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tighter rules for DHS border laptop searches?

September 17th, 2008

Ars Technica has an article about  Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s (D-CA) new bill designed to bring accountability to DHS border laptop searches. Currently, DHS can comphiscate any laptop it wants, for as long as it wants, for no particular reason. Its basically Russian Roulette with your laptop. From the article,

While such searches would not appear to be legal within the country, courts have long recognized the government’s right to “protect its territorial integrity” by controlling the material passing across its borders.

<seems awfully arrogant to me>

I was deeply concerned to learn about the lack of protections individuals’ have when their electronic equipment is randomly seized,” said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), who introduced the bill. “With the passage of the Border Search Accountability Act of 2008, Americans will be able to travel with more peace of mind knowing that their data will be further protected and that there are stringent accountability measures in place for safeguarding their personal information.

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who sees the foolishness of methodology. The sad part comes at the end of the article. The bill will most likely die because it is too close to the end of the congressional session. That means that you, the reader, must do your part and contact your representative. I have even foudn a link of all committee members. Make a difference.