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Now that US customs agents have unfettered access to laptops and other electronic devices at borders, a coalition of travel groups, civil liberties advocates and technologists is calling on Congress to rein in the Department of Homeland Security's search and seizure practices. They're also providing practical advice on how to …
Well, anybody travelling to the USA should know that they are getting much worse than the former STASI of the 'German Democratic Replubic' .
I guess they hired all the jobless agents and aquired their paranoia.
I surely will never ( again ) will visit that country.
If you've got the balls, and don't mind your stopover being a little extended, why not just leave your pc behind and take a usb memory stick with a (say) 4 Gb file containing nothing but randomly generated data and make it "look" like a container file for encrypted data. Then you can honestly insist that it is exactly what it is. If they don't believe you, perhaps you can also store on the same memory stick the C/VB/Perl/whatever code you used to generate it?
Even better- get the random data and XOR it before storage. Then, it *is* encrypted!
It might be good for a giggle and to prove a point?
While all the fuss is focussed on laptops, how about all the extras that go with them?
Is the average, minimum wage, security guard up to identifying and scanning external drives (that may well be in your pocket, rather than the lappy's case)? How abot the CF/SD card in your camera - now available in 32GB versions for the seriously paranoid. What about fingernail sized micro-SD cards. Would your average peaked-cap piggie even be able to spot one, since they don't even trigger the metal detectors.
I suppose it all adds to the security theatre - although only the seriously stupid would ever get caught by these superficial and ineffective checks.
Yeah, my thought processes go something like:
Q:In 9/11, Who won?
A: The terrorists. They have achieved their aim in creating a totalitarian society, in which the people live in fear of organised bullying and persecution from their own government, far more than they fear any comparatively small-scale terrorist outfit.
Q: Who were the terrorists?
A: I'm not sure. Maybe I believe the official line. Maybe I don't. But, the thought does cross my mind that that they might just have been in some way connected with, or even the same people who are now the totalitarians.
As usual, it's the ordinary people who suffer, not the blackhats. This is all good training for 21st-Century computerate wicked terrorists who will enter the country with clean smiling laptops, download their plots and plans from the internet and hatch them while safe inside the borders. Post-hatch, these guys can upload the new data they've thought up (all the spreadsheets and Word files and stuff) and wipe the computers again before flying out to one of their hotbeds. Of course, if I were a terrorist, I might even come into the country with no computer whatever and buy one there. Along with a few new PAYG mobiles and a weapon or two, but what do I know?
(I'd like to stress that that isn't my real name)
...of the John Carpenter film "They Live".
When I first watched that film, soon after release it was, to me, a standard sci-fi flick. After I have now seen it so many more times (mostly for the great fist-fight between Roddy Piper and Keith David) I realise that JC had such a futurist vision that he knew what would be happening to both sides of the pond within a few years of the film being released.
(on an aside is it Hollywood making our future, or do they just "reflect" it?)
Apart from the fight scene, the most memorable moment for me was the invasion of the transients camp by bulldozers and police - a scene I never believed I would ever witness IRL; how wrong I was.
I don't really want to restart the tired terrorism/security issue, but it has now overtaken the senses and ethics of our politicians and dropped us, the "normal" citizenry into a state where our security is measured by a lack of, nay a rape of our privacy. For the sake of State and Democracy we now live under a banner that reads "Stasi", "Stalinism" and "Fascism". Our masters bleat on and on about security yet we, as the "Democratic West" are probably responsible for more deaths than any other political system; we are part of the only "free" system that has ever used nuclear weapons; we are, quite frankly, shit.
Sorry, no more. I'm tired and so disenfranchised by my government, so bored by trying to say the same thing time-after-time.
DIAF Bush and your international and domestic cronies; DIAF.
"CBP agents are free to deny entry to travelers who refuse to divulge their passwords." Really? Last I heard they can't deny entry to *ANY* US citizen. They can seize the laptop, though. I hope Congress does lay out some limits and, dare I say it?, rules for them to follow.
The US Constitution gets ignored by Government Agencies and the Appeals Court says it's OK. What a shocker.
