Civil Rights Groups Hold U.S. Government's Feet to the Fire over Seized Laptops

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Magius

The issue to me is how unreasonable some of the searches have turned out to be and how much power these officers have over said materials. This applies to us all, not just foreigners entering/exiting our borders.

For example, there have been several cases where instead of a simple search the item to be searched is seized. Laptops, celphones, etc. are taken away and not returned for months on end. If you are on a business trip imagine the ramifications. Your whole lifelihood depends on the contents of your laptop/phone.

 Take it another step further, you are traveling with your company's latest gadget prototype... it get seized. You were on your way to show it off to prospect customers or your bosses at the main office. What do you do now?

And even if luck is on your side and the seized item is returned in time to complete your trip. What checks are in place in order to protect the information looked at by the border police? What safeguards are in place to keep corrupt officials from selling/leaking information gathered in said searches?

So where do we drawn the line. If these searches are justified, do we expand upon them? Do we start picking people at random for a polygraph test? Keep them for a few hours to make sure...

It doesn't matter if we mess up or screw other people's lives as long as we feel "safe", right... Come on, there has to be a better way.

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Phosphorous

If you are crossing the border, you are probably not a legal US Citizen, therefore the 4th Amendment does not apply to those morons. 

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nekollx

 Right cause US Citizens NEVER, EVER, EVER traval abroad...ever.

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Caboose

Hey genius, if you are a citizen of country X, and you leave your country to visit country y, then return to your country of origin, you are, crossing the border. You would, in fact, have to cross 2 borders, twice each. Once to leave your country of origin, once to enter your country of visit, once to leave your country of visit, and finally once to enter your country of origin.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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Phosphorous

I love these comments sections.  You can spool people up SO easily.  Sorry guys, guess I'll have to put my **SARCASM** tags up for you next time.

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nekollx

 You mean you actually leave the country? What are you...a Terrorist?

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Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Phosphorous

Actually was in the military, spent 2 deployments in the Persian Gulf and have flown around the world twice.  Have you left Mommie's basement?

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nekollx

 no, but then again grandmommy lives in Brazil....

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Phosphorous

Brazil's a beautiful place....you should visit her sometime.

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nekollx

 i have, once or twice....

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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DOAcepr

There isn't a country in the world that doesn't retain the right to search people and things entering its borders.  The law the USG uses to conduct the searches stems from the 1790s, and has been reiterated by the Supreme Court every time it's been challenged.  As a US Citizen you have a right to not be searched while entering at the border.  You can exercise this right by NOT traveling internationally!  It would be very bad for the security of our nation to allow people unfettered entry to this country.

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Lost_Intelligence

For some, avoiding international travel is not an option.

For example, many business require employees to go on international business trips and this is one of the issues with the practice.  Business laptops often have valuable and confidential information necessary for the corporation.

Military service members have absolutely no choice in international travel.  These are the very same individuals who are fighting for those rights to be upheld.

While the fact that if you have nothing to hide you should have no issue with these searches, there are things (pictures, letters, etc.) that many people would like to keep private.  These very letters and pictures may not be in violation of the law but at the same time may not be something you want shared.

Again, the reasoning avoid travelling internationally is not a valid way to support the argument.

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DOAcepr

I agree that not traveling internationally is not a great option, yet it is still an option.  We are all accountable for the choices we make.  In the case of the business traveler you have an option, submit to the border search (if required) or don’t travel.  If the potential border search bothers you that much, find a job that doesn’t require international travel.  In the military instance, you made your choice simply by joining.  For every choice you or I make, there is a consequence (good or bad).  My statement to avoid international travel was not a supporting the argument, it was simply pointing out that we are all personally accountable for the choices we make.  In this instance, though not great, an option would be to not travel internationally.     

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nekollx

 you just don't get it do you.

Companies are not insular or confined to one border. What your implying is that multi national companies simple stop traveling, simply stop brining confidential material with them. What your asking is for the economy to stand still for security. 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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DOAcepr

It doesn't matter what I get and what I don't.  The issue is border searches.  If you cross the border you can be searched, it's the law.  It's been the law in some form or another since the 1790's.  AND since that time businesses and corporations have been crossing that border without the economy coming to a standstill.  ENTER the rise of the US as an economic super power.  There are procedures and protections in place to protect the confidentiality of anything searched or seized.  Obviously those protections work to a large extent because it's only the ACLU who's worked up and not corporate America.      

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nekollx

 "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-Benjamin Franklin

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Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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DOAcepr

AND believe in it whole heartedly. Unfortunately, to use it in this argument is not true to the author as it was the founders that authorized the Act of August 4, 1790 law. http://washingtonpost.findlaw.com/supreme_court/briefs/02-1794/02-1794.mer.pet.rep.html

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ddimick

There's this thing called the Fourth Amendment. You should read it, because based on your comment I'm pretty sure you never have.

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hyphend

You may want to try taking a look at that yourself.  I like the part about the "Border search exception" myself.  This has been upheld by United States v. Montoya de Hernandez, United States v. Arnold and others. 

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big_montana

You may want to re-read the 4th amendment yourself. Montoya v Hernandez only pertains to how long a person may be held before it bewcomes 'unreasonable'. Has nothing to do with unreasonable  search and seizures. Which by the way, the 4th could be applied to the TSA new airport security rules, as they are unreasonalbe searches and seizures of my person, they are assuming your guilt before a crime is committed and searching everyone before boarding.

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hyphend

Seizures as described in the 4th includes the seisure of a person, as in being detained, arrested or held, not just of property.  This is just an example of the 4th not applying at points of entry.  Montoya also claimed that the length of detention was due to evidence descovered from an unreasonable strip search (Judge thought it was reasonable).

Basically it is a loop hole that the gov can use to do whatever it likes at the border as long as it claims public safty as the reason.

Your right though on the TSA's new rules.  They probably have another loop hole for that one.  Public safty or something.

By the way, I don't like the fact that they can do this anymore then anyone else. 

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nekollx

 personally i'm waiting for the day the TSA seizes some corporate prototype, and details get out weeks before the unveiling and said CEO sues the pants off the TSA...it's only a matter of time really.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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