On the BBC, Tara McKelvey explains what happens if authorities seize your laptop. Reportedly, border officials can take your computer to be searched for "evidence of criminal activity, foreign intelligence links, or terrorist ties" without citing a legal reason.
"Searches of electronic media, permitted by law and carried out at borders and ports of entry, are vital to detecting information that pose serious harm," says a US Department of Homeland Security official.
Paul Rosenzweig, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a think-tank in Washington, says this should not be surprising.
"We haven't had any privacy crossing into the US since the country was founded," he says.
"If the CBP agent is having a bad day," he says, using an acronym for the US Customs and Border Protection, "they can empty your suitcase on the ground. It's kind of the foundation of how we protect the borders of America."
Suitcases, laptops, thumb drives, PDAs - all are subject to inspection.
|Quantum computer slips onto chips|
|Really boring books (You have to read anyway): Communist Manifesto|
|Why We Use [X] to Close Windows|
|Today is World Backup Day 2011|
|Happy Birthday: the Personal Computer Turns 30|
|“They're usually these people that have been fucked by the system who are trying to unfuck themselves.”|
|“Parti.Vote is designed to make the US's representative government system more equitable.”|
|A Bicycle with No Pedals You Run With|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“If the facial data and related personal information is stolen and put on the internet, it will cause big problems.”|
|“They don’t drive like people. They drive like robots.”|
|"Hours after the fires in Santa Rosa I filmed this postal worker still delivering the mail."|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|"It’s time for something so stupid it’s actually smart."|
|100 Things We Can Do Today to Stop Global Warming in the Next 30 Years|