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Thread: U.S. Border Laptop Searches - Constitutional

  1. #1
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    U.S. Border Laptop Searches - Constitutional

    Judge deems personal property is subject to geographical suspicionless searches by police.

    A US federal judge has reaffirmed an Obama administration policy granting officials the authority to search Americans' laptops, citing a controversial premise that makes citizens within 100 miles of the border eligible for a police check...

    ...The trouble is, the ACLU noted, that almost two-thirds of the population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US border. New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and dozens of other major metropolitan areas fall under the so-called “exemption” zone.

    The civil-liberties advocacy group filed suit in 2010 on behalf of Pascal Abidor, a 29-year-old Islamic Studies student whose laptop computer was held for 11 days when he was traveling by Amtrak rail from Canada to his parents' home in New York.

    Abidor was sitting in the train's cafe car when an officer forced him to take out his laptop then “ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,” the suit claimed. The computer contained images of Hamas and Hezbollah rallies and the agents, unmoved by Abidor's assertion the images were related to his studies, handcuffed the young man and kept him detained for three hours, questioning him numerous times.

    Department of Homeland Security data indicates that 6,500 people had their devices search between 2008 and 2010 alone.

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    Two solutions come to mind.

    Full Disk Encryption https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_disk_encryption The idea is to make access to expensive to FedGov to permit their cursory snooping.

    Swapping HDD in a laptop is trivial. I am using my FDE Fedora OS HDD ATM. For troubleshooting I have a Windoze OS HDD that is more familiar to ""technicians"" like recently when my LCD backlight failed and I got a second opinion.

    Post your high value HDD and carry your Sponge Bob Square Pants for the FedGov to review.
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    10,000 pics of Rose O'Donnell nude ... they'll go blind !

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    As a nation this is our fault for trusting government in exchange for supposed security. If enough people started making demands that the tide be turned the tide would be turned.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
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    Place sensitive or poltically incorrect information into an encryption container which is secured by some of the most advanced mathematical algorithms today (AES 256 encryption). Even if they find the container, they probably won't know what it is, let alone know how to unlock it. I use TrueCrypt and a kind of two factor authentication to even open the container. I place a key (password) that I don't know by memory onto an external storage media and leave the media in a safe when I travel. So even if all of my other rights were violated and if for some reason gave them up and they knew what it was - I couldn't open it cause I don't know the password nor would I have the medium to open it.

    But to keep things simple - ask for a lawyer and keep your mouth shut.

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    How much more loudly can I/we demand? The world ignored the Buddhist Monks self-immo

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I will found out more information on where this stands in Wisconsin and report back.

    XXXXXXXXXXX
    YYYYYYYY for Senator Lasee
    ZZZZZZZZZZZ

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Nightmare
    Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014
    To: Sen.Lasee; Rep.Bies; Bruce, Cory; Sivret, Tyler; Vander Leest, John; Kovach, Robert
    Subject: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

    Please ensure that any relationship between Wisconsin and subject PIRE is severed with great prejudice.

    The USA Today article

    "The NHTSA has conducted the surveys for more than 40 years, in cities across the USA and usually at roughly 10-year intervals. In many cases, off-duty, uniformed police officers randomly wave motorists over; they are then asked by workers for subcontractor Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation if they will participate in the voluntary survey."

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...iving/4265633/

    The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation web site

    http://www.pire.org/index.asp

    Their list of sponsoring state and local agencies includes

    Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    http://www.pire.org/sponsors.asp?cms=96&id=135#bot
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    If the search is predicated on not allowing a traveler to proceed; (since we haven't heard the authorities just rolling up on someone having a burger at the local Gulp'n'Choke) I wonder what the reaction would be if someone said, "No thanks, I'll just turn around and go back where I came from"?

    If you suspected you were to encounter this situation while traveling, you could always have someone type in a password unknown to you, and have them give you the password upon safely reaching your destination.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-07-2014 at 05:44 PM.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    It would appear that in Outlook you have the option to "Do Not Deliver Before Date, 00:00" and to not save a sent message in your Outbox. (EDIT: it still showed up in Outbox, so we'll see)
    I've just sent a message to be delivered "Not Before 7pm" (it's just before 6, locally), so we'll see how that turns out. There is no copy of the message in my Outbox.

    If one were to make a password of 32-someodd random characters and then copy/paste it would be hard to expect that those random characters had been somehow memorized.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 01-07-2014 at 06:30 PM.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Well, IMO trying to defeat the search is not the point. The point is the search is illegal.

    But the easiest way to defeat is to upload data to the cloud, and then completely wipe the drive while traveling. Personally I don't have anything for them to look at, so I would just sue them later.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
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    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    But the easiest way to defeat is to upload data to the cloud, and then completely wipe the drive while traveling.
    What is "the cloud" euphemism for, please? AWS.com - Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform for instance. Or G00gle's, all in the pay of NSA.

