PDA

View Full Version : Halt! Who goes there?



Pages : [1] 2 3

Salem
05-07-2008, 09:28 AM
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/05/06/goes-mad-border

matsp
05-07-2008, 09:34 AM
And what do they do if you have three partitions with three different OS's, all password protected and encrypted - tell you to get back on the plane, I suspect?

--
Mats

CornedBee
05-07-2008, 09:37 AM
What if I don't tell them my password? Will they use a live CD to get into a system? Will they remove my hard disk so they can raw rip it?

Mario F.
05-07-2008, 09:38 AM
No. Sorry. This can't be true. It just can't. Some late April's Fool?

Do I, a foreign citizen visiting USA, need to teach USA officials about their own constitution?

Read my lips... It's... ilegal! Want my HD contents? Make me a suspect, read my rights, book me and get a warrant. Otherwise get the f... of my way.

matsp
05-07-2008, 09:39 AM
What if I don't tell them my password? Will they use a live CD to get into a system? Will they remove my hard disk so they can raw rip it?

Or like me, I had two different hard-disks for my one laptop, one with Windows and one with Linux (because the IT staff insisted on having Windows encrypted with some proprietary software which meant hat having a second partition on the same drive would not work right with grub or lilo).

--
Mats

SlyMaelstrom
05-07-2008, 09:49 AM
I agree, this doesn't make sense... I'm quite sure the government doesn't monitor all internet traffic in and out of the country... so what would be the point of checking computer data when any criminal could simply leave the bad stuff behind on a network and download it as soon as they get in the country? I mean if the terrorists threw all of their plans onto a bitmap called "picture_of_kids.bmp"... is there any chance the government would catch that?

rdrast
05-07-2008, 10:05 AM
Stupid, asinine policy, but upheld by the courts.

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/04/border-agents-c.html

That article has a link to the court's decision as a pdf.

Mario F.
05-07-2008, 10:46 AM
Incredible. Up to this moment I thought the news was false. So much for that.

Shame. Shame. A country that ever since 2001 I feel less and less interested in visiting. The Land of freedom and democracy... As much as this may sound cruel, the truth is that visiting USA today feels much like visiting North Korea. I fear it. I fear the people, I fear the government those people elected, I fear the police, I fear the fact I may just look like someone in a mugshot and find my way into Guantanamo by accident,...

I'm know I'm not welcomed.

My only hope? The worst administration in American History (and history will prove it) is soon leaving office. Hopefully for good.

EDIT: And to stop, because this issue is really irritating me the more I think of it and my blood pressure is already on the red, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution . Ladies and Gentleman, on my little puny European country of freedom and democracy, we also have that. The difference is that over here... we respect it.

SlyMaelstrom
05-07-2008, 11:12 AM
Nah, don't knock it until you've tried it Mario... it's absolutely nothing like that once you get past the borders... and in fact, on a visiting visa, odds are that you won't even have problem at the borders. Believe me when I say, you can go to neighborhoods in New York City and feel more at home than any other place in Europe (with the exception of your own country)... and I've been all over Europe, including Lisbon. Most major cities in the world have a little Italy and little China... we have a little EVERYTHING. There are city blocks where you can walk into any given store, knock on any given apartment door, and the person on the other side of the counter/door will reply in Portuguese.

The country is doing some seriously disturbing things, but don't even get the idea that the news isn't blowing it out of preportion. I have had friends and family come from outside of the country to NYC in the past few years on Visas and have had no problems... and they all want to come back.

h3ro
05-07-2008, 11:12 AM
This is just really stupid.

What happens when someone has a virus on their computer?
Also, they must have an insane sever to handle all the data.

From my experience most people dont even know how to see hidden files...

twomers
05-07-2008, 11:53 AM
Dum dum dum dum dum.

Mario F.
05-07-2008, 11:59 AM
The country is doing some seriously disturbing things, but don't even get the idea that the news isn't blowing it out of preportion. I have had friends and family come from outside of the country to NYC in the past few years on Visas and have had no problems... and they all want to come back.

I understand that Sly. But I feel strongly about my civil liberties and anyone tampering with them. Stories are terrifying, no matter the fact I know Americans have absolutely nothing to do with this administration.

The fact is that we too conquered our freedom. And even though Portugal is one of the oldest countries in the world, democracy was only conquered in my lifetime. It's something we cherish and respect. And the memories of the integralist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estado_Novo_%28Portugal%29) dictatorship that ruled this country from 33 to 74 are still deeply ingrained on this society and have transpired to those of my generation who were just kids when the revolt took place.

