Skip to comments.Seizing Laptops and Cameras Without Cause
Posted on 06/28/2008 11:47:40 AM PDT by BGHater
Returning from a brief vacation to Germany in February, Bill Hogan was selected for additional screening by customs officials at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. Agents searched Hogan's luggage and then popped an unexpected question: Was he carrying any digital media cards or drives in his pockets? "Then they told me that they were impounding my laptop," says Hogan, a freelance investigative reporter whose recent stories have ranged from the origins of the Iraq war to the impact of money in presidential politics.
Shaken by the encounter, Hogan says he left the airport and examined his bags, finding that the agents had also removed and inspected the memory card from his digital camera. "It was fortunate that I didn't use that machine for work or I would have had to call up all my sources and tell them that the government had just seized their information," he said. When customs offered to return the machine nearly two weeks later, Hogan told them to ship it to his lawyer.
The extent of the program to confiscate electronics at customs points is unclear. A hearing Wednesday before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution hopes to learn more about the extent of the program and safeguards to traveler's privacy. Lawsuits have also been filed, challenging how the program selects travelers for inspection. Citing those lawsuits, Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, refuses to say exactly how common the practice is, how many computers, portable storage drives, and BlackBerries have been inspected and confiscated, or what happens to the devices once they are seized. Congressional investigators and plaintiffs involved in lawsuits believe that digital copies?so-called "mirror images" of drives?are sometimes made of materials after they are seized by customs.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I guess once they convince the public they no longer have any expectation of privacy or dignity with respect to their persons , it is deemed there are no limits as to how far they can go .
Encrypt and email data / documents generated while traveling before you come back. Then potential nightmares become just PITA.
Thank God they're addressing this, and not the trivial stuff like how the price of diesel and gasoline is going to torpedo the economy...
Since most so-called "reporters" are part of the enemy camp, or at least enablers, they need to be watched carefully. If he was doing hate Bush stuff he was probably on a watch list.
Company security, AND personal security, is a part of smart technology that is implemented ahead of time. IMO.
Plus, "the hassle" of having a security sign on (mine locks itself after 15 mins or non-use, being holstered or if I hit the lock button) on a PDA/Laptop is more important than ever.
Yeah, then your data resides on dozens of servers around the globe.
Seems like "freedom" is when you have nothing left to lose.
I await the lawsuit from AP/DCAA/WHOEVER over using words in a row.
This guy seems to work for the “Center for Public Integrity,” which investigates political fund raising.
I checked out what it said about the candidates and note that it rates McCain 2 out 7 and Obama 4 out of 7.
Well, they’re both crooks, no doubt, but Obama is a bigger fund-raising crook than McCain. He works with billionaire money-laundering crooks and the Chicago mob. So the bias seems pretty clear.
And an article in the online edition of "Mother Jones" magazine expands on all of .... Thank you very much, Bill Hogan with "Mother Jones" magazine -- we ...
Yep, he's one of "them"! Investigative reporter, my
The dirty secret and part of the reason the Left doesn't want phone taps for those communicating internationally with terrorists is that the Western media IS in communication with some of the so called "insurgent" terrorists.
Time Magazine had a reported embedded with them at the time of Saddam's capture. He went into terrorist seized cities as a guest.
Some in the media have chosen a side in this war and it is the opposition.
What part of the 4th Amendment enumeration of God-given rights do you object to?
Freedom can't be left unpunished.
Only the citizens who dare submit to the law are to be punished by it.
It does not pay to be an American these days. Foreign nationals have many more rights in our courts and Congress than the citizenry.
Amendments? Congress don't need no steenkin' Amendments...
“War on Terror” = War on 4th Amendment.
I’m sorry, the remains of the 4th Amendment.
But always within the bounds of the 4th Amendment.
You have never had a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' when going through customs.
Sounds like the 'reporter' wasn't smart enough to know that.
You're okay with this? Better hope they don't take your PC and cards when you return from a trip.
You have never had a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' when going through customs.
Since when? I'm a free citizen, single, and over 21.
I ALWAYS have 'a reasonable expectation of privacy' and if need be, a shotgun to back that up.
Call before you come over.
And I don't need to go to government to establish or support those rights. I have them. God gave them to me. They are mine.
And you can't take them. Neither can the government, local, state, or feral(speeling on purpose). All you can do is kill me.
Governments have powers. I have rights. I have delegated certain powers to government.
And they are WAY too large for their britches right about now.
“I ALWAYS have ‘a reasonable expectation of privacy’ and if need be, a shotgun to back that up.”
Um, no, you don’t, at least while going through customs. That’s why they cab xray and search your bags, strip search you, etc. This is old law, as old as the nation. Th point originally was to stop smugglers. After that, it was t keep harmful biologicals out of the country. Now it is also to keep terrorists and bombs out.
Go ahead and try to use you shotgun in a customs stop to “back that up,” and you’ll have a reasonable expectation to be shot and/or spend a LONG time in prison.
A customs stop is NOT your home.
And everything with me, came with me without inspection.
I don't need a passport. I'm not a non-combatant.
Silly fool. You’re on Free Republic. Where only the 2nd Amendment means what it says.
And mean enough to move the goats away from the yellowjackets they got into, tough enough to hand a nurse a glass of water as she goes into the delivery room, and bull-headed enough to argue for real Freedom on a public board.