    You do not have sufficient computing power to do an effective wipe, six passes of random characters for instance, in practical time. I tried a military grade wipe of un-used space and gave up for too much time. IIRC Piriform.com CCleaner is well recommended.
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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Well, IMO trying to defeat the search is not the point. The point is the search is illegal.

    But the easiest way to defeat is to upload data to the cloud, and then completely wipe the drive while traveling. Personally I don't have anything for them to look at, so I would just sue them later.
    The Judge ruled it was legal. You called it illegal. Did you have a seperate judge, or legislature miracously make a law banning it? No? then it's considered legal until a judge or congressional body deems it otherwise.

    So, trying to defeat the search, would be illegal, since the point is the search is now legal.

    We don't have to like laws, in order to be law-abiding citizens, but if a federal judge declares something legal, or illegal, then it remains such on a general basis, no matter your personal opinion, and advocating, or making suggestions that defeat a now-decleared-legal-search, may be seen as advocating for the non-law-abiding, and against forum rules, because, you know, law-abiding citizens follow the law to a T, not find ways to skirt around it when it's inconvenient to us. Don't like the law or ruling, then get a lawyer and sue, or rally a legislative body.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    There is no way at this time to stop the government if you are on their watch list. But a simple random search could be defeated in this fashion. As far as the cloud anyone can setup a cloud on their own server. But we all know if it is on the internet, data transfer, the feds can find it.

    Then their is the mail service which the feds have control. A person could remove the drive and ship it to themselves, but again if you are on their watch list they will find it, and steal the data before sending it on it's way.

    The only true way is for the people to get tired of it in enough masses to change it.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrakeZ07 View Post
    The Judge ruled it was legal. You called it illegal. Did you have a seperate judge, or legislature miracously make a law banning it? No? then it's considered legal until a judge or congressional body deems it otherwise.

    So, trying to defeat the search, would be illegal, since the point is the search is now legal.

    We don't have to like laws, in order to be law-abiding citizens, but if a federal judge declares something legal, or illegal, then it remains such on a general basis, no matter your personal opinion, and advocating, or making suggestions that defeat a now-decleared-legal-search, may be seen as advocating for the non-law-abiding, and against forum rules, because, you know, law-abiding citizens follow the law to a T, not find ways to skirt around it when it's inconvenient to us. Don't like the law or ruling, then get a lawyer and sue, or rally a legislative body.
    Absolutely not, IMO. Protecting your files with disk encryption is NOT illegal AND IN FACT IS MANDATED VIA GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS IN MANY CASES. Unless it has changed in recent years, you generally cannot be compelled to give up the keys, either.

    Implementing encryption is generally a good thing to do, IMO. Even if you aren't worried about government snooping, it could save you some trouble if your computer/computing device was ever stolen by someone looking to steal identities, etc.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 01-07-2014 at 06:37 PM.
    Advocate freedom please

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I've got three terabytes of p̶r̶0̶n̶ bootlegged movies and years upon years of television. That's a little much to upload to a cloud server.

    As the Colonists did with the tax collector, you have to discourage people from doing bad things. I can't find tar and the only feathers I have are in my pillows.

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    Absolutely not, IMO. Protecting your files with disk encryption is NOT illegal AND IN FACT IS MANDATED VIA GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS IN MANY CASES. Unless it has changed in recent years, you generally cannot be compelled to give up the keys, either.

    Implementing encryption is generally a good thing to do, IMO. Even if you aren't worried about government snooping, it could save you some trouble if your computer/computing device was ever stolen by someone looking to steal identities, etc.
    Apparently it may depend. Here is an example case. Edit: Changed link to analysis of two cases by EFF https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/0...cryption-cases

    However, cryptography offers options. Plausible deniability can be created. With enough effort, you can be reasonably protected.

    Oh, and don't let your significant other know your passwords, apparently.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 01-07-2014 at 06:50 PM.
    Advocate freedom please

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    There is no way at this time to stop the government if you are on their watch list. But a simple random search could be defeated in this fashion. As far as the cloud anyone can setup a cloud on their own server. But we all know if it is on the internet, data transfer, the feds can find it.

    Then their is the mail service which the feds have control. A person could remove the drive and ship it to themselves, but again if you are on their watch list they will find it, and steal the data before sending it on it's way.

    The only true way is for the people to get tired of it in enough masses to change it.
    That reminds me of the recent news story about the alphabet agencies seizing electronics in transit and installing all sorts of literal spying software on them.

    I will have to link later, unless someone beats me to it.

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    So now " Border Exemption Zones" trump the United States Constitution?

    I suspect the Supreme Court to over rule Judge (tyrant) Korman on this matter..

    My .02

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    Apparently it may depend. Here is an example case. Edit: Changed link to analysis of two cases by EFF https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/0...cryption-cases

    However, cryptography offers options. Plausible deniability can be created. With enough effort, you can be reasonably protected.

    Oh, and don't let your significant other know your passwords, apparently.
    Thanks for the citation to EFF.org Stand-up folks

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Where's the "There's no Tyranny Cop"?

    See how the constitution failed to limit these tyrants.

    They can take their "no constitution zones" and shove it.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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