Bitcoin Developer Denied Entry to US by Confused Customs Agents

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livebriand

What would they do if you carry a laptop, they copy all the data off it, and then find the entire HDD was encrypted (or at least the files were encrypted, so they can only access the operating system), and you refuse to hand over the encryption key? idk... I took a laptop on a domestic flight once, and they didn't ask me to even take the laptop out of the sleeve. It so happens I had some pirated software, games, and music on there... and it's illegal to do that of course... hehe...

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Archtard

So while entering our country the government has the right to steal data from visitors if they are not carrying enough cash?

the UK boarder agents harassed me for not having enough cash on me because I only had 40 pounds and 600 Euro... on top of that I had already reserved a hotel room and plenty of money available on debit and credit cards. The only justification I could think of is that I would be an annoyance for a would be pickpocket because they would have to go to an exchange or try to use my credit cards.

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d3v

So how much money should he have had with him? Seriously, I am curious. 1000? 3000? how much?

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optionboy16

I see that people are saying "Credit Cards!", how can the customs agents verfiy his credit limit, or even his balance?  I drive from Seattle, Wa to Anchorage, Ak sometimes and the border guards in Canada always ask me "What's your NET balance of all your funds, not including credit cards?"  Seems pretty clear to me.

Two years ago, I went to visit family in Thailand.  I had TWO suitcases.  One for me, and one for Thai herbs and spices that my mother wanted when I returned.  My aunt basically had everything prepackaged when I got there.  I never even gave it a second thought.  When I got home, the customs agent asked me "Did you pack all your bags yourself?"  and I F*#ked up royally by saying "No."  I just spent two hours trying to get into MY OWN COUNTRY after a 10 hour flight, and when I finally did, I thought I was home free.  I wasn't thinking.  The Agent responded aggressivly and called for back up as I tried to explain to him it was my Aunt that packed my bags and it was for my mother.  He didn't seem very sympathetic.  Of course they opened it up and when through it all.  Every time he pulled some crazy herb or spice out (nothing that even resembled drugs, mind you) he asked "What's this?" and I always said "I have no freakin idea man, it's for my mom."  He then began to lecture me on how I'm a bad citizen, and how I need to be more aware, and why I shouldn't trust anyone, etc.  At this point, I was just about to say "Screw it, keep it all, I just want to go home."  It just so happens, the supervisor of the maintenance department saw me and came over.  It was a woman from Thailand that was my moms best friend and they went to temple (church) together.  She had worked at that airport for 20+ years.  She told them she knew me personally (true) and my mother, and preceded to explain what ever herb and spice I brought into the country was.  The custom agents took her word, and then preceded AGAIN to badger me about being a clueless citizen.  The point is, sometimes you need a janitor to do a Customs Agents job. 

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optionboy16

I see that people are saying "Credit Cards!", how can the custom agents verfiy his credit limit, or even his balance?  I drive from Seattle, Wa to Anchorage, Ak sometimes and the border guards in Canada always ask me "What's your NET balance of all your funds, not including credit cards?"  Seems pretty clear to me.

Two years ago, I went to visit family in Thailand.  I had TWO suitcases.  One for me, and one for Thai herbs and spices that my mother wanted when I returned.  My aunt basically had everything prepackaged when I got there.  I never even gave it a second thought.  When I got home, the customs agent asked me "Did you pack all your bags yourself?"  and I F*#ked up royally by saying "No."  I just spent two hours trying to get into MY OWN COUNTRY after a 10 hour flight, and when I finally did, I thought I was home free.  I wasn't thinking.  The Agent responded aggressivly and called for back up as I tried to explain to him it was my Aunt that backed my bags and it was for my mother.  He didn't seem very sympathetic.  Of course they opened it up and when through it all.  Every time he pulled some crazy herb or spice out (nothing that even resembled drugs, mind you) he asked "What's this?" and I always said "I have no freakin idea man, it's for my mom."  He then began to lecture me on how I'm a bad citizen, and how I need to be more aware, and why I shouldn't trust anyone, etc.  At this point, I was just about to say "Screw it, keep it all, I just want to go home."  It just so happens, the supervisor of the maintenance department saw me and came over.  It was a woman from Thailand that was my moms best friend and they went to temple (church) together.  She had worked at that airport for 20+ years.  She told them she knew me personally (true) and my mother, and preceded to explain what ever herb and spice I brought into the country was.  The custom agents took her word, and then preceded AGAIN to badger me about being a clueless citizen.  The point is, sometimes you need a janitor to do a Customs Agents job. 