Why am I saying this? Because over here "civil liberties", "constitution", "freedom" , "sfaety" and "democracy" aren't just buzzwords empty of meaning after having been used and abused for everything, from electing a new leader, to start wars and torture prisoners, like in the USA. We still preserve those words and look down on anyone disrespecting them and anyone allowing it to happen.

I'm sorry I'm being rude, Sly. But you have to understand this is the 9/11 Legacy, no mater what one may think of those accusations. Not the horror of those two towers crumbling, not the suffering on those faces, not the courage of firefighters and policeman. The 9/11 legacy is instead one of the darker pages in USA history; torture in American prisons, violation of human rights, War, Lies. That's what people remember now and what they want to remember. It shouldn't have been this way, for crying out loud!

Last year, during the 6th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the public television over here aired 1 documentary on the actual terrorist attack, 2 documentaries on the war on Iraq (one on that shameful prison i forget the name, and another about the never ending war), plus one documentary on Afghanistan and the puppet regime that was left running the country. Do you understand Sly?

Going back on-topic, I feel strongly when any of my rights are attacked. I honestly fear your country sly. Not the population, I agree. But I fear your government and your police. I'm sorry, my friend. But I do. And the question remains... what if they want to see my laptop? What will happen if I refuse? Who will... and pay attention to this question to understand the ridicule/seriousness of this... who will defend me against your government?

abachler
05-07-2008, 12:28 PM
No. Sorry. This can't be true. It just can't. Some late April's Fool?

Do I, a foreign citizen visiting USA, need to teach USA officials about their own constitution?

Read my lips... It's... ilegal! Want my HD contents? Make me a suspect, read my rights, book me and get a warrant. Otherwise get the f... of my way.

International airports arent US soil, sorry, but they just have to reply ' OK, well then you cant come in teh US, go back home'.

SlyMaelstrom
05-07-2008, 12:50 PM
Going back on-topic, I feel strongly when any of my rights are attacked. I honestly fear your country sly. Not the population, I agree. But I fear your government and your police. I'm sorry, my friend. But I do. And the question remains... what if they want to see my laptop? What will happen if I refuse? Who will... and pay attention to this question to understand the ridicule/seriousness of this... who will defend me against your government?I'm not sure much would happen to a non-citizen other than potential deportation (should you have illegal contents on your laptop or refuse to show it). I don't want to sound cold, but I don't think the US Constitution applies to you... US visas grant non-resident aliens with many rights unique to that particular visa (many of which are parallel to the Bill of Rights) and I don't believe you fall under the full rights of the Constitution until you earn a citizenship. Even a permenant residency card doesn't grant you all the rights of a citizen.

To be honest, in your situation... I'd say it's pretty easy. Demand that the detainee show the content of their electronic device. If they refuse, then the visa is revoked and they go home. I sour deal, but not my big issue here... it's very different in the case mentioned in the Bill above. Michael Arnold was a citizen... he was protected by the Bill of Rights and the case, like so many not only in America, but any Democratic Republic (or similar form of government)... came to interpretation of the law. Unfortunately, in this case... I think it was interpreted terribly. The judges seemed to have forgotten the idea we initially allowed border protection to search luggage without reasonable suspicion and the fact that those reasons could never fall under electronic information. By the way, I should mention that almost every European country has adopted the same regulations to allow searching of luggage with no reasonable suspicion in the past seven years. Upon returning from a European country just a few months ago, I was pulled aside and had my bags rummaged through and they had zero suspicion to select me. I wouldn't be surprised if you find many countries adopting this in a short amount of time.

I would say that this Bill is worthy of more appeals and I would love to see it abolished as soon as possible because it's just silly. I couldn't say, however, that even though I go in and out of my countries borders multiple times each year... that I'm too concerned about being searched or what they would find if they did search my electronic content. Maybe I'm just too laid back about the whole thing, though...

whiteflags
05-07-2008, 01:33 PM
We've got a competing story (http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9834495-38.html). According to legal beagles, America can't force travellers to divulge passphrases or cracking information to customs or any authority. So if you encrypt it first you have a legal leg to stand on.


Translation: Giving a defendant limited immunity in terms of forcing them to turn over the passphrase can lead to a conviction. That's because the fellow technically isn't being convicted based on his passphrase; he's being convicted for what it unlocks. Isn't the law grand?


Of course, your laptop might be confiscated, but you backed up, right?

