back to article Judge limits DHS warrantless laptop searches

A federal judge has thrown out key evidence in a child pornography trial because the laptop alleged to contain more than 1,000 illegal images wasn't searched until about five months after US customs officials seized it at a US border crossing. The ruling by US District Judge Jeffrey S. White of the Northern District of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    The War on Tourism suffers a blow

    seriously, I don't condone child porn or other illegal activities but such border controls...where 1'000'000 are assumed GUILTY to catch one offender is just dumb.

    This cross-border stuff simply cannot be a fishing expedition. Besides - if the guy has 1000 illegal images on his PC (as an example), just how many on the Internet?

    Picking these low-hanging fruit solves nothing in my opinion. DEA don't go after "users" so why should DHS, TSA or whomever? Not when they stomp over everyone else in the process.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad for freedom


    Well how many times has a government used the "Look at that person that got away with child porn offences, we should be allowed to tighten up the laws so this never happens again!"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We should do it this side of the pond

    and see how long it takes US tourists (the ones that can figure their way around a global map and work out that Europe isn't next door to Iraq) to squeal infringement of their liberties or some such sh*t. What's good enough for the DHS to impose on visitors to the US should be good enough to have imposed on US tourists to the UK.

    I personally doubt the US government catches much in the way of real criminals with this policy, but it does get plenty more personal/business data than Google can manage with it's Street View wireless slurping extravaganza.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good times.

    I liked the ``permission to enter the country means naked only'' argument. What, I can't take my laptop? Can I take clothes then? Clearly, the argument is bald-faced bunk. The very fact the DHS/TSA/what-have-you chooses to put it forward, however, is telling. These people are supposed to protect the people, not wage war on them. Carry on government.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The DHS might be forgiven....

    ...if we believed these measures have anything at all to do with terrorism or the prosecution of paedophiles.

    But - of course - it's to do with power and control. Not to mention nice expensive laptops for grabs.

    Nice to hear of a US judge with a modicum of common sense.

  6. HooHah!

    How to Secure Your Laptop Before Crossing the Border

    How to Secure Your Laptop Before Crossing the Border

    By Luigi Benetton

    Here’s what you need to know about data searches at he United States border, and how you can protect sensitive data.

    Canadian Bar Assn.

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