I've got a number of good friends in the States I'd love to visit and there are some great places in the USA that I'd love to see as part of a motorcycling tour of the World but the more I read about their border controls and the breaches of basic human rights exercised by US-Gov, the less inclined I feel to visit the place.
In fact, I'd rather visit Somalia, where at least I know they're not pretending to be anything better than a war zone.
Citizens of the USA: if you're not going to dispose of your goverment, at least do the decent thing and cremate your Constitution so it can finally rest in peace.
If the border patrol is allowed to copy all data on the hard drives, there's nothing to stop them copying data that's no longer files, i.e. the data left around after a file has been deleted.
Seem to me a niche for a new "Google Laptop" with no permanent storage of any kind has just come about.
... I have a special "clean" hard drive I put in my laptop before travelling to the USA. I carry no information other than that strictly necessary for the trip and have a special set of VPN crypto certs just for the trip that one phone call gets them revoked if the machine gets "scanned."
If I have to let the machine be tampered with then I consider the drive to be untrustworthy and it gets physically destroyed when I get home.
Mine's the coat with "Everyone thinks I'm paranoid" on the back.
I'd leave one legally acquired mp3 on my PC, and then inform the RIAA that the border protection goons were flagrantly flouting copyright laws. That'd make for an interesting lawsuit.
Demanding your data before letting you pass is almost exactly the same as the old highway robbers, except the US government is doing it. I already shun the US when travelling, but this puts me off even more.
This could be a great opportunity for Canadian and Mexican airports - a good ad campaign should see their share of the transit market soar.
What about the mp3s of doubtful origin on that iPod you're carrying? The odd episode of BSG on your laptop that you t0rrented cos you live outside the States and don't wanna wait to see the show?
CBP don't necessarily have to comment on operational details of such searches but they should be restricted as to whom they can pass evidence that they collect.
They've been going through your bags forever, looking for illegal objects and trying to slip an exta bottle of duty free in.
Why should your e-baggage be treated any differently?
Of course permanent storage of your data is a myth. They just don't have enough raw storage (nor, if the Whitehouse is anything to go by, the experience to execute the job properly).
"There is no reason to store five years worth of email on a portable machine."
Nonsense. Just because El Reg can't think of a reason doesn't mean there aren't good reasons. Some of us, me included, find access to substantial email history on a portable machine to be quite valuable if not essential, for reasons both professional and personal, and far more secure than storing it on a machine connected to the Internet.
Didn't I remember a story about Brazil now fingerprinting only US citizen that want to enter their borders ?
If, let's dream, some countries would mandate any US citizen entering their borders to have all their digital devices be copied, what would happen ?
Ok, I shouldn't dream...
...That this would pose too hard a problem for even a person with average tech skill to get around. Given the computer skills of most customs agents, I'd imagine even cursory obfuscation methods to be sufficient. As for what someone tech-savvy could cook-up, they haven't really got a huge amount of hope of catching anything with this. Coupled with the fact (pointed out above) that you could just use the internet, and you'll get to the same point as usual.The only person you'll hurt is Joe Public, whilst the criminals get around the law with impunity.
I have to say I kind of agree with the above post "If you can't stand the heat, don't enter kitchen". There's no amount of money you could pay me to make me go to the USA. I wouldn't do it.
This data-searching issue is only one facet of it: Under their laws, they'd probably be within their rights to send me to guantanamo for thoughtcrime or something (not endorsing violence or terrorism or something, it's just that I happen to think, for example, that the "insurgents" in Iraq are people who are (legitimately) fighting a regieme who has illiegally invaded and occupied their country) .
So I just wouldn't go tp the USA, under any circumstances (short of a revolution and/or reinstatement of that 'freedom' thing they rave on about)
EEEPC + /home on an SD card.
Take it out of the drive, put it in your wallet, suddenly your personal information vanishes. They can look through the laptop as much as they want, the logs are all stored to RAM and are gone. All that's left is linux sans home.
Telling you guys, epic win.
You do have a point, though. Such arrangements MUST be reciprocated, and that includes the data searching and copying - I can't see why only the US can publicly engage in corporate espionage.