If Hogan feels as though his property was wrongly confiscated, then why didn't he get the names of the TSA folks who took his stuff? Why didn't he request some paperwork from the area supervisor with a stamp or signature block?
Aren't most of the TSA agents required to wear nameplates/badge IDs in perfect view of the civilian population they serve? I also believe he could have requested a receipt or some sort of official documentation from them when they took his stuff away.
The idiots who wrote this trashpiece of an article make it seem like "the nameless faces of the TSA took all my stuff away and threatened my life, and scared me and blah blah blah blah blah."
The sad reality is that these losers are shameless in their deceptions and falisifications of reality.
Only a fool would read such garbage and believe it as the truth of the matter.
Do not expect a right to privacy at the border.
law says you don’t have one.
My guess is that they had good reason to suspect this media infiltrator of something, possibly turned up by FISA or surveillance. USNWR used to be a good magazine back in the 70s.
Reuters is the first organization to come to mind whenever I think of the media conspiring with the enemies of the United States and Israel.
Reuters officially published falsified photos in order to sway their audiences against the Israeli Defense Force.
You’re kidding, right? You believe that the only people entitled to constitutional protection are ones that agree with whatever administration is in power? Whew!
The law is an ass. I have the right AND THE POWER to cross borders without inspection. Thousands of illegals do it every day.
And without crossing borders I have right AND THE POWER to do certain things. If congress, assembled, can't figure it out. I'm willing to help. I am willing to exersize my power.
Because they don't have a frigging clue.
It’s spooky seeing how so many Freepers do not understand the concept of freedom, if it is a liberal’s freedom that is being infringed upon.
But as I constantly tell people, just wait until Hitlery or Obama are in office and it’s OUR laptops that are being seized, Freep’s servers that are shut down or our email, letters and packages searched because we are part of the vast army of freedom-loving dissenters that will arise when we start lookign like the quasi-police states of Europe.
Freedom is freedom, period, whether it’s our freedom or a liberal’s freedom...
Everything after that is in God's Hands.
But I am old and grumpy, and I WILL be free, regardless of the whiners.
Only thing they (or my kids) can do to shut me up is to shoot me.
True. And once they’ve got physical possession of your ‘puter and or media, there is no guarantee that things you’ve never even imagined won’t show up on them.
No facist government is above planting evidence.
No facist government is above installing spyware.
Met a fellow on a recent trip who had two laptops taken away when entering into South Africa. He doesn’t travel internationally with them any more.
I got flagged for an arbitrary search last fall. When I resisted a search of the company laptop I was advised they could take it away. They checked my digital camera too — nothing but a bunch of lousy tourist shots...
I don’t even want electronic krap on the plane with me and that includes everyone else’s. I still remember Pan Am 800. I travel LIGHT, carrying nothing. If you need it where you’re going ship it ahead. There is nothing more boring than sitting next to some clown with a laptop trying to pull up his porn collection. If there is an actual security concern why the bleep is the bozo carrying it thru public places anyway? If all of you would leave you’re gee-whiz gear home maybe we could all get thru an airport before the sun goes down? Every body who thinks he’s a big deal when he gets on a plane raise your hand-—and put your Gyrogearloose gear on the conveyor. I’m all for inspecting your electronic gizmos to the max and it doesn’t bother me if it takes a couple weeks for you to get them back. And that goes double for this whiner.
It’s the only way to be sure...
Crossing over an international border is a bizarre thing, legally, so you should take extra precautions.
In the “neutral zone” between countries, US law does NOT fully apply. For example, you can be detained, strip searched, held without probable cause, and your person and property can be violated to a considerable degree.
I fully agree that you should never transport unsecured computers or data devices across borders, and that you should use a very high grade of encryption that is of a different type for computer and data access. Importantly, you should *never* use your equipment or data in the customs area, or it can be snatched from you, evading your encryption.
Remember also that whatever you have is subject to the laws of *two* countries, not just one. This is especially important as far as images of restricted locations and persons (pictures of soldiers), public sites that *could* be terrorist targets, such as government buildings, airports, dams, and whatever.
One of the worst things to have pictures of are children, even in the most innocent and legitimate situations. This is a “high scrutiny” area for customs personnel, as well as things that *might* be related to terrorism, drug trafficking, money transfer and smuggling, and unknown animals and plants.
US Customs has an enormous book of prohibited animals and plants, so if you try carrying a native flower back with you, it could cost you hours of detention while its type is determined. Seaweed is one of the worst, and researchers spend a lot of time at the border.
If I ever traveled internationally, customs is welcome to copy all my vacation photos (typically 2-6 Gb) for a week or more trip. They just better not ever use the images for any purpose other than national security research!
Should this tolerated? I can't answer that. Should having to remove my shoes at the airport be tolerated? Same type question, same arguments pro and con. I choose my battles more carefully and with slghtly more even odds and resources.
I expect it will be a very short news item...
Well he'll be off the watch list in six months so the new Administration can amke room for you.
Don’t look for intellectual consistency. If this guy had been an NRA executive with a list of members on his hard-drive, they’d be going batshit over it.
I’m laughing AT you, not WITH you at this point. In the unlikely event you’ve ever been across an international border, it was probably on a military charter.
It's spooky how many FReepers don't understand international borders.
Here's something for all the militia types who've never actually read the document to ponder:
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect ... duties, imposts and excises ... but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States ... To regulate commerce with foreign nations"
Agreed. If you read it, you'll see that it is NOT good news for gun owners.
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