Let them copy over bits of noise in my opinion. :) This sort of institutionalized madness will be challenged eventually. It's just so impractical.

matsp
05-07-2008, 01:42 PM
And what about trade-secrets that I may have on my machine - for example not-yet released source code, material under NDA (or other strict licensing) - are they supposed to look at that too?

Reading the original article in The Mirror's web-site [the UK's Most Reliable News Source - Not!], it seems like they are looking for photographs [of what?] amongst other things - so if I have my 6500 JPG files that I have taken with my 24MP Canon EOS 1DsMk3 [no, I personally haven't got one of those] on my machine, taking up some considerable space - how do they deal with that?

But reading between the lines, it seems like "It's legal for customs officers to search your laptop", but I don't equal that with "they will ALWAYS SEARCH EVERYONES laptop" - I believe that is typical Tabloid scare "don't tell all the details, let the reader add the missing parts and make it bigger".

--
Mats

SlyMaelstrom
05-07-2008, 02:18 PM
But reading between the lines, it seems like "It's legal for customs officers to search your laptop", but I don't equal that with "they will ALWAYS SEARCH EVERYONES laptop" - I believe that is typical Tabloid scare "don't tell all the details, let the reader add the missing parts and make it bigger".Agreed, but it's not so much a matter of "Search EVERYONES laptop" as it is a matter that everyone is a potential victim of this. If you've been in an airport recently (in almost any modern country), you know that you may - at random - be pulled aside, questioned, and have you bag searched. I've had it happen to me twice since 2001 and nothing has come of it other than some wrinkled clothing.

As for the "Trade-Secrets"... that goes along the same lines of having perhaps nude photos of yourself or partner on your computer... you're supposed to accept that they will only be looking at your data objectively and not subjectively... they shouldn't be taking your ideas, they shouldn't be oggling pictures of your girlfriend, they shouldn't be doing anything of that sort... couldn't say that they wouldn't do this. However if they did, you would certainly have a case against them. I know there are some doctors out there that have touched my girlfriend's body in ways that I normally wouldn't approve, however, I'm not about to break into their offices and sock them for it... it's because I trust that they're being professional about it. So maybe the real issue here is how qualified and mature our border officials can be.

brewbuck
05-07-2008, 02:29 PM
No. Sorry. This can't be true. It just can't. Some late April's Fool?

Do I, a foreign citizen visiting USA, need to teach USA officials about their own constitution?

Read my lips... It's... ilegal! Want my HD contents? Make me a suspect, read my rights, book me and get a warrant. Otherwise get the f... of my way.

While you are standing in Customs you are not technically within the United States, and as a non-citizen you don't have any "rights" anyway -- convenient huh?

Mario F.
05-07-2008, 03:14 PM
While you are standing in Customs you are not technically within the United States, and as a non-citizen you don't have any "rights" anyway -- convenient huh?

Yes. Abachler also mentioned this and it's correct. Something I was forgetting about.

However, careful with the "I have no rights" just because I'm not an American citizen. This is not correct. International Law and my own country laws can force USA representatives onto courts. Make no mistake, I have rights. What I don't have is the ability to demand the same rights as a USA citizen. Which is perfectly acceptable. However, quite frankly, I wouldn't even dream of that. My country laws are currently more respectful of civil liberties and my right to privacy.

Truth the matter is that I, a foreign citizen can't do a thing about it. I either accept it, or not travel there, or take the next flight home, or don't travel with a cellphone or a laptop. According to general international agreements, this only means sooner or later other countries will enforce similar rulings in the name of equality of treatment (there's an actual name for this which I can't remember). Curiously enough many countries constitutions specifically prohibit this. It will be interesting to see American citizens being the ones who will suffer the most about it, on their own borders and other international borders.

But... probably, as citizen (our citizen) mentioned, this will probably soon be revoked, stupid as it is. So it may no longer become a problem.

SlyMaelstrom
05-07-2008, 03:31 PM
I haven't had a problem, yet... and I've lived here my whole life. Sure, I've had situations where perhaps my privacy was unjustifiably invaded... however, it's never amounted to anything more than a hassle to me. If you had nothing to hide and you have no problem accepting that they are peeking into your privacy with only an objective mindset... then it never should be anything more than a hassle.

