a better world where this isn't necessary.

How? I haven't the foggiest.

Rejoice that you can buy gasoline (1)

defaulthtm (464486) | about 13 years ago | (#2466395)

Not for nothing but, we are kind of at war. In the past that has led to significant rationing and suspension of liberties much more dear than the ability to walk into a government building unimpeded. This one strikes me as a reasonable search.

dont bring your sex toys to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466397)

duh

Mellow (1)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | about 13 years ago | (#2466405)

D00d, mellow out. Seriously.

I would rather be patted down on my way into work then have some lunitic making a bomb or some chemical for some crazy mission sitting next to me.
Yes, I understand that just some Rent-A-Cop rubbing my legs isn't going to stop the determined individual, but it certainly isn't a bad idea.
Yes, I'm sure it's VERY damn annoying (I can't speak from personal experience other than the gown-up procedures involed in going into a bio-medical clean room), but d00d, mellow out.

This has worked (1)

mr_rangr (311899) | about 13 years ago | (#2466407)

In one place I worked, they did random searches of cars. They used to pick on one guy I knew and stopped him pretty regularly.
His solution was to make sure they searched every nook and cranny of his car, and he'd continue to point out every spot they missed and make them look again. They grew tired of that and eased up.
If you make it an undue burden on security to do a thorough job, then a) they'll ease up on the requirements, or b) you complain that they're doing an ineffective job.

Define unreasonable (1)

ejaytee (186527) | about 13 years ago | (#2466409)


Obviously, IANAL.

But, "unreasonable" search and seizure is the target of the 4th amendment.

Consider this:

Airport security is not unreasonable search and seizure.

Metal detectors at football stadiums, White House tours, and concerts are not unreasonable search and seizure.

Checking your receipt against your stuff at Fry's, Best Buy, and Target before you leave is not unreasonable search and seizure. (Even though I hate it.)

When I say "is not", I mean that it legal, therefore constitutional until challenged and defeated. There have been 4th amendment challenges to stores checking receipts and to the airlines. They failed.

Point being - which will be made over and over here undoubtably - it's their building, their service, and your privilege to make use of them. You don't have to be there if you don't want to.

If you don't like it, quit your job or work to change the law.

Not Unreasonable... (1)

barfy (256323) | about 13 years ago | (#2466411)

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.

Now, the founders put the word UNREASONABLE in there for a reason. They could have left that word out, and prevented all searches except by warrant.

In order to protect the public interest of not being killed by terrorists, is this search "unreasonable?"

Also the search is voluntary, not mandatory. Because it is not mandatory for you to go to the building. You are NOT being compelled to go there, you have really good reasons to go there, but it is different than being compelled.

While it is likely that the search would be upheld as reasonable, it may be only useful as prophylactic. IE, the fruits of the search may turn out NOT to be admissable. But that is likely not the point of the search.

The only really interesting thing about your case is the fact that it is a "government" facility and that you are a civilian employee. I suspect you signed some sort of employment contract in which you agreed to certain rules, and relinquished some of your rights.

I feel your pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466416)

ok, actually I don't
fuck you and the USA, you deserve any pain you get imperialist aggressors

It is acceptable...go somewhere else (1)

Orkin (61749) | about 13 years ago | (#2466418)

If you are a contracted employee, then this is only acceptable if there are provisions for it in your contract. If not, your employment is just an agreement with your employer. If they change the terms of the employment, you have every right to seek employment elsewhere.

Of course, you could turn it around on them. Be preemptive. Approach the security guard menacingly and insist on searching him.

You have a choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466420)

Your rights as a member of society are different than your rights as an employee of a corporation. Companies have a right to request certain things, such as drug tests, genetic screening, searches, etc. You have the right to either comply or go find a job elsewhere.

What keeps this in check is that if a company screws with its employees too much (at least relative to competing firms) they risk losing their valuable employees.

Searches are more common than you think (1)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | about 13 years ago | (#2466422)

For years, especially after the first WTC bombing in 1993, office buildings in NYC implemented search procedures and ID card checks at the door, before you got on the elevators.

Hoax bomb threats were commonplace. I understood and welcomed the security measures.

Slashdot might not be a bastion of legal knowledge (1)

eclectric (528520) | about 13 years ago | (#2466425)

That aside, I'm guessing you have very little rights in that regard. It's their building, they have the right to control what comes into and out of their building. We sometimes forget that the Bill of Rights often falls apart when we're talking about private organisations dealing with private people... they were designed to protect people from the Government.

The searches out of the building sound frivolous, unless they're afraid you really are going to take dangerous stuff out of there. I'd talk to the head of your department or the dean's office that runs that building.

All I know is that security checkpoints are hardly "unreasonable" and cases right and left have been lost trying to beat them.

Fellow Trolls... (-1)

Dead Fart Warrior (525970) | about 13 years ago | (#2466430)

...Where have you been? I thought I was the only one today!

