June 26, 2008 6:54 AM PDT

Laptop searches in airports draw fire at Senate hearing

Advocates and legal experts say it's unreasonable for federal agents to search the laptops of U.S. citizens returning from travels abroad.

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In today's world where cellphones can carry gigabytes of data and surf websites, shouldn't homeland security then check EVERYBODY's personal electronic devices??? not just people from ethnic groups, but including Americans as well. The US has its share of homegrown terrorists anyway... now how'd you like to travel with security checks like that?
Posted by zorky9 (8 comments )
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What you are going to find is the federal government isn't even going to inform Congress of their activities, since they regard Congress as just another hostile terrorist cell.

The fed. needs to be reigned in, and pretty quick.
Posted by rdupuy11 (908 comments )
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@rdupuy11

Reigned in by who, I mean really it sounds like you are just unpatriotic, questioning the government. Perhaps you will require some retraining. hahahaha
Posted by pmfjoe (196 comments )
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I support this fully. Anyone should expect to be completely searched BEFORE they enter or reenter the country. That's the difference is the word BEFORE. If your "office" is in your laptop as the argument went then why not just have your "office" online and logon once you get wherever.
Posted by RTFM (148 comments )
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Completely asinine to think that this is a National Security issue. Do you think some "Spy" would have all their TOP SECRET crap on their laptop and not simply email/mail cd/transmit it over the internet back to home base? Of course, they do it all the time. Just look at all the data grabbed by the last node on a TOR network. Besides, anyone with sensitive information (businesses alike) would simply encrypt the hard drive in its entirety. This is a stupid argument meant to pacify the uneducated.
Posted by krosavcheg (262 comments )
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If you encrypt the hard drive (in its entirety or just selected folders/files) and refuse to give Border Patrol access to its contents, they'll assume that you're a criminal and confiscate your laptop. Last I heard, U.S. law wasn't based on "guilty until proven innocent". Welcome to the world of neo-facism....
Posted by Get_Bent (534 comments )
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I have no problem whatsoever with a full search of all electronic devices upon entering the US to include US citizens and non-citizens. The goods of terrorism are no longer "hard" like names on a piece of paper or items in a bag, instead it is the electronic informaiton that a terrorist carries such as names, places, dates, times, and lists of items - all with a goal of implementation once that person(s) is here on US soil.

No person doing commercial business should be carrying company confidential or proprietary information abroad and expect it not to be viewed, copied, or held in a government database upon re-entry into the US. If you can't accept that, then don't take it with you. Instead access that data electronically while you are outside the country.
Posted by mishmash0101 (191 comments )
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sadly, the truth is homeland security "targets" specific ethnic groups, be they US citizens or not.. and that is a form of discrimination isn't it?... why would these people be "randomly" selected because of their race?
Posted by zorky9 (8 comments )
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Whether the general population of the world likes it or not, there is currently a "war" on terrorism.

Who are those terrorists?

The FACT is, in the mind of extremist sects of Islam, they are not looking to bargain or to get attention in their attacks, but to either eliminate all non-Muslims. Elimination can be done by violence or conversion. The most extreme sects prefer violence.

Unfortunately, the majority of Arab and Persian nations are predominantly Muslim and therefore identifiable at the "checkpoints" of the war on terrorism. Those not involved in extremist acts should be reasonable enough to see that the protection of human lives can be costly in time and resources and that sometimes it can be their own, but it's better safe than sorry.

I'm sure that, if during WWII, the technology we have today was available then, NOBODY would have complained about overchecking Japanese entering the country because of their race and country of origin

The US has an absolute right to protect its people from dangerous outside elements. Bravo to their bravery in this delicate arena
Posted by flipper555 (2 comments )
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