And we need, of course, full and excruciating details of all US passengers before they even set foot on the plane. Name, income, body measures (metric, please), picture, fingerprints, retinal scans, nostril, ear and arse diameters and questionable issues like bad personal hygiene and a habit to stick things up the rear end (for which the EU will then mandate a cavity search). Oh, and to ensure we are indeed talking about *real* equal treatment we will randomly flag up a good 10% of those travelling as resembling someone who may have a 3rd cousin removed on his ex wives side who had a beard and thus likely to be a terrorist, and ban them without a real decent way to get off that list.
Maybe we'll lock up 1 per 1000 in some sort of prison outside EU jurisdiction like Brixton (oh, sorry, it only *looks* like that) and keep them there for 5 years without any access to legal council. Or let them stay with Ken Livingstone, not only will that be worse than waterboarding but he also likes inviting drooling maniacs as friends.
And before I forget, we'd like to see their credit card statements for the last 5 years - printed
Don't like it? Fine, no entry to the EU. Have a nice flight home. Oh, and give those guys in Washington our regards. Remember, YOU voted for them, and didn't ask questions when the voting machines turned out to be of less than sterling quality.
And you didn't really object against Iraq and everything associated that has been done in your name either, but (bizarre as it may sound), that's forgiveable. Neither did anyone in the UK, and we don't have a constitution. Constipation maybe, but that's a path I don't want to follow if you pardon the pun.
I avoid the US like the proverbial plague, and like I avoid Windows if I can help it.
This is exactly what the New World Order (or whatever you want to call the police state we all live in) wants. In Communist Russia, travel was restricted to those who had government business elsewhere, and a permit was required. A similar system was in place in George Orwell's 1984 - remember the "ex-London permits" Winston and Julia needed to get to meet in the country?
As more and more people succumb to the paranoia, and travel less, the governments will be able to introduce ever-increasing restrictions on who CAN travel. In fact, I predict that in less than 10 years, we will begin to see police checkpoints allowing searches for travel between suburbs in our cities - ostensibly to "reduce crime" of course. Think about it: if you need to present your biometric ID at a checkpoint, state why you wish to travel to this suburb, and who you are meeting there, then the police have a complete list of all your friends and contacts and when you visit them - even ones not stored on your laptop or phone. They can build a complete psych profile of your life based on where you go and who you hang around with. How useful.
Of course, this will all come to pass and nobody will do anything about it. Ah, thank (char *)Diety I don't have kids who will have to live in this hell we've created! Please excuse me now while I have another ciggy to promote my early death and escape from this shithole... I hope it's the stroke or heart attack that gets me first. Lung cancer is such a debilitating way to go.
Coat? What do I need a coat for?
And you really think that won't earn you a free Cuban vacation? Much as I like the idea of taking these guys for a ride, that's probably not one of the better ways of doing it. Same goes for a file full of random crap - the way it's going, they'd be within their rights to detain you until you decrypted it, a tad difficult if it's just random.
A Google laptop with 32GB MicroSD is an excellent idea, but I believe the new bodyscan machines can be programmed with outlines of potentially suspicious objects - and they have a (theoretical) scanning resolution of <0.5cm. In other words they're potentially capable already of picking up that MicroSD sewn into your shirt cuff. Which might give you a few questions to answer about why it was there and not in plain view.
Welcome to Detention Camp USA, your exit visa has just been permanently revoked.
Well this comes as no surprise at all. What is a surprise is that no nincompoop has piped up with the old "You've got nothing to hide if you're innocent" routine?
Could it be that even the thickest amongst us have finally seen some small degree of brain activity on this whole "bogey man" power grab?
What am I saying.... I'll be needing that coat after all.
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This, IMHO, is no different from what's been going on for years. Customs have always had the power to go throught your suitcase, any notebooks (the paper kind), books etc you are carrying. They have looked at videos you carry (especially if they suspect they are porn videos), CDs etc. They can emplty your washbag looking for drugs etc.
Customs have always had pretty well unlimited powers - more than the police.
Bottom line - for a very long time if you enter a country (pretty well any country) you can be subject to any kind of searching including a full strip invasive body search so why does anyone think a laptop is somehow exempt?