Secondly, I don't know the situation with Portugal... I was only there once when I was very little and don't remember much except a few landmarks... however, I have certainly had the same privacy invasions in England, Italy, Romania, Greece... none of which have amounted to anything more than a hassle for the same reasons that I stated above. This isn't an American concept and there is nothing non-democratic about the people and government being able to make interpretations about laws that were defined well before the issues of today could even be comprehended. People don't seem to remember that the founding fathers of my country were more hot-headed and blood-thirsty than most of the modern public... I don't know how we can take their laws to heart so exactly when we don't even really know how they would feel if they were around today.

abachler
05-07-2008, 03:47 PM
International Law and my own country laws can force USA representatives onto courts.

The international court doesnt have jurisdiction over the U.S., we opted out of that. One of the few things Dubya did that I agree with.

matsp
05-07-2008, 03:52 PM
Agreed, but it's not so much a matter of "Search EVERYONES laptop" as it is a matter that everyone is a potential victim of this. If you've been in an airport recently (in almost any modern country), you know that you may - at random - be pulled aside, questioned, and have you bag searched. I've had it happen to me twice since 2001 and nothing has come of it other than some wrinkled clothing.

As for the "Trade-Secrets"... that goes along the same lines of having perhaps nude photos of yourself or partner on your computer... you're supposed to accept that they will only be looking at your data objectively and not subjectively... they shouldn't be taking your ideas, they shouldn't be oggling pictures of your girlfriend, they shouldn't be doing anything of that sort... couldn't say that they wouldn't do this. However if they did, you would certainly have a case against them. I know there are some doctors out there that have touched my partner's body in ways that I normally wouldn't approve, however, I'm not about to break into their offices and sock them for it... it's because I trust that they're being professional about it. So maybe the real issue here is how qualified and mature our border officials can be.

But I am working on code that the source code is restricted even within the company I'm working in - so I can't just grab any of my collegues and get him/her to look at some code that I'm working on, but rather that I need to ensure that the person has "right" to see the code. I am, however, allowed to take my laptop on a trip, should I need to.

And I beat you on the "random search" thingy. I've been to the US about 5 times since 2001 when they introduced the stricter random search - and I have been let out again ONCE without being searched. It may be because I'm a citizen of Sweden, but I live in the UK, so that triggers some "must be suspect" switch in the system. On one trip I got searched BOTH when I left Austin and Houston on the same trip back to the UK...

--
Mats

Mario F.
05-07-2008, 03:57 PM
Hmm... I'm pretty sure you weren't asked to turn your laptop on and its contents were inspected. This is not the same as looking in your suitcase, Sly. I don't know how exactly to explain it. But it just isn't the same.

I don't want my family pictures, my vacation in Mongolia pictures, my emails, my work files, my porn, my personal notes, my game habits, my computer usage habits, etc. etc. inspected without some real reason behind it. My right to privacy is not a crime. I have the right to privacy.

Even if I don't have anything to hide, I have the right to not give away my personal life details. The fact my laptop or my cellphone can be searched or confiscated without an explanation or reason behind is an attack on my rights. And it can quickly degenerate into an attack at my company rights, or the rights of anyone in one of the emails, pictures or notes in my laptop, or on my cellphone.

EDIT:
>> The international court doesnt have jurisdiction over the U.S., we opted out of that. One of the few things Dubya did that I agree with.

I said laws. Not court. International laws and trade agreements and other similar agreements that may put this ruling in the limelight if trade secrets and other business relationships are put at risk.

As for the international court, I'm not going to even discuss what I think of what you think of it. We would get into an argument. Forget it.

abachler
05-07-2008, 03:59 PM
Well the simple answer is to encrypt your data and keep the key seperate. Its unlikely they even look at 1% of what the copy.

As for yrou rights Mario, I sympathize, but the fact is when requesting entry into a foreign country, you either have to play ball or go home. Sure, you can refuse to submit to the search, but they can just refuse to let you in. And most of the time even under international law, you do not have the rigth to refuse a search in an airport. When travellign by air, you do NOT have the reasonable expectation of privacy.

Daved
05-07-2008, 04:05 PM
Thousands of laptops and other devices are carried across the border every day without being searched. This will not affect 99% of the population (I made up that number). As the wired.com blog stated, the ruling is just an extension of the existing ruling that your vehicle can be searched without cause when you enter the country. There isn't a whole lot of new worries here.

brewbuck
05-07-2008, 04:05 PM
I don't want my family pictures, my vacation in Mongolia pictures, my emails, my work files, my porn, my personal notes, my game habits, my computer usage habits, etc. etc. inspected without some real reason behind it. My right to privacy is not a crime. I have the right to privacy.

