DHS, Seizing Laptops, and Mission Creep

In this truly depressing article about journalists and business people who are having their laptops seized by the Department of Homeland Security (the most Orwellian sounding U.S. government agency EVAH!), I came across this (italics mine):

The security value of the program is unclear, critics say, while the threats to business and privacy are substantial. If drives are being copied, customs officials are potentially duplicating corporate secrets, legal records, financial data, medical files, and personal E-mails and photographs as well as stored passwords for accounts from Netflix to Bank of America. DHS contends that travelers’ computers can also contain child pornography, intellectual property offenses, or terrorist secrets.

Wasn’t DHS formed to stop terrorists? Granted, child porn is pretty damn awful, and intellectual property offenses, well, are illegal, but how is this related to stopping evildoers from forcibly converting me to Mexicanism and making me speak Muslim? This is a perfect example of how the encroachment on your rights never stops unless there are clear lines about what the scope of the activity is allowed to be.
It’s not the government’s freedom, it’s your freedom.
Or something.

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6 Responses to DHS, Seizing Laptops, and Mission Creep

  1. murison says:

    Whatever happened to illegal search and seizure!? Even if I were a terrist muzlin radicul lefty evil guy, where does DHS get any right to seize my laptop (presumably at the airport)? Police State USA. We haz it.

  2. Ross says:

    The Child Porn Defense is kind of a classic. If you want to erode civil liberties, you don’t roll out “Our illegal searches allowed us to catch this guy who had unpaid parking tickets!“, you roll out “Sure, the searches were illegal, but this guy is a child pornographer!” It’s the digital equivalent of Reductio Ad Hitler.
    But it’s not like they’re the only ones doing it. You aren’t going to see the ACLU making a federal case out of “That illegal search caught this guy with a suitcase full of kiddie porn and nuclear weapon plans.” — They’re going to point out how some humanitarian was imprisoned with a suitcase full of kitten-saving vaccine because his skin was a bit too tan for DHS’s liking.

  3. PhysioProf says:

    We are so fucking fucked, it’s not even funny. Is our experiment in constitutional republicanism over?

  4. mark says:

    I suggest everyone possessing a laptop store a few files bearing pornographic-sounding names with messages about how our commander-in-chimp is a prime source of kiddie porn.

  5. sex shop says:

    thanks for all

  6. thanks for all

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