Steve, the only other option is to go to the US and put up with Gitmo or whatever for refusing to allow them access to the machine. And the upside? Your government may change.
If you in the US can't be bothered using the three boxes available why should I put my rectal security at risk to change your government?
If they do scan your hard drive for dodgy stuff then perhaps they could also scan for viruses and other malware and when/if they give you your hard drive back a report saying what you're infected with?!
Of course they could have just put the stuff on there themselves to track you as you move through the US...
Looked like I was going to be joining my other half, who would be working in California for a bit. Happily the plan has changed, and we will be travelling to Canada instead. I'm quite relieved about that.
If it weren't for the fact that I am a British citizen, I probably wouldn't be in the UK either. What a sorry state of affairs.
I think the Mexicans and the Columbians are showing the country the best way its citizens aught to behave at their own borders.
Fly Canadian and Mexican airlines take a trip down country roads. It should provide a boost for less invasive companies.
Then Pan Am will get their pet governors, senators and congressmen to make changes. Be nice to see them subsisting on rendition flights. Make it easier to follow them too.
Now that Boris Johnson may be running London, we have the makings of our own chimp. I wonder if recent events will have pushed the sock puppets further up the monkey's paw.
Oh GOOD GRIEF! Tory B Liar has just come out of the wood-work. What's he doing with Condoleeza Rice?
Why do people let their government do this? You americans are slaves of your government, bowing to their needs and neglecting yours.
I reckon if people are going to the states, maybe have either a dual boot (which defaults to say a non-personal version) and that doesn't prompt for which OS install unless you hold down a hot key, the border staff wouldn't know. I'd find it amusing if people did indeed then put that installation full of viruses, malware, trojans and the likes. But yeah internet storage solutions look more attractive than ever with these kind of situations.
I refuse to go to the states till they clean up their act, i don't care to be wrongly imprisoned or have my privacy breached or other such things. The authorities have become a law unto themselves, made unaccountable for their actions. But here's hoping that their actions will one day meet consequences.
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that they "do" is the point. Amazing draconian powers are available should "the authorities" wish to use them in the USA or the UK/EU.
We, the people, have let our Civil Servants, Consultants and pressure groups create an environment were the more cretinous politicians hold power and pass repressive legislation.
By all means, don't visit the US - there are many more who will take your place - and they probably wouldn't want you in their society anyway if they have permitted their officials such powers.
People are, generally, NOT stupid but they are susceptible to BS and do have blind spots. We, the proles, have stopped the ruling classes from pillaging us in the past. It's just a little more difficult this time but I refuse to accept that it cant be done and I will have to tolerate the succession and build up of petty tyrannies.
While we have a free press, just keep exposing them.
"And you really think that won't earn you a free Cuban vacation?"
Fantastic, Cuba is a great place, went there last year, full of friendly people, even the local police were friendlyand even posed for pictures in front of goverment buildings on Mayday (I'd be shot in the US of Arses for that!). Just a little ironic, as they remove restrictions the US impose them.
The border guards we friendly, polite and helpful, not like the brain dead moron I had the misfortune to "grunt" at me at LAX ( I think he was trying to speak English, but not sure).
Viva la revolution!
According to the "rules", CBP can deny entry to persons refusing to divulge their passwords. I have two concerns here. First, the password is stored in my head, not on my laptop, therefore it is subject to the fifht amendment. I have the right to not self-incriminate myself. I myself am a US citizen living and working in UK and frequently travelling to the USA both for business and pleasure. I do carry my company-issued laptop with me, which contains a large amount of confidential information. Deleting it before travel and downloading-uploading is not a good option, as I loose about 8 hours on the plane, during which I can get A LOT of work done. The question is: how can CBP deny entry into the USA to a USA citizen? This is again against the law.
...between searching your notebook, papers and luggage. These do not contain everything you've said and done, things you've thought, ideas you've had, secret affairs, kinky porn you've browsed, every friend and colleague you've got and their full details.
