Customs Searches

There is an interesting article in my friend Lance Cottrell’s The Privacy Blog about an accused pederast’s fight not to reveal the password for his laptop’s hard drive.  I commend it to everyone.  But the lesson to be learned is that, if you are trying to protect your own information, you should a) encrypt, b) not use overly explicit identifying names for your files, and c) be aware that when you cross the border between the US and anywhere else, the ICE have unfettered rights to inspect and copy your electronic data.  Those of us who deal with sensitive material, should take all appropriate steps to safeguard it.  The problem is that what you can do to prevent ICE from seizing and copying your data is far from clear.  I expect the law to eventually clarify things but right now when you cross the border you are risking everything.

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