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Old 05-06-2008, 11:19 PM
mps69's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Out my mind
Posts: 118
My wife works for an international training company. She recently received the following communications and I was just thinking if this affects everyone.
I can't post the full communication but you will get the idea from the following:

US Customs agents may require individuals to hand-over laptops and electronic devices for customs search.
Individuals may be asked to provide passwords & access the items and items could be retained by Customs and Border Protection.
No specific evidence is necessary for US Customs to request a search
Any electronic devise can be searched
Your laptop and electronic devices may be retained by US Customs

Item affected
Cell Phone
Digital Camera
MP3 Player, I-Pod
PDA, Blackberries, etc.
Electronic storage devices, such as USB memory

I know laptop can get checked but I've never boot it up for anyone to check the contents. It looks like customs can check and seize any electronic storage device.
Anyone else heard of this before, and surely this will extend wait times at ports (cruise and air) even long if this is the case.

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Posts: 11,612
This news has been out for a while now. I don't think it will have much, or any impact on wait times. It would probably be a rare instance for them to do this.

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Old 05-07-2008, 06:34 AM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
This has to do with a federal court decision regarding a Canadian man who had kiddie **** on his laptop. Customs suspected him and accessed the images and arrested him. The man sued claiming they had no right to access his laptop. The courts disagreed and said Customs can pretty much do whatever they want in searching for contraband.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:49 PM
Jim C.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 5,115
They do this to allow for search of priated software and movies. Preventing people from storing the software on the hard drives or memory cards of the devices.

I agree with Dave in that it pretty much allows them to do what they feel is needed.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:59 PM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
Yes, entry points to countries are unique in that you are considered to be in a "no man's" land where the rights of whatever country you are trying to enter don't necessarily apply.

I wouldn't worry about, and I am not. I think they will only do this instrusive search if probable cause is there. It is no different than when you've seen them taking cars apart looking for drugs.
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