I might be paraphrasing somebody, but you really only have those rights you are willing to kill for. Otherwise they will walk all over you.

matsp
05-07-2008, 04:06 PM
Well the simple answer is to encrypt your data and keep the key seperate. Its unlikely they even look at 1% of what the copy,

But if that is the way to circumvent the rules, why don't the criminals/terrorists use this method anyways?

I know that refusing to give your name (and provide some form of verification) to the police here in the UK, even if you are legitimately going about your business [although they do have to suspect you are doing something illegal in some way - e.g driving without insurance for example], will make them take you to jail until they can verify your identity. This is, supposedly, so that criminals can't just say "Won't tell you" when the police asks who they are when they suspect they are someone they should arrest (e.g. wanted for a crime).

--
Mats

SlyMaelstrom
05-07-2008, 05:37 PM
I don't want my family pictures, my vacation in Mongolia pictures, my emails, my work files, my porn, my personal notes, my game habits, my computer usage habits, etc. etc. inspected without some real reason behind it. My right to privacy is not a crime. I have the right to privacy.

Even if I don't have anything to hide, I have the right to not give away my personal life details. The fact my laptop or my cellphone can be searched or confiscated without an explanation or reason behind is an attack on my rights. And it can quickly degenerate into an attack at my company rights, or the rights of anyone in one of the emails, pictures or notes in my laptop, or on my cellphone.Like I said... you just have to understand that they're looking at it objectively, not subjectively. I can understand your immediate embarrassment if an airport official were to glaze over your hard drive and see what adult sites you've been to... maybe you feel as though some a very perverse... but honestly, does it mean anything in the long run? Do you think you have anything on your laptop that they haven't seen hundreds of times? Do you think there is any difference between your family pictures and the family pictures of the guy in line behind you? Are you the only one on the airplane that has a heavy interest in video games? Hell... I bet there isn't a personal note on your laptop that isn't being written or thought of by someone right this moment.

The fact is... like all of us, you are probably more average than you realize... and the person who inspects your computer is not going to remember a thing s/he saw on it a half hour after you board the airplane or step foot in the country. I don't know... maybe any initial embarrassment lingers around for a longer time in you than it does in me... but if there is one thing I've realize on this earth, it's that even though no innocent person is absolutely safe from incorrect accusation from the law, as long as I know I've done nothing wrong, there are certainly too many higher risk things out there that I would rather spend my time worrying about.

That said, I have no respect for this law because it does nothing to add security to me, as a citizen, and it will surely cost me tax dollars when they realize they need better staffing and equipment to run this procedure. This is so unbelievably easy to circumvent, that it's absurd to me to think that a bunch of grown men, no matter how computer illiterate they are, sat in a room and decided that this would help keep people safe.

zacs7
05-07-2008, 06:49 PM
I always get pulled over at airports, usually because I'm going shooting and customs get very uptight about that. For example, my last trip -- we'd already checked in our luggage and had 8 hours to kill in the airport (don't ask why :)). So we walked round with our little cammo day bag, at every customs gate we were frisked and swobbed for explosives (only the person who was wearing the cammo backpack, we changed a few times).

Don't ask what this has to do with anything :)

Mario F.
05-07-2008, 08:06 PM
My funniest moment was in Toronto some 6 years ago. My luggage had been lost and had already filled the report. Was walking the green line when someone asked me to move to the red. My backapck was inspected and it had a pair of shoes, some dirty socks in a bag, a packet of chips and my sandshoes.

They never asked one question. Would just walk away, someone looking at me from around the corner, coming around, looking at the contents, talking between themselves, looking at my passport, moving out again... after around 30 minutes of awkwardness someone finally points out "is this all you bring into Canada?".... bemused, I shown them my lost luggage slip.

abachler
05-07-2008, 09:05 PM
But if that is the way to circumvent the rules, why don't the criminals/terrorists use this method anyways?



Because using encryption is a PITA, and human nature is to believe you wont get caught (if you thougth you would get caught you wouldnt do it unless you were also insane). Imagine having to decrypt your files use ti then encrypt it again every time you wanted to add somethign to your list. Thats why they had to make the STU-III block voice data while it sync'd, because even though people were trained to know not to discuss classified material in that time period, they still did.

matsp
05-08-2008, 02:25 AM
Because using encryption is a PITA, and human nature is to believe you wont get caught (if you thougth you would get caught you wouldnt do it unless you were also insane). Imagine having to decrypt your files use ti then encrypt it again every time you wanted to add somethign to your list. Thats why they had to make the STU-III block voice data while it sync'd, because even though people were trained to know not to discuss classified material in that time period, they still did.

