Monday, August 04, 2008

Watch out filmmakers & journalists; federales may take your laptop at the border, without reason

(Though Federales has been historically a slang term for Mexican federal police, I am using it here to mean the US Federal gov.)

I think for indie filmmakers & journalists laptops are/can be a daily essential work tool; some filmmakers write their script, manage their shoots, and edit video on the same laptop. Thus, being without your laptop for even a day while on an oversees or across the border project can be a nightmare for an indie filmmaker. So, check this out; turns out the U.S. government can confiscate your laptop for an unspecified amount of time WITHOUT ANY SUSPICION OF WRONGDOING at the border. Check out the Washinton Post article:

"Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

Read more at the Post article.

And check out the Daily Kos post about this item.

Dude, I thought America was all about private property rights & viewing people as innocent until proven guilty; what happened?

- Sujewa

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