They don't even need to be on the laptop. Once they've looked at your web history, they know your Google name, Facebook login, the clubs you're a member of, the Calendar you synch to.... etc etc
There is more information about you in your laptop today than has ever been collected about you by a state in history.
When will politicians learn that this kind of thing is just a complete waste of everyone's time and money, serving no practical purpose. If someone really had something to hide I'm pretty sure the school bully defecto morons who like to wear uniforms are very unlikely to find it as they couldn't find there own arse with both hands and a torch.
Is anybody really stupid enough to call a file terroristmanual.doc, kiddieporn.jpg, www.smackulike.com or extremeporn.avi (for UK readers) ?
No I think they would be a bit more clever using something like encryption and embedding into legitimate files such as ordinary photos or dlls blah blah
America - please don't be as thick as your President !
Excuse me now while I just go and read that wonderful Hans Christian Anderson story The Emperors New Clothes to my daughter because it's too much hassle at customs to take her to Disneyland !
...we do the same thing to all US citizens travelling into our countries and see how they take it. Better still, just don't go to the US - it's not like you're going to miss out on anything!
(anyhow, I'm off to Cuba on hols tomorrow, so that should see to it that I never get admitted to the US ever again! They gave me enough damn grief over having an Egyptian vacation stamp in my passport)
... really they are a failing super power currently trying to strong arm their failing status.
No i dont do business with the US, I dont mind that they dont mind. More importantly when i consult to business i usually advise of suitable european alternatives to whatever US based thing they want.
Sure its a drop in the ocean, but with so many others out there who will take the place of the US in a business sense, they should be worried more than me.
Your vision is PARTIALLY correct, but they won't use checkpoints. You will be (are being, actually) tracked by a) mobile phone b) credit/debit card use c) car licence plate d) rail ticket/oyster. Of course, your mobile voice and data IO is filtered continually for key words/phrases and may be being stored. Your email and web browsing data is intercepted at ISP level - behavioural patterns as assuredly being generated. They probably have access to your Tesco Club and/or Nectar cards, too. They also have SOME people's DNA on record, but not enough to be truly frightening yet. However, they'll get there if we let them.
Now each one of these insights into your life can be worked around, but working around ALL of them is going to be plain hard work that only the very paranoid or criminal will attempt it. Of course, the net result is that the very people who they want to monitor will be the hardest to find but hey, you can never have too much information, right?
I saw a great answer to this problem on another forum:
from "Joe U"
1. There is no encrypted data, I just didn't format that partition yet.
2. There is no encrypted data, that file must be corrupt. What did you do to my computer?
3. Here's the encrypted data, it's a copy of my tax forms for 2006. There is no hidden partition.
Notice in 3) he gives them an encryption password, but conceals the presence of a hidden volume. This gives him "plausible deniability", increasing the chances of getting his data through customs.
Mount it over an empty one (or one with a few basic files in) and who would even realise that was the deal.
Hand the card to your travelling companion before you get off the plane for additional security, or, if you don't need it on the flight, post it to your hotel or a friendly bod in the USA
Obviously, you would have a backup.
I also thought
Format laptop HD as an encrypted linux file system, with no OS on it, and it only being accessible from a bootable flash drive, which of course you would not have on you. (see above)
Then play the dumb company drone, "I don't know any passwords, all I know is I plug a dongle in when I get to the office and it works" followed by "no I haven't got it with me, company policy says dongle plus laptop never travel together"
its called a hidden volume.
if they cant see it they cant open it, plus i would like them to waste the effort of finding said volume, breaking three different 256-bit encryption keys, only to find nothing but family vacation pictures and my resume. really good use of government resources eh?
The one thing that very much worries me is that this administration has been VERY pro-Campaign Contri-, er, "Business."
I work for a non-US company, and I regularly take encrypted drives overseas. This is information that one of our biggest competitors, a US company, would LOVE to see...
How long before some joker deliberately brings in a USB stick with a brand new trojan, and the luckless TSA gets to be the tester for it?
Hmm should be fun..off to Orlando for the annual Blackberry Beenfest.. So now the packing list based on this advice
laptop - nope
Dig Cam - nope
Ipod - nope. - could be a long flight with all the little dahling excited about seeing mickey...
