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Old 08-07-2008, 08:37 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by acidzebra View Post
True... and I am sure there are currently free encryption tools available which (when properly used) cannot be broken by any government out there any time soon

In addition, programs like truecrypt offer you two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password:

1) Hidden volume (steganography) and hidden operating system.
2) No TrueCrypt volume can be identified (volumes cannot be distinguished from random data).

In other words, it will be very difficult to prove you have encrypted data on there at all (again, if properly deployed. I can't stress this enough). This is well beyond the level of sophistication of border guards and deep into NSA territory.

On a related note, I still don't understand that people don't encrypt all their data and email traffic out of habit and general principles - because we can discuss interesting crypto but the fact remains the US government has no right to inspect my private data and communications, nor does anyone else.

I also don't understand that US citizens accept this kind of big brother behavior by their government. Land of the free, indeed.


Now, hold on .... customs agents have been searching luggage at borders for a long long time. They do it in nearly every country I have been to ... and I've been to a bunch of them.

They don't need a warrant to search your luggage ... they search it because they are allowed to conduct such searches at the border to prevent illegal materials and goods from entering the country. This is true of every country. They are entitled to protect their borders.

All this has done is bring border searches into the computer age. Just as they don't confiscate your luggage when you enter the country ... they "search it" ... they are not confiscating your digital media or documents when you enter a country ... they are searching it.

It will likely get about the same level of search as most people's luggage does ... which is not all that stringent a search, but enough to find the kilo of cocaine stuck in the pockets of the backpack, or the brick of uncut heroin strapped to some mule's thigh.

Now, if you are one of those types who tries to smuggle illegal drugs, firearms, or plans for a dirty bomb into the country, then I suppose you have every right to be upset. But the simple truth is that this is a logical move on the part of border agents who now have to deal with a lot of illegal materials that come streaming into the country.

A lot of it comes in through the internet, and I doubt that they can do much about that ... but if they can stop some of the terrorists or pedophiles from operating, I don't have a problem with it. But then, I don't travel with a ton of pirated material, kiddie porn, or plans to blow up people and things.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:37 PM   #47
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keeping your property at customs

I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but there is a very easy solution to this.
If you have a laptop, notebooks, digital info, papers, anything you want kept private (or not arbitrarily seized for no reason), you simply have to slide it into an envelope addressed to you, with enough international postage - and SEAL it.

Customs has not been given the right to open private mail (unless on your person) without a search warrant.

*I had to clarify, I assumed people understood that you have to actually mail it to your destination*

Last edited by silencer; 08-08-2008 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:42 PM   #48
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I keep naked pictures of myself on my computer in case customs goes through my files. They deserve the nausea, pain and suffering if they do that.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:56 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by silencer View Post
I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but there is a very easy solution to this.
If you have a laptop, notebooks, digital info, papers, anything you want kept private (or not arbitrarily seized for no reason), you simply have to slide it into an envelope addressed to you, with enough international postage - and SEAL it.

Customs has not been given the right to open private mail on your person without a search warrant.
Well ... they aren't arbitrarily "seizing" things for no reason. They are doing a "search" .... a search and a seizure are very different things. Try reading the actual law on the subject. Oh, and by the way, they can demand that you open "private mail" on your person so they can search it. So .... try again.

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I keep naked pictures of myself on my computer in case customs goes through my files. They deserve the nausea, pain and suffering if they do that.
So do I. There is nothing illegal about doing that, assuming you are over the age of consent.

Last edited by RickyMaveety; 08-07-2008 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:53 AM   #50
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I'm just waiting for the RIAA to sue the US government for unauthorized copying of copyrighted works after some border agent copies my mp3s and sends it to someone else - they sue everyone else, why should this time be different.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:59 AM   #51
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[QUOTE=RickyMaveety;230399]Well ... they aren't arbitrarily "seizing" things for no reason. They are doing a "search" .... a search and a seizure are very different things. Try reading the actual law on the subject. Oh, and by the way, they can demand that you open "private mail" on your person so they can search it. So .... try again.

Retaining your property without suspicion of wrongdoing and keeping it for a "reasonable" time is arbitrary seizure.
This didn't pass into "law" as you suggest. It was extended search and seizure power implemented by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Customs officers need no reasonable suspicion to search through the contents of any individual’s laptop. That includes mine, and as a Canadian citizen this violates Canadian law.
You are completely wrong about opening private mail. They can not open mail without warrant. I typo'd the last statement, it is corrected now.