PGP-disks or other "encrypt the whole system" is very easy to use. All our laptop users have PGP-disks on their machines.

--
Mats

maxorator
05-08-2008, 06:16 AM
Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.

While you are standing in Customs you are not technically within the United States, and as a non-citizen you don't have any "rights" anyway -- convenient huh?
Weird. In Estonia, non-citizens have rights too. As in Free Land it is meant that you're free from any rights?

SlyMaelstrom
05-08-2008, 06:52 AM
Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.

Weird. In Estonia, non-citizens have rights too. As in Free Land it is meant that you're free from any rights?Yep... it's like a jail. I feel so imprisoned, right now... please help me!

The US grants as many rights to non-citizens as I'm sure Estonia does, if not much more... it's the fact that your rights don't fall under the US constitution that was being questioned. The United States, like any other country, grant specific rights (and laws) to non-residents upon arrival to the country. They are not always exactly the same rights that citizens have. It's a simple concept and it works.

Honestly, I feel as though this post is getting very close to being another example for Godwin's law.

Mario F.
05-08-2008, 06:57 AM
It's just a few more months before this administration changes. Even if John McCain wins - which became a real possibility, after the democrats having spent the whole primaries making a fool of themselves - you won't have this nonsense.

There's too much at a stake; USA credibility and the image it projects to the world was seriously tarnished. Only American citizens not watching international channels can't see it happening. For the past 7 years, anti-americanism has risen to new unheard levels. Even usually influential and moderate opinion-makers and analysts in Europe and other parts of the world get lost in attacks on USA foreign and domestic policies. A little across the world people that first supported American war efforts now are some of their main critics; world leaders were forced to publicly apologize their citizens after Iraq, or agree their were lied to.

What scares me most however is that american citizens seem to be accepting small decrements on their civil liberties. Some 10 years ago, the uproar in America streets if something like this had been attempted would reach the other side of the globe. And yet, I've witnessed even here on this forums such things as "this won't affect everyone", or "It's like searching a suitcase". Coming from American citizens.

I understand no one here defended this ruling. But what I find scary is the apparent numbness about it. I don't want to draw unnecessary comparisons so I hope you understand the point, but the Jews persecution in Europe was only possible exactly because people were numb and didn't react when small signs started to show throughout the years. By the time the Jewish people were being sent to gas chambers, everyone was already seeing that as perfectly normal.

The ruling is clearly against the constitution of the United States of America. It is clearly an attack on the privacy of its citizens and anyone visiting. It won't solve anything because any terrorist capable of causing serious harm will not be carrying their plans on a laptop, and terrorists know of encryption too. Any child molester or organized crime member will know how to protect themselves. Instead, it's your personal feeling of privacy and your freedom that is put at stake, regardless of how objective the person searching my laptop is. I don't care how objective they are. I, an individual, me, a self-conscious person, am being stripped of my right to my privacy. And to this, we are saying ok.

medievalelks
05-08-2008, 07:21 AM
Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.


:rolleyes:

indigo0086
05-08-2008, 07:37 AM
I love a good glass of Hyperbole in the morning. I would think Maxorator, who has probably witnessed first hand heavy policing of the populus would not make such overreaching comparisons.

Even if the soviet union protected citizens' privacy, they'd probably imprison you if they publicly spoke about how they really felt about communism.

SlyMaelstrom
05-08-2008, 07:41 AM
If you understand that nobody has been in agreement with this particular ruling then why do you keep explaining why you disagree with it as you do in your last paragraph? The argument is almost ad nauseam at this point.

Now, from a law stand-point... references to the fourth amendment barely apply in this case as it falls under the accordance of the border search exception which places "reasonable suspicion" on the discretion of the individual. If you're got a complaint about anything, you could be complaining about that doctrine as it's been in place for quite a long time. (And in fact, the USA is not the only civil country to have adopted such a doctrine)

For many of us on this forum, a good part of our lives are on our computers... but if you start going around and asking people that don't use computers for too many things, I'm sure you might find that this ruling means very little to them. To your average person, there isn't much difference between the contents of their hard drive and the contents of their purse. In fact, for many, the contents of a purse can be significantly more private. So really, wouldn't you say that your belief that a hard drive is more personal than a suitcase is just a little self-regarding?

abachler
05-08-2008, 08:22 AM
PGP-disks or other "encrypt the whole system" is very easy to use. All our laptop users have PGP-disks on their machines.