BB - well I can't really leave that behind now can I..
I'll let you know had badly my probing is...
Wait wasm't one of your air ports that wants to finger print every one that enters it. Weater you are local are domestic. It seems alot of you are forgetting that your goverment is on the exact same road.
How is that ID card thing going ? how is that extreem porn law going ??
Must be a good day no CD's were lost.
there is an easy way to do this. spend a couple hundred bucks and build and ftp box. The question is how much you want to piss em off.
1. create a folder, within a zip, within a folder, within a zip, within a.... you get the picture... label them all as KP, then toss in the goatse pic as the only file at the end of it.
2. make a file called "illegal stuff' filled with every auto-exe'ing virus you can dig up, zip it as auto-exec, and step back, knowing that you likely fvcked em for a little bit.
Toss either one on a flash drive that you're willing to abandon, and go through with a fresh install on your laptop. Just pull your files from the ftp when you get to your spot.
You know, that's why there are tools that do "data shredding", which overwrite deleted filespace over and over until the data is no longer readable. I'd do that, then fill up the freespace with infinite copies of goatse, then delete them. Oooh yes...
Just because nobody has done this yet:
Captain: What happen??
Operator: Somebody set us up the scan
Captain: What you say??
Operator: We get signal
Operator: Main screen turn on
ICE: How are you gentlemen!
ICE: All your data are belong to US
ICE: You are on your way to Guantanamo
ICE: You have no chance to backup make your time
Fill your laptop with virus, for great justice
You guys from countries other than the USA are really naive if you believe that your government is not tracking your every move also. I get a real kick out of people from other countries telling me how bad I have it in the USA. I can own a gun, travel when and where I wish, basically do as I please. You guys haven't a clue. I have traveled all over the world and the USA has by far been the easiest place that I have ever traveled. You have no clue how good I have it because you are not here. If you don't want to travel here, don't, we will not miss you. I don't travel to your countries because I don't like you either. I guess that makes us even.
"The letter comes 10 days after a US appeals court ruled Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have the right to rummage through electronic devices even if they have no reason to suspect the hardware holds illegal contents. Not only are they free to view the files during passage; they are also permitted to copy the entire contents of a device. There are no stated policies about what can and can't be done with the data."
Awesome! So if I have legally acquired music on my computer, and the CBP copies all my files, then the FBI needs to raid the CBP and the RIAA needs to sue them for copyright infringment!! If I'm reading this correctly, it states "electronic devices". That would include iPods. Maybe I should become a CBP agent -- it'd bolster my music collection!
Seriously, though, BIOS password = win.
On the comments about denying entry into the country... I ran into an incident of this sort going in Canada. They can not legally deny you entry. However they can hold you indefinitely for questioning and investigation.
And flag your passport, so if you happen to be a pain to Customs agents on this trip to protest the copying of your laptop, you better be serious because you can end up flagged for the full inspection (often with free prostate exam included) for EVERY time you cross the border after that.
Congress needs to start the Admendment process, to formally put in place a garuantee in the Constitution itself against stuff like this. I suggest "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause".
I like the poison pill on the desktop idea. If they ask what it is, tell them it's a program a friend put there, and you're not sure what it is (make it the truth if you want, a friend can place a random virus on the desktop). If they choose to run it, it's their problem they deleted everything. F* 'em.
And, if you get held up, I'm sorry, but it is a small price to pay to throw a wrench in the machine.
Simple answer use this thing called Steganography.
Just hide your important information inside a bitmap.
Sometimes it is better to hide things in plain sight.
Was wondering if someone would mention that idea. Why not just mail the laptop to a friend or the hotel addressed to yourself? Chances are the mail goes through Customs a hell of alot easier then we do.
/Please a sponsor anyone? Anyone?
I hate this country more and more when i read this drivel
""Maybe we'll lock up 1 per 1000 in some sort of prison outside EU jurisdiction like Brixton (oh, sorry, it only *looks* like that) and keep them there for 5 years without any access to legal council."
Finally, you have determined a practical use for the Channel Islands!"
