Beware of the Borders

by angryhippie

So after reading a particularly enraging and frightening article on Bob Torres’ blog, and not really seeing the story cropping up anywhere else, I thought I’d post about it here to offer another word of warning to some of the folks who may still have missed this story. Apparently, United States law enforcement have been granted the right to confiscate your laptop (or any other means of digital or analog information storage) for an unspecified amount of time without warrant or cause! That’s right! I know it may seem unconstitutional…mainly because, well, it directly violates a person’s 4th Amendment Constitutional rights…but that’s neither here, nor there…okay, so it’s directly here.

So at the borders to America, if you are anyone who tends to live your life vicariously through your laptop (and especially if you live, say, dangerously without a back-up) then you may want to rethink bringing your computer with you at all. If you are like me, you are distrusting of anyone handling your most precious equipment and data, other than yourself. So the idea of letting some complete stranger (who may be frustrated with the number of bullshit search and seizures they’ve had to pull that day), savagely sort and sift through my meticulously, unorganized stuff doesn’t sit right with me.

Perhaps you’re thinking that I’m just being reactionary, and I’ll be the first to admit, I do get that way when my government acts to undermine the laws that protect the private citizens of this nation (yeah, I know, I’ve been angry quite a bit lately.). So you’re probably right. I am being reactionary. I’m sorry, but since safety can’t ever be fully guaranteed, I’m not willing to compromise freedom for nonsensical bullshit posturing. I don’t care how you dress it up and how frequently you try to force feed it to me.

Perhaps, since they are targeting our borders, they are hoping to impose these kinds unconstitutional laws on those who aren’t citizens of the United States, so technically, they aren’t governed or covered under those civil liberties. I know it’s hard to imagine our government trying to dance around a technicality like that with the laws that we are governed by…well, hard to imagine, unless you are currently being held by the United States Government in foreign countries that allow for operation outside those laws…I’m sure they have a pretty good idea about it.

I don’t understand the threat that they are trying to prevent either. It seems the only target here could only be information. Which, given the recent strides our government has been making lately to control not only the flow of information, but the content as well, I guess outside contradictory information coming into the country and mixing with ours could upset the status quo….of course, that would require people paying attention. Removing their heads from their asses and actually looking at the state of the world around them, not just the latest coat of bullshit that’s been thrown up over it today.

Kind of got off on a tirade their, but the substance is the still the same. Those who wish to keep their laptops, hard drives, flash drives, cellphones, iPods, pagers, beepers, video and audio tapes, all papers and other written documentation including books, pamphlets and ‘written materials commonly referred to as ‘pocket trash’ or ‘pocket litter’’, out of law enforcement’s hands and in your own, guaranteed, then leave all that stuff at home. At least it’s somewhat safer there.