--
Mats

Pretty Good Privacy, which means NSA can crack it with minimal effort. And most people keep their keys with them, which makes it even more trivial.

indigo0086
05-08-2008, 08:24 AM
I'm all about the Cesar Cipher.

Anyone trying to decode it gets a knife in the back

Mario F.
05-08-2008, 08:25 AM
If you understand that nobody has been in agreement with this particular ruling then why do you keep explaining why you disagree with it as you do in your last paragraph? The argument is almost ad nauseam at this point.

Because you keep insisting it's not that of a big deal... ad nauseam. I had hoped we wouldn't come to this type of bickering, Sly. It's been a nice discussion so far. Besides my last paragraph wraps up the previous reasoning. Something you didn't address.

I too am tired of reading about suitcases, cars and now purses. It's absolutely incredible the lenience on this issue and the weak comparisons that are being drawn. If this doesn't affect some, the fact is it can strongly affect others for no good reason other than a ruling that states one can inspect your privacy without reason. That is the issue.

I can agree to disagree however and its clear we will not change each other minds about this. I'm done.

maxorator
05-08-2008, 08:25 AM
I love a good glass of Hyperbole in the morning. I would think Maxorator, who has probably witnessed first hand heavy policing of the populus would not make such overreaching comparisons.

Even if the soviet union protected citizens' privacy, they'd probably imprison you if they publicly spoke about how they really felt about communism.
The reason why I mentioned this is because you people think Soviet Union's regulations were something far away, something that can never have anything in common with any democratic place on the earth. But frankly, it is not so. Comparing these things is to show which way we are moving. Yeah, you can probably never create a monster like that again, but it doesn't give you the reason to say something like "There's still room to make it worse without making it THAT bad, so let's do it!".

IMO, comparing these things is an easy way to see if something is very badly out of order. It gives you the scale, where SU or Nazis are the bottom of the scale. In these scales, I would assume people always want to climb up, instead of going lower and lower and saying "No worries! It's not on that bottom level yet."

I didn't compare them generally, I compared the aspect of privacy, and privacy ONLY. The fact that everything else was frighteningly evil in SU isn't related to my comparision.

Actually, I think this is one of the best paragraphs in this whole topic:

The ruling is clearly against the constitution of the United States of America. It is clearly an attack on the privacy of its citizens and anyone visiting. It won't solve anything because any terrorist capable of causing serious harm will not be carrying their plans on a laptop, and terrorists know of encryption too. Any child molester or organized crime member will know how to protect themselves. Instead, it's your personal feeling of privacy and your freedom that is put at stake, regardless of how objective the person searching my laptop is. I don't care how objective they are. I, an individual, me, a self-conscious person, am being stripped of my right to my privacy. And to this, we are saying ok.

SlyMaelstrom
05-08-2008, 08:45 AM
Because you keep insisting it's not that of a big deal... ad nauseam. I had hoped we wouldn't come to this type of bickering, Sly. It's been a nice discussion so far. Besides my last paragraph wraps up the previous reasoning. Something you didn't address.

I too am tired of reading about suitcases, cars and now purses. It's absolutely incredible the lenience on this issue and the weak comparisons that are being drawn. If this doesn't affect some, the fact is it can strongly affect others for no good reason other than a ruling that states one can inspect your privacy without reason. That is the issue.

I can agree to disagree however and its clear we will not change each other minds about this. I'm done.Why is it a bigger deal than searching a suitcase or purse? Honestly, no matter which country you come from, you can walk around a street and ask people "If you were to let a cop search the contents of your laptop harddrive or your purse/suitcase, which would you prefer they search?" I'm sure you would find more people would let them search their computer. I've already asked several people at home and in my office this question and I've yet to find a person that said they would prefer that they search their purse/suitcase. The fact is, unless you live a very digital lifestyle, a computer is no more personal to people than their luggage.

Let me give you an example... the last time I was searched in an airport, in my bag there was a novel and a sketch pad... the officer flipped through the pages of both of these books (presumably to see if I was hiding a weapon)... the sketch pad had things that are significantly more personal to me (and some embarrassing) than anything on my laptop. However, do you think I could go in front of a court and argue that the sketch pad is an extension of my mind or my home?

