ACLU Sues US Over Border Laptop Searches



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Nothing more fustrating than dumb employees who can't cut it in real company taking (stealing) your stuff... get competent, courteous people who use their power sparringly and wisely. Currently they are very few and far inbetween.



I'm going to bring a copy of google's internet cache with me next time i'm going to mexico. Just fill a moving truck to the top with 2TB hard drives. Let them confiscate the drives and read every ****ing letter on the internet.



search & seizure without probable cause or court-issued warrant is unconstitutional within the sovereign borders of the USA or when our federal government is dealing with its citizens therefore Constitutionally this would only be an issue if done to USA citizens returning across the border with proof of citizenship (i.e. passport et al.)

privacy isn't mentioned once in the constitution or its amendments nor any of the primary documents upon which they were based & our country was founded but moving on from law & history lesson to logic & security . . . confidentiality must be maintained whenever possible whether network security to national security or personal security BUT confidentiality doesn't equate privacy . . . confidentiality is a component of privacy but not @ all the other way around . . . some security professionals (of the strategic or technical kind) would actually equate nonrepudiation aka "integrity of identity" as part of 'security' which flies in the face of this invented absolute thing we fling around today called 'privacy'

blanket regulations & blanket lawsuits are both laways bad, therefore I vehemently oppose the ACLU for the same reasons a lot of the posters here say they support it but I also oppose this policy too

we live in the space-time continuum so why do policy-makers & the general public always attempt unidimensional solutions to multidimensional issues!!??



One of Jack Strain's Deputies in St. Tammany Parish took my ipod touch from me last december saying sarcastically that he thought I might have been a terrorist in front of four other deputies who laughed along with him. I never got it back. It's pathetic. You like my laptop? You wanna search it for evidence of WTFE? What are you gonna do about it?



There is a very simple way to deal with it.  Follow these steps, and odds are you will (eventually) get your iPod back.

(1) Be unfailingly polite and act understanding, even if you don't feel that way.

(2) Give them your iPod/computer/whatever, after writing down the serial #.

(3) Say very politely the following: "I understand why you are taking my iPod.  Of course, I will need your name, rank, and ID number so that I can tell my company what happened to it."

(4) Take his/her name, ID number and rank, as well as the airport/port of entry, time and day where the confiscation happened.  If the officer asks 'why' simply tell him the iPod/computer/etc. belongs to your company, and you need to be able to report what happened to it.

(5) Send this specific information with a description of the events to:

  • The ACLU
  • Your local newspaper
  • The New York Times
  • The attorney general
  • The office of homeland security, marked as a complaint

Assuming your iPod wasn't filled with Kiddy-porn, you might even get it back, and the officer in question could possibly get a warning.

Never know, it might actually work.



Wow... ACLU finally got one right... guess the blind squirrel really does get a nut from time to time.




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To get big brother's 12 inch red white and blue d**k rammed up your a**? Thats how I feel about it.



I'm tired of how we allow our government to trample the constitution.  We shouldn't allow them to search a damn thing without documentable probable cause.



If the border agents weren't so busy looking at an innocent person's cell phone, they might notice the large group of mexicans running to Arizona, where they can no longer ID suspicous people, because Mexico said so.




Considering that I hardly ever agree with the ACLU, I'm definitely on their side this time. I don't think they should be able to just seize whatever piece of lust-worthy hardware that you have. If they want to hold and look at it, they're more than welcome to, but I'm not going to unencrypt my hard drive for them, and if they took my laptop without saying anything, I'd report it stolen and let LoJack lead the cops to the house of the jerk-off that took it from me. 



Quote : "  6600 travelers have had their electronic devices searched by border agents between October 2008 and June 2010.  "  Searched not seized . Honestly I don't have anything to hide so for me thats not a problem and  ACLU can kiss my ass. We have a Border Agents for a reason .  


PS. How the hell spammers can get trough this system.



The old adage of "I don't have anything to hide, so please go ahead and violate my privacy" doesn't fly. Keep using that excuse and in 5 years you may just have the distinct pleasure of a full anal cavity search every time you go to work. Yay for you, well done.  Thank you for giving away my rights.

Way to go, ACLU, seriously.  I don't believe anything coming in on a hard drive poses much of a threat to national security - especially not compared to nuclear material, nerve gas or biological weapons - where we should really be focusing our efforts; and if some data did pose a threat, some dumbass border guard who passed a high school equivalence test 2 weeks before he started his job sure as shit isn't gonna find it.  Those guys have trouble finding a hand grenade on an x-ray machine, for crying out loud.

This is just Big Brother, plain and simple.  Why would a 'terrorist' bring in mission-critical data on a hard drive when they can fucking encrypt it and email it?  It's not like they are going to find a map of Osama Bin Laden's hideout on some guy's laptop.

Rant over.



I totally agree with you on this.  I spent 12 years serving this country and the opening sentence of the Oath of Enlistment was "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".  Seems to me that the government has forgotten who they serve.  I'm not against legal searches (those done with a warrant or just cause, and carrying a laptop across the border doesn't give them just cause) but illegal searches (such as those that the ACLU are fighting) can not be tolerated.  I think it's high-time that the government start standing by the laws that this country was founded upon.  We need a new government if our current government can't get it through their thick heads that they server US not the other way around!



I love you in the most non-gay way possible.



Crossing the border, not getting on a plane.  I can remember having to turn on the laptop and let it boot up to prove it was a working laptop to board a plane, NEVER confiscate or copy data.  Sorry but not legal.  Even the ACLU got this one right.



The ACLU just wants to damage the movie industry.  I believe the government is only looking for more illegal copies of Hurt Locker:)



Well, the searching is bad enough, but search this subject even a little and you'll find all sorts of horror stories about devices being siezed indefinitely, and even of them being used by agents of the CBP either for work or for personal (not sure how substantiated the usage stuff is, but I'd buy it. the seizure is  matter of record though)

So glad that pesky little things like the bill of rights are still enforcible. Not just the 4th amendment protections, but the 14th's stuff about citizens rights in re: both illegal immigration (who is a citizen) and equal rights (gay marriage) but that's an entire nother can of worms. Least we can still carry our guns for the time being.



So, You was looking into makeing a B - MB with a cellphone or harddrive ?

Maybe the FBI should be talking to you



Are an idiot.



Use it.



Damn that pesky 4th Amendment.



The government should fear the people, not vice versa.  Over the years, the government has slowly been chipping away at our liberties.  How far have we strayed when the government can blatently shred the 4th amendment? The short answer is, they don't fear the apethetic electorate.  We the people need to get off our butts and vote the bums out-ALL OF THEM!  In my humble opinion, we need to flush the toilet that is Washington DC; and start over.  The melon smashing comic Gallagher said it best, "I don't want to overthrow the government, I want to fire them." 

I don't normally agree with the ACLU; but this time they are right on. 



if I had to travel outside the US I would buy a cheap disposable phone while away and remove the HD and send it UPS

basically I do not belive they should be allowed to search anything that could not possably damage the aircraft (or whatever means of transportation)

and the last time I looked no one can turn a regular cell phone or a hard drive into a bomb

and if you have data on a CD or in a thumb drive how do you blow up an airplane with those

now if they have a warrent and or a reason to suspect something very illegal is on there then yeas, but no warrent no probably cause to me it's only a few steps below rape, at least for a person like me who has been treated for paranoia before




A little bit of C4 or RDX just enough to fit in side of a cell phone, hard drive, camera, etc. May not be much but the amount of damage would be enough to punch a hole in most metals. So I can see why they want you to turn on your cell phone, laptop camera, etc. because of the ingenuity some people put in to making these explosive devices.

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