You may want to give the US Constitution a gander too, you might then understand why this ruling is a real issue.

For the rest of us, yes, putting your contents in a sealed and stamped envelope and mailing it to your destination will protect it to the point of warrant.

Here is the regulation:
Sealed Letter Class Mail. Officers may not read or permit others to read
correspondence contained in sealed letter class mail (the international equivalent
of First Class) without an appropriate search warrant or consent. Only articles in
the postal system are deemed "mail." Letters carried by individuals or private
carriers such as DHL, UPS, or Federal Express, for example, are not considered to
be mail, even if they are stamped, and thus are subject to a border search as
provided in this policy.

Last edited by silencer; 08-08-2008 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:10 AM   #52
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Oh, RickyMaveety, in case you still want to spew stupidity, I thought it might help you if I show you other people with the same idea.
Leave it to a Canadian to teach you about US regulations.
There you go sparky. You want to quote that "actual law" now that I am supposed to read?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08...ptop_seizures/
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:12 AM   #53
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Perhaps you should try thinking before you shoot your mouth off about international customs law to people that may actually understand it.
You may want to give the US Constitution a gander too, you might then understand why this ruling is a real issue.
She isn't shooting her mouth off without thinking. Ricky is an attorney, and has some actual knowledge of the law. Provide citations to the relevant law and precedents that support your theory, and you and she can argue intelligently.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:28 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by RickyMaveety View Post
Now, hold on .... customs agents have been searching luggage at borders for a long long time. They do it in nearly every country I have been to ... and I've been to a bunch of them.

A lot of it comes in through the internet, and I doubt that they can do much about that ... but if they can stop some of the terrorists or pedophiles from operating, I don't have a problem with it. But then, I don't travel with a ton of pirated material, kiddie porn, or plans to blow up people and things.
For one thing, "I've got nothing to hide" is a lame response. I also don't do these things, still I have no reason to trust the US government with my and my company's confidential and in some cases sensitive data. And the first thing terrorists and other wrongdoers are doing right now is encrypting their illegal data (especially after that single kiddie porn guy example), so the best possible result of all this is that "honest" citizens are going to be bothered and a lot of time is going to be wasted examining mundane data and devices. Time better spent actually doing something about security.
See also http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=998565

And dumb luggage is one thing, and data is another. Taking 'any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form,' including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover 'all papers and other written documentation,' including books, pamphlets and 'written materials commonly referred to as "pocket trash..." is another thing again.

"Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing"

I can't believe people are accepting this so meekly. I also don't see why you should expect to get your stuff back, ever. Because they certainly aren't telling you when (if ever) they will return it. How is confiscating stuff regardless of suspicion of wrongdoing (in essence, whatever and whenever the border guard guy feels like screwing with you) reasonable? What if he just has a bad day?

Schneier has an interesting article on it too: http://www.schneier.com/essay-217.html

Last edited by acidzebra; 08-08-2008 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:03 AM   #55
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"Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing"

I can't believe people are accepting this so meekly. I also don't see why you should expect to get your stuff back, ever. Because they certainly aren't telling you when (if ever) they will return it. How is confiscating stuff regardless of suspicion of wrongdoing (in essence, whatever and whenever the border guard guy feels like screwing with you) reasonable? What if he just has a bad day?
Amen and welcome to the Gulag. Yeah, that's overstating things a bit, but we put up with things that our great-grandfathers would have been loading up the deer rifles about.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:08 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by RickyMaveety View Post
Well ... they aren't arbitrarily "seizing" things for no reason. They are doing a "search" .... a search and a seizure are very different things. Try reading the actual law on the subject. Oh, and by the way, they can demand that you open "private mail" on your person so they can search it. So .... try again.



