Airports Being Able to Seize Laptops Without Suspicion Confirmed

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by dw426, Aug 1, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543
    I wasn't sure if this has been posted yet, I just found it in today's news. It seems this has been an ongoing thing, but under pressure from civil liberties groups, it was confirmed by the Dept. of Homeland Security. From the article: "The policies require federal agents to take measures to protect business information and attorney-client privileged material. They stipulate that any copies of the data must be destroyed when a review is completed and no probable cause exists to keep the information."....yeah, we'll see about that.

    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/149256/airport_security_can_seize_your_laptop.html
     
  2. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Posts:
    989
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    I saw an earlier report of this that seemed to be saying that this was primarily directed towards governmental pro-business enforcement of the RIAA-style anti file sharing tactics and was being called an anti terrorist action because that and kids safety just seem to slide under the radar.
     
  3. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Posts:
    1,579
    Location:
    Nation's Capital
    With so much bad publicity generated from stolen laptops and personal information that was exposed to the general public, the expected clampdown is expected.
     
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,980
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    So... I come across the border and my laptop is confiscated. Suppose that I have LoJack® for Laptops Premium edition and upon returning home, I call them up... say that my laptop just went missing in Mexico (a stretch but not that far)... I tried to get a Police Report from them but the characters I met looked rough and I was afraid for my life... that I'm really scared that my private data is going to fall prey to drug lords and that immediately request them to perform their Data Delete service.

    According to their site, "If your computer is not recovered or a Data Delete service cannot be performed, you could be eligible for Absolute’s Service Guarantee of up to $1000." What happens then?
     
  5. Fontaine

    Fontaine Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Posts:
    245
    probably charges of fraud...but hey, i'd be interested to see the outcome if you give it a shot. :p
     
  6. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Oz
    I wonder what they would say if you had a truecrypt folder on your laptop?
     
  7. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543
    It would possibly bring more scrutiny upon you, unless you were or gave them reason enough to believe a businessman with encrypted company documents and not just personal files. Even then it's no guarantee they won't try to get you to un-encrypt the files for them to take a quick look at. I don't know yet, I mean, there are probably going to be numerous factors that determine if and when the computer gets taken aside for a look, what gets looked at, and all that. I'm sure it will even vary by individual agent and not just circumstance. Some agents will no doubt be more thorough than others, just like us "normal" folks, the feds have their own share of lazy people and people prone to mistakes.
     
  8. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Posts:
    1,420
    Location:
    Europe
    'Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism, corporativism, militarism, authoritarianism, statism, dictatorship, populism, collectivism and economic planning. In addition, Fascism opposes classic political and economic liberalism, and communism. Furthermore, fascist regimes subordinate free enterprise to perceived national interests.'

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism
     
  9. Justin Troutman

    Justin Troutman Cryptography Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Posts:
    226
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA / Minas Gerais, BR
    From Digg.

    This topic came up on Digg, where I posted the following:

    "Cryptography is the solution." "Cryptography is not the solution." I continuously read posts along these lines. Both can be correct, depending on what the underlying problem is. If the problem is keeping your laptop from being taken, or getting it back after it has been taken, then cryptography is irrelevant; it's not the solution. If the problem is preserving the confidentiality and integrity of data on your laptop, should it be taken, then cryptography is relevant; it is the solution. The lost, stolen, or seized laptop threat model is quite valid and one that cryptography can be tailored to cater to. Vista's BitLocker is a good example of this.

    As a cryptographer, I say, "Go for it. Use cryptography." However, most folks forget that there's something they should do before cryptography comes into play; that is, the minimization of what you're toting on your laptop. You hear about these incidents where a laptop will turn up missing, leaking thousands upon thousands of records. Oftentimes, no cryptographic mechanisms were in place to preserve the confidentiality and integrity of these records, in the event that they were leaked. Was it necessary to carry around all of these records? More than likely not.

    The lesson is, if there's something you'd rather keep private, and you can get by comfortably without it traveling with you on your mobile device of choice, then do so. If you need it with you -- no ifs, ands, or buts -- then protect it with cryptography. Complement this by keeping good back-ups of any data you might be out of, if you find yourself out of a laptop. While cryptography is a step in the right direction, it's not the first step.
     
  10. Marja

    Marja Honestly, I'm not a bot!!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Posts:
    4,553
    Location:
    In the Vast Fields of My Mind
  11. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Posts:
    989
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.