The only reason I've been so relaxed about this whole issue of my rights being violated in this case is because I don't feel that they're any more violated than they were when I was pulled aside and had my bags searched. That's my feeling about it... your feeling appears to be that your laptop is more private, and I could show you a dozen people around me that feel their bags are more private... so all opinions aside on what is private and what is not... why don't we talk about the real issue here? There is nothing serious to gain out of searching people's computers and it will never amount to anything more than a hassle for the innocent. The criminals will get around it so easily that it's not worth any amount of the time or money that it will eventually cost me. That's it... don't ask me to care more about the embarrassed person having all his porn sites viewed in front of him than I care about the person who has her sex toy turned on in front of them because it was sitting in their bag.

brewbuck
05-08-2008, 08:47 AM
Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.

Weird. In Estonia, non-citizens have rights too. As in Free Land it is meant that you're free from any rights?

The US makes a legal distinction between "human rights" and "Constitutional rights." The protection against search and seizure is a Constitutional right, so it only applies on U.S. soil and only to U.S. citizens.

maxorator
05-08-2008, 09:14 AM
The US makes a legal distinction between "human rights" and "Constitutional rights." The protection against search and seizure is a Constitutional right, so it only applies on U.S. soil and only to U.S. citizens.
Brewbuck, I have a feeling that you're not right about this. Even in Estonian constitution the same privacy rights are for both citizens and non-citizens. There are quite few things that apply only to citizens here: like the right for retirement pension, right to work in governmental institutions, may not be sent away from the country, rights to receive some kinds of information, right to be in parties. This is pretty much the whole list and I think in USA non-citizens have most of the constitutional rights too, as SlyMaelstrom said.

brewbuck
05-08-2008, 09:18 AM
Brewbuck, I have a feeling that you're not right about this. Even in Estonian constitution the same privacy rights are for both citizens and non-citizens. There are quite few things that apply only to citizens here: like the right for retirement pension, right to work in governmental institutions, may not be sent away from the country, rights to receive some kinds of information, right to be in parties. This is pretty much the whole list and I think in USA non-citizens have most of the constitutional rights too, as SlyMaelstrom said.

I'm not good at interpreting the Constitution. I'm just describing what is happening in practice. It could be that all persons, citizens or not, have the right to a speedy trial (6th Amendement), but that certainly does not mesh with what's happening in Guantanamo right now.

Whether there is an official distinction or not, there is a distinction in practice. And no, I don't support any of this garbage.

Mario F.
05-08-2008, 09:47 AM
why don't we talk about the real issue here? There is nothing serious to gain out of searching people's computers and it will never amount to anything more than a hassle for the innocent. The criminals will get around it so easily that it's not worth any amount of the time or money that it will eventually cost me.

Well, that's part of the irony. You see, if we could put privacy issues aside, I would find this a very good ruling. No matter the cost/benefit ratio. Let me explain.

Because the ruling doesn't impose limitations on who, why or what, you can correctly argue this serves little purpose and imposes a cost that won't justify what little gains one can get. Who is going to get caught? Any criminal falling in the idiot, dumb, or distracted categories. But what is important here is that, It is left to the officer the decision of who they will search, why they will search and what they will search. Ultimately, and despite believing they will be developing their own internal rules around this, this is an effective measure. The traditional random search cannot apply here since this is a lengthy process; my laptop takes 3 minutes to fully start and be ready. My hard drive is slow and it won't operate without being connected to an AC socket (of which I don't have an adapter for the US system). But what can apply is a "nose search" (the name exists here. Don't know what you call it over there).

As such, I cannot see this happening in a mass scale. They will be selective and only through tipping or reasonable suspicion will indeed most of the people get searched, bettering that cost/benefit ration somewhat (at least lower the cost).

matsp
05-08-2008, 09:52 AM
As such, I cannot see this happening in a mass scale. They will be selective and only through tipping or reasonable suspicion will indeed most of the people get searched, bettering that cost/benefit ration somewhat (at least lower the cost).

You mean just like they don't search EVERYONE's suitcase, purse, handbag, rucksack or whatever when you are about to board the plane. Instead, they pick a criteria/profile of who to search (single travellers, travelling to/from country different from their citizen-ship, wearing sandals, beardy, long hair, young, or whatever the formula states, and perhaps also select someone "looking suspicious" on random).

--
Mats

Mario F.
05-08-2008, 09:54 AM
Even more selective than that perhaps. Since searching a purse takes the better of 2 minutes. A laptop will take maybe 15.

matsp
05-08-2008, 09:56 AM
Even more selective than that perhaps. Since searching a purse takes the better of 2 minutes. A laptop will take maybe 15.

Sure, I didn't mean that the frequency would be the same, but along the same principles (not necessarily the SAME criteria either).

--
Mats