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mcburrysheine

Jeez, they should have called an IT pro at least. It's embarassing (but understandable) that they have no idea of BitCoins and just because they haven't heard of it they decided to sent the guy home. -_-  http://fishercapitalmanagement-worldnews.com/ 

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AndySocial

I appreciate the fact that, since the area near any Customs agent is a Constitution-free zone, they went ahead and stole his data besides. Cuz, you know - that's completely without value.

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SkavenUk

I love how some of you guys are like " omg these custom officials, what a shit country we live in, yadda yadda". These guys were doing their job correctly. ANYONE that comes into the country that they believe cannot support themselves for whatever period of time they are staying will be refused entry. It's that simple. To say that they should of known what the hell bitcoin was is only lowering your own IQ. Bitcoin is not mainstream, it's not something the average joe on the street would know about. It's not some whole goverment conspiracy to protect the US treasury as they can't tax it - seriously, do you believe the loch ness monster exsists as well?

They would of taken credit cards (If he had any) into account as well as any paperwork he was carrying at the time, but the story is lacking on details so this is all just speculation.

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Ghok

This is true.

While I think the agents kind of made a mistake (because, well, this guy could support himself), denying people entry for reasons like this is the type of thing they do every day. I couldn't really expect them to know what BitCoin is. As a foreigner, it's also not uncommon to be treated poorly at the border, no matter what the situation. It's a little weird to see some of the outrage below when it's over something that's standard operating procedure.

 

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win7fanboi

I'd agree with you but then we would both be wrong.

 

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win7fanboi

Anyone seeing the irony here? He must be like f#@!$@!k, I thought I left China. We might as well call ourselves a dictatorship now. TSAsholes at the airport weren't enough that we have custom dipsh!t now?

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yu119995

Because when I travel to the US I bring wads of cash with me.  That's exactly what most travel guides would recommend.  Uneffingbelievable.

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ftldelay

Why would they even care how much money he had on him?  Most travelers don't carry a lot of cash around - they use credit cards!  He was probably on their "list" and looked for any reason they could muster to keep him out of the country...

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skirge01

And yet, the morons living in this country keep electing morons and allowing them to do whatever they please.  A wise man once said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Another smart (non-fictional) man said, "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither."

That said, this "doctor" was an idiot for not thinking about the implications of coming here with just $600 in cash.  I may not have ever been asked if I had enough money to stick around in a foreign country, but I've also never tried to stay for 2 months on a work visa!

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yu119995

Please look up    C R E D I T   C A R D S.

Effing clueless.

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skirge01

Really?  You're going to LIVE OFF credit cards for two months in a foreign country?  Ever even been to another country?  Between the exchange rates and currency exchange fees applied by the banks, you'd have to be an "effing" idiot to want to do that.  Then again, if you're filthy rich or intend to declare bankruptcy, those fees probably won't matter to you.  For the rest of the population, we realize how stupid such a notion sounds.

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szore

I boarded an American Ailines flight to New Zealand using ISK once.

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zeroibis

How could he not fund his stay logically he could just take money out of the bank while here. Also what if he was going camping, staying at a friends house ect. I have never been stopped by a foreign nation's border security on entry asking if I have enough money to be there.

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Biceps

Ok, I'm sorry, but I just don't get why anyone is surprised by this.  First of all, Bit Coin is a giant smack in the face of the US Gov't and our treasury.  They can't control it, or tax it, so of course they don't want to/won't recognize it as a valid form of currency.

Secondly, when was the last time you met a US Border Guard who actually used his head for something other than just holding his ears apart?  They hire them dumb on purpose - mean and dumb.  Really.

I'm not saying it is right, I'm just saying it isn't a surprise, and it was totally avoidable.  If this "Doctor" was smart enough to be a developer for Bit Coin, then he should have been smart enough to have enough money on him to support him during his stay.  You don't pull on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, and you don't mess with the US Border Patrol.  That's plain stupid.  Not a very smart doctor.

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yu119995

In the words of a one Ellen Ripley, "Did IQ's just drop sharply while I was away?"

It's almost a given that he had credit cards.

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Peanut Fox

Are you saying he did have them, or that you're pretty sure he did? 

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Unbelievable. More proof this fucking country sucks ass. Yellowstone needs to blow this shit off the face of the planet.

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SongEmu

Ugh... what f---ing morons... humanity needs a gene whereby ignorant people just leave well enough alone.

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