I've got a much better idea! Set up a special military "hotel" in Greenland! It's definitely outside the EU (even Europe), and it's much, much colder there then on Channel Islands or any other British souvereign territory! All we have to do is to ask the Danish government about that. And do you think that they'd refuse such a noble act?
Oh no , my movie camera bag just scored some very large flash memory chips and an ssd with some new stick on labels to match that movie camera with hard drive and auxiliary flash memories in the same bag. Honestly officer is it not amazing what one can buy from any street vendor in Hong Kong for digital movie cameras these days !
Sadly though for some reason the laptop , appears to have a fresh install of the operating system from the recovery sector with only the factory pre-installed crap and the Windoze registry has been scrubbed cleaned and compacted of all extraneous and usual unwanted entries that build up in time !
To be honest.
Why go to the bother of wiping a comp or playing about with encryption...
All you need to do is have a secure file that stores the SSH links to your company Servers..
Don't pack a laptop.
Go to the US pick up an EEEPc mini laptop thingies ( the one with the cute bird on the beach in the advertising pics) for a couple of hundred bucks (the price a of a good night out plus tips for the stripper) on the company card... use it to work on the linux OS with SSH while in the US. when you are about to fly home. Fed-Ex the laptop home it's light enough to be cheep...
So you don't have a laptop when catching your plane :D:D
"In this posting, the EFF agrees that laptops, cell phones, digital cameras and other gizmos should be cleaned of any sensitive information. Then, after passing through customs, travelers can download the data they need, work on it, transmit it back and then digitally destroy the files before returning."
Thank god terrorists, fundamentalists and general Evil People[tm] wouldn't think of doing that. This searching laptops for dodgy data is very clever and foolproof!
Note to anyone else travelling - take a look at MojoPac or MokaFive on a secure USB stick. This will let you keep your work environment and your laptop separate, in the event that the latter is compromised by this apalling behaviour.
Better still use Snu's Secure Global Desktop which lets you grab your desktop from any java-enabled browser. Then you can leave your laptop at home.
El Reg also reviewed the IronKey secure USB device. Well worth a look.
One has to stay a step ahead of these self-important, thick idiots. Just don't tell the terrorists!
"If you travel with an empty laptop and just download the data once you're in the US you're still screwed .. they check all the data going across the internet and feed all that to the NSA .. any way you look at it . they have your data."
Worse than that. Just sitting in Blighty using the Internet still can hand your data over to the NSA, and not just by visiting obviously american sites. A lot of UK based sites host servers in the US and those T&Cs you probably didn't read will have said that they do this and effectively screw you when it comes to privacy as UK privacy laws don't apply because of this. So not only is your private information at risk anyway, the servers being hosted in the US means going through NSA or whatever filters too.
Hence I would welcome an Internet break up where the Americans have their own net to go with their own insular world, and the rest of the world moves on. Maybe we can then do like in Hitchhikers Guide and rid the world of the useless third and dispatch the US into space.
Having just gone through the US border whilst traveling from Toronto to New York (and back) as part of a holiday I can assure you that US Border Patrol are more interested in getting your $6 admission fee than inspecting your laptop / digital camera / mobile phone records. Most of the passengers on my carriage had laptops in use and camera's / mobile phone's in plain sight and not one person was challenged about them. I think that some people have been specifically targeted for various reasons and are making an issue out of this. Personally I found the US Border Patrol to be polite and efficient if humourless but there again so are a lot our Customs & Immigration Officials in the UK.
Is it just me or is the a trend of people posting positive comments that are actually working for the diseased company/gov't...
Seeing a trend of people lately that have an obvious agenda putting comments in which have a sound argument (hey they only want your xyz, lazy arrogant bums), and then go on to say "no problem".
Seriously. We got Andrew Orlowski... the "objective" reporter who disables comments since people express their views. Very mature indeed. Most people I know don't bother reading his articles anymore - usually they're badly written, biased to the extreme; and there's no way to correct or interact on the information.