So do I. There is nothing illegal about doing that, assuming you are over the age of consent.
Too many jokes, not enough time!
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:55 PM   #57
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For one thing, "I've got nothing to hide" is a lame response. I also don't do these things, still I have no reason to trust the US government with my and my company's confidential and in some cases sensitive data. And the first thing terrorists and other wrongdoers are doing right now is encrypting their illegal data (especially after that single kiddie porn guy example), so the best possible result of all this is that "honest" citizens are going to be bothered and a lot of time is going to be wasted examining mundane data and devices. Time better spent actually doing something about security.
See also http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=998565

And dumb luggage is one thing, and data is another. Taking 'any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form,' including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover 'all papers and other written documentation,' including books, pamphlets and 'written materials commonly referred to as "pocket trash..." is another thing again.

"Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing"

I can't believe people are accepting this so meekly. I also don't see why you should expect to get your stuff back, ever. Because they certainly aren't telling you when (if ever) they will return it. How is confiscating stuff regardless of suspicion of wrongdoing (in essence, whatever and whenever the border guard guy feels like screwing with you) reasonable? What if he just has a bad day?

Schneier has an interesting article on it too: http://www.schneier.com/essay-217.html
Confiscation implies that they are not going to return it. They are allowed to make a copy of what is on the drive(s) ... not to "confiscate" the item.

I understand you are upset about this ... but it appears to me that you have a very poor grasp on the statements made in the official policy. Customs agents everywhere have always had the authority to detain someone that they believe may be smuggling something illegal into a given country.

That is why the materials must be copied within a reasonable period of time and the original device returned to the traveller. You don't for a minute think they are taking the device and just letting the person go?? Get real.

If you are worried about your company's confidental data, then please tell me, what in that data would interest a custom's agent?? You think the custom's agents of the world are going to unite to overthrow your company??

For heaven's sake. If you have that big of a worry about it, then leave it on your computers at home and just electronically transmit it over when you need it. Or, better yet, don't travel to the United States, or any other country that decides to implement a search (search ... not seizure) of data at international borders.

Oh, and by the way .... very bad form to quote from an article. Just because someone writes in an article that "federal agents may .... for an unspecified period ..." doesn't mean it actually says that in the policy. Try reading the actual policy and quoting from that to back up your arguments. Something filtered through a whole bunch of people with an agenda and a position to support just makes your argument a watered down version of theirs.

Your analysis should be able to stand on its own, and that means reference (only) to the source materials, not to some other person's opinions of the source materials.

Last edited by RickyMaveety; 08-08-2008 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:56 PM   #58
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Too many jokes, not enough time!
The biggest joke would be my body in those photos. Seriously gross.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:00 PM   #59
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Directly from the official release:
"Officers may detain documents and electronic devices, or copies thereof, for a reasonable period of time to perform a thorough border search. The search may take place on-site or at an off-site location."

Note that it says "detain electronic devices OR copies thereof". In other words, we reserve the right to send your electronics to the NSA or wherever for further analysis. And all over the document it goes on about "reasonable" but it doesn't come out and give any limits for "reasonable".

Somewhere in there it also says that if they do take your stuff for further examination, "responses [from assisting agencies] should be received within fifteen (1 5) days", but also "CBP may permit extensions in increments of seven (7) days." - with no upper limit mentioned.

Quote:
"If you are worried about your company's confidental data, then please tell me, what in that data would interest a custom's agent?? You think the custom's agents of the world are going to unite to overthrow your company??"
And I keep telling you, that is not the point - refer to the earlier linked article about "I have nothing to hide and other misunderstanding about privacy" - I will link to it again as you should really read it. I can't believe an attorney (don't know if you are, someone in the thread mentioned it) does not see this. They have no right to access that data. You can pooh-pooh it and call me paranoid all you like, but I have no control over copies of that data. If they tell me it is destroyed, can I be reasonably sure? Why? Because they tell me so? From the same guys that proposed the Total Information Awareness program (which was quickly renamed "Terrorist Information Awareness" in 2003 after a media outrage)? The same guys from that little NSA/AT&T outing?

From here in the Netherlands, "land of the free" is starting to sound increasingly like a sad joke, and to see people actually supporting and defending these lame "anti-terrorist" measures is a shock to me.

Last edited by acidzebra; 08-08-2008 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:59 PM   #60
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I keep naked pictures of myself on my computer in case customs goes through my files. They deserve the nausea, pain and suffering if they do that.
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So do I. There is nothing illegal about doing that, assuming you are over the age of consent.
Lucky for you I am over the age of consent but how did you get naked pictures of me on your computer???
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