It's a Grey Area (1)

starkfist (521695) | about 13 years ago | (#2466433)

A private entity can search you without reason, but not the gov't. The "Choice" to enter also waves the right to privacy. Ex. If you don't want to get searched at the airport you don't have to, Leave the Airport. Only thing to do, call a lawyer, and join the Libertarian Party to fight against crap like this.

Feel Good (1, Interesting)

twistedfuck (166668) | about 13 years ago | (#2466434)

I'm surprised at the number of people who think that there is really some increased level of security through imposing bag searches on employees. Most people who have worked somewhere for a while can think of many ways to bypass security and commit genocide. Its the same with home security, everyone knows how to break into their own house without having to actually break anything.

As some airline employees have said, the added security at airports is a sham, and only serves to reassure the public into a false sense of security.

People would be better off preparing themselves to die instead of worrying about it every minute of their lives.

Article: -1, Flamebait (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | about 13 years ago | (#2466437)

Whether or not such searches are reasonable depends on what is done at your particular lab.

Duh.

If you are working on, I don't know, maybe cancer research, then the searches are probably not reasonable. If the lab works with highly infectious strains of fatal diseases, then daily searches may be necessary.

If you know that they are going to be doing such searches, then you should minimize what you carry to work. Most of us carry around backpacks full of paper, pens, and 10 dollar calculators even though we have those things in our homes and offices already. Why not try to make security's job a little easier and don't carry things you don't need to?

No Big Deal (1)

CrashRide (530844) | about 13 years ago | (#2466440)

I've worked in government facilities supporting UNIX/VMS/WIN boxes for over 5 years. I regularly have my ID and bags checked coming and going. It's no big deal. I'm not trying to take anything in or out that I'm not supposed to, and I want them to catch the people who are. The rest of the country is just now catching on to the need for security measures - the world has changed. Get used to it.

Have Fun With It! (5, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 13 years ago | (#2466441)

Start carrying increasingly bizarre/disgusting items in your bag. Start with an industrial sized box of trojans and K-Y Jelly. Throw some issues of goat porn monthly into the mix. A dead fish might be a good one day gag. If they ever question what the hell you're doing with, say, a tupperware container of dog poo, make up surreal non-sequetor answers designed to confuse. Make it a competition to make the searcher go eww! It could be fun!

General Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466448)

Unlike so many /.'ers, im neither libertarian nor socially paranoid. In general, Americans are going to have to give up certain public conveniences for the sake of safety. Frankly, I am horrified that you were not searched long before the anthrax attacks. First and foremost, there is no intrinsic right to not be searched - it is a man-made declaration that we should not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures - and that line has been rightfully redrawn for our safety.

What if, and I know its not always best to play with counterfactuals, the same kind of security were used prior to the anthrax dillema? Would we have been able to prevent those who wish to do harm from gaining easy access to it? And, more appropriately, are you willing to take this risk so that you dont have to have your bag searched. I personally believe that the ten minute inconvenience is far worth the safety that it brings.

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466449)

... you'd probably be first in line crying that the building management didn't do enough to protect you while at work if some loony brought in a bomb in a bag/package. Your survivors would be lining up ambulance chasers to file suit against the gov't and anyone else with sufficiently deep pockets.

Suggestion: stop bringing a bag, or bring your lunch/whatever in a clear plastic bag. IOW, consider becoming part of the solution rather than bleating about it and ensuring your position as part of the problem.

Freedom, oh freedom.... (0)

jandersen (462034) | about 13 years ago | (#2466454)

It might interest everybody to know that people in China have more freedom and rights than what you people in America have these days. It's a nice country and lovely people too; I think I'll move over there...

Defend Your Rights !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2466459)

Yes ! You have the right to refuse a search. You also have the right to be blown up by the guy standing next to you at work. You probably have the right to post to Slashdot on your deathbed asking if you can sue your employer for poor security practices.

-- AC and proud !!

Unreasonable searches (for scientists) (1)

ffoiii (226358) | about 13 years ago | (#2466460)

When I worked at Argonne National Labs, there was always a chance that the security officer would ask you to pull over and would check your vehicle/bags either on the way in, or on the way out. This didn't bother me at all given that I was working in an area where I had access to dangerous and hazardous materiels, despite that fact that I had already been cleared to work in the area. Note: this was several years ago and the probability of a search was significantly lower than it is now.
I don't know the specifics of your circumstances, what materials or information you may have access to or work with, but it seems reasonable to me to increase security in public places in a time of heightened risk. Now, increasing searches does not necessarily correlate to an increase in security, but in some circustances, if done correctly, it can help.
The major distinction that I think needs to be made is that you are not going to "your" lab, but that you are going to a (semi) public facility that by its' very nature (National Institute of Health) is a high profile target.
No one is asking to search your belongings before you enter your house...yet. ffoiii
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