Sorry to disappoint you but I don't work for US Border Control, the US Govt don't like employing Brits to control their borders, I was just posting my experience of last Sunday. I returned to Canada to finish my holiday yesterday and found the Canadian Border Guards to be friendly and good humoured unlike their US counterparts. Tomorrow I will fly home to the UK so please explain how I am actually working for the diseased company. If you can't stand a true experience without raising bogus accusations, stick to the comics you usually read, maybe next week someone will give you the crayons to go with the comic.
"Not only are they free to view the files during passage; they are also permitted to copy the entire contents of a device. There are no stated policies about what can and can't be done with the data."
So... lets say its a Windows notebook, violation of Microsoft's EULA anyone ? Is Microsoft going to demand payment to license these unlicensed copies of Windows ?
Yes lame I know, I know, but I had to find an angle here somewhere for getting in the obligatory "we love to hate" M$ comment.
Ok ok, I'll get my coat...
It's about time that the Yanks tightened their Border Security. In the 1990's I purchased as fairly large antique clock through three of their airport security checkpoints on to planes. It was never inspected or X-rayed.
The following year I flew into San Francisco on a tourist visa and left the country 2 weeks later by Amtrak Rail into Canada, but could find no one to collect my green visa card. So far as their computers are concerned I'm still in the USA (in UK really).
The UK Customs have long had the authority to take mirror copies of the disks of technology held by people entering the country. This is nothing new.
It used to be, and probably still is, illegal to take encrypted files into France unless you had official permission. Similarly you need an export licence to take encryption software (on you laptop) from the UK to a range of countries.
I think you'll find that the airport (actually only one terminal there, pick a different airline to avoid it) decided not to use fingerprints because enough fuss was kicked up and the legality of the operation came into question, plus the issue of non-cooperating passengers.
As for ID cards, most of us are relying on a change in government next time around to avoid them but may review our options if that fails.
“I've got a much better idea! Set up a special military "hotel" in Greenland! It's definitely outside the EU (even Europe), and it's much, much colder there then on Channel Islands or any other British souvereign territory! “
You’ve never been to the Falkland Islands then? I’d recommend the various landmine fields which still haven’t been totally cleared. Will make a change from innocent sheep taking a ride on Claymore Trampolines.
I’m with a few other posters. Make the requirements reciprocal, including fingerprinting and divulging all kinds of info. I for one would love to see those who funded “Nor-aid” (aka the PIRA) get lifted at Heathrow for funding terrrism.
On the subject of travelling to the US – I recently thought about going to the Caribbean on vacation. No chance, as even flying over the US continent means I have to divulge reams of personal data. So, Polynesia – but not via LA or that other shining light of freedom, Dubai; where I could get 4 years in the pokey for having a bun with poppy seeds at Heathrow or having the remnants of a Solpadien in my bloodstream.
I’m learning to fly light aircraft. The US is the home of General Aviation. Given the demise of the dollar, 1 month flight school in Florida or Arizona would be ideal, with a self-fly tour at the end to “see the sights”. Alas, until the neo-fascist phase is over – which usually last 15-20 years (ref.M.Moore in F.911) – I won’t be visiting.
If I were you I'd get that little mix-up with the exit visa sorted. Otherwise, if you're even diverted to a US airport on a flight that wasn't intended to even take you anywhere near there, you WILL find yourself touching your toes for a full internal examination and banged up for an indeterminate period.
They might even set Bill on you.
PS @all who think you can use US Mail Express Post , FedEx or UPS parcel post items in and out of the United Soviet States of Amerika please guess again as all in bound parcels are supposedly scanned sniffed(not very relevant given that military flights appear to be routinely ignored by customs for state security reasons though) and checked .
check this reference link
Sadly , as one would say the bureaucracy has been ramped up to the nth degree by the DC chimp in his endless self wanking forever war of nothing to create a mountain out of a mole hill in order to bankrupt the country in more ways then one and reduce democracy as we know to be a scam illusion that would make Joseph Stalin smile in his grave !
A dead bird is appropriate here !
just don't go there!
i agree wholeheartedly regarding RECIPROCITY.
i am currently living in brazil. apparently US-citizens are fingerprinted upon arrival and have to pay the same absurd visa fees brazilians have to pay when attempting to enter big mac hell.
if only the EUtopians had that level of pride!
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