Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 | Author:

For more than 20 years, the government implicitly recognized that reading and copying the letters, diaries, and personal papers of travelers without reason would chill Americans’ right to free speech and free expression,” Sinnar said. “But now customs officials can probe into the thoughts and lives of ordinary travelers without any suspicion at all.

Some federal documents relating to border search policy have been released – not voluntarily, mind you, but as a result of a Freedom of Information of Information lawsuit. They reveal that any information you take across the border – including your thoughts and memories – can be probed, even if there is absolutely nothing suspicious about you. They can seize your laptop and cell phone, and keep them for as long as they want. They can make copies of all of this information, and share it with other government agencies, as they please. Does anyone really doubt that it’s all landing in some hush-hush database?

So what’s the average traveler, who just wants to get home to their family, to do about all this? I suggest you click your heels together and say, “Jawohl, herr kommandant.”
(I learned that from Hogan’s Heroes.)

And don’t worry. This has got nothing to do with the Fourth Amendment, because Customs Deputy Commissioner Jayson P. Ahern said these policies:

do not infringe on Americans’ privacy.

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2 Responses
  1. Hercules Mulligan says:

    Heh heh. Well, Jean, I better start practicing my German accent!

    You tell ‘em!

  2. akaGaGa says:

    Yeah, I’m on a roll, Herky. Sometimes an issue gets under my skin, and it doesn’t go away until I scratch it – sometimes to the point of drawing blood. :)