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.