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Should your Laptop be searched?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by LAGMonkey, 24 Mar 2008.

  1. LAGMonkey

    LAGMonkey Group 7 error

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    I've just finished reading an article on The Register entitled "Of laptops and US border searches."

    Located HERE

    One line perticually disturbs me...

    Thankfully my feelings are not just my own...

    But my main consern is that at the moment, that if i were to refuse for my laptop to be search that would then give the agents "reasonable suspicion" (as ive refused therefore i have somthing to hide!) to which they can then search my laptop.
    Encryption of my data would also be useless as i believe that i have to give them the encryption keys upon request. Failure to give the keys would again give "reasonable suspicion" (i REALLY must have somthing to hid if everything is encrypted").

    Like the author i am in two minds about this whole thing, a person with child porn on a laptop :)grr: its aweful even thinking about it) should be caught and then sent for a trial however i dont think any government should have the right to go pokeing about my files.

    not good, thats all i can say. not good
    until this all sorts itself out, ive got to try and avoid American airports. (cant avoid flying due to work :sigh: )
     
  2. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    I guess If you really wanted to hide your sensitive data, you could put it inside multiple passworded and scrambled RAR archives inside a hidden, encrypted partition. Or you could put it inside a flash drive. Or if you have a bluetooth phone with a SD/MS, you oculd put it on your phone. Or you could burn it on a DVD, etc..
     
  3. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    And so dies the fifth amendment and any reasonable expectation of privacy. It looks like the "why do you need privacy if you have nothing to hide" mentality has taken over.

    On a lighter note, I did get a chuckle out of the googleads on this page:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    Betcha half the people checking the laptops woudln't know what a "Hidden" folder is.
    The only thing I have to "hide" is a few songs here and there.
    I Don't see why we can't just have our privacy. If there was a child predator/whatever, they should have done a better job on catching them.
     
  5. Major

    Major Guest

    Nope, I wouldn't let them search my laptop, I have nothing to hide, but it's my laptop, my information, my personal data. I have a lot of family pictures and work on my laptop which only the family can look at and friends, why the **** should I let anyone else look at it.
     
  6. EternalIllusion

    EternalIllusion New Member

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    I thought this thread was referring to hollowing out laptops to smuggle drugs or bombs. I guess terrorist porn is more dangerous.
     
  7. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    Nothing else is to be expected when they are setting up a police state, now is it...
     
  8. OtakuHawk

    OtakuHawk New Member

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    looking through a terrorist cell's emails, plans, etc, would be INFINITELY more useful than catching a single bomb.

    that being said. all smart tewowists use Truecrypt.
     
  9. freedom810

    freedom810 Member

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    The porn is what makes them so crazy of course.:thumb:
     
  10. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    You could quite easily hide from this by keeping sensitive stuff in a hidden encrypted file (truecrypt fashion) and on a removable disk somewhere.
     
  11. capnPedro

    capnPedro Hacker. Maker. Engineer.

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    Or if you can't be bothered with encryption (for mobile devices, you really should though). "attrib +S myfolder" should work just fine ;)
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    A further interesting twist is that many business laptops have (legally) confidential information on it. I carry identifiable patient data on mine (which is why it is biometrically secured and encrypted up to the yazoo), as do many health professionals; many business people may carry confidential info pertaining to their companies.
     
  13. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant New Member

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    even if they enforced this just encrypt the data stick it online and tadaa!!! nothing on your laptop.
     
  14. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    This is the thing about electronic media: it's neigh on impossible to control it.
     
  15. crazybob

    crazybob Voice of Reason

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    Actually, this sounds like a fairly elegant way to get around the problem entirely. It's likely to get you in trouble if you lie, but if you can legitimately carry confidential information, then you have a really good excuse to refuse a search.

    That said, I think it's a very tricky subject, but it's also slightly misconstrued by the media. I recently read an article about British customs agents searching laptops and preventing pornography from entering the country, but that article also went into a bit more detail - they were allowing 'personal use' pornography but not commercial or illegal materials. I assume the same would hold true for copyrighted materials, but it's slightly harder to tell the difference between uses and legality of those files.

    Still, I don't want my computers searched. And it shouldn't matter whether I have anything to hide; it's the principle. Besides, I'd be willing to bet almost anyone on this site could hide material on a computer well enough that a cursory manual search (what US customs appear to be doing) won't turn anything up, and a more detailed search using specialized software (which British customs use) would have a hard time finding anything either.
     
  16. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    i got linux on my laptop, i bet you when it boots up they would think it is a hacking application which is working on the DoD as it boots. overall though i think that a laptop is ones own business and they have to have VERY probable cause to search it.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2008
  17. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    You mean you DON'T leave your confidential data on your home server and vnc in when you get to your destination? :jawdrop:

    All they might be interested in on my Eee are a couple of Big Finish Dr Who audio plays (purchased), and some ebooks from Project Gutenburg
     
  18. outlawaol

    outlawaol Geeked since 1982

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    Is that where they are doing it and blowing themselves up at the same time? Jihading their 'sex' all over marines?
     
  19. LAGMonkey

    LAGMonkey Group 7 error

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    Also on the subject of security, Whilst in Schipol i wandering along the business class check in line (where by we then wandered from the line to a normal "arch" metal detector (laptop out the usual) and i looked to my left and there was this HUGE menice of a machiene in which the subject (more like victim) had to stand, legs apart with hand on their head. doors closed and this thing did its job! I have NO idea what it could be used for but im very VERY glad i was going business that day.

    Back to laptops, i agree that encryption software could be used by us to the point at which the officials can not see that we have any data. But the main problem with that is if you get that on "know it all" offical. he suspects somthing, goes on a power trip and then you HAVE to give him your encryption key.
    Happened to me at Torronto immigartion. The guy didnt like that i had an E-ticket (with ittinary but no printed return ticket)! 3 hours later i finally get let out to collect my bag and welcomed into the country (with two police officers following me to the airport gates.

    Wasnt best pleased with THAT
     
  20. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Yeah, VNC in, a protocol that uses no encryption at all:duh:

    I will never, ever, EVER give up my passwords or private keys for anyone.
     

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