DHS border policy: we can steal anything from you, read all your data, and disclose it to anyone we want

The DHS has disclosed its official policy on laptop border seizures: they can take your laptop, or anything else, for no reason at all, forever, and disclose anything they find to anyone they feel like:
Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"The policies . . . are truly alarming," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border (via /.)


  1. …and disclose it to anyone we want

    Lets be realistic here, they’re just covering their ass with a concept like that. It’s the US government. It’s already been well established that any electronic data of a sensitive nature in their possession is just going to end up missing for a few months.

  2. I was born in the US, left in 04, if this keeps up I will just never return even for visits. The US stumbles like an injured bull, dying empires are very dangerous.

  3. Wow. However, I see the upside of this, we make actually see Johnny Mnemonic in our lifetime! Having encrypted data link into my brain is pretty much the way I decided I should die.

  4. Well, ain’t that America! Home of the FREE!

    Why is it you guys aren’t storming Capitol Hill? Where are your pitchforks and torches?


  5. Canada, please dont feel too smug I fear you are about to be assimilated, Mexico watch your back.

  6. Oh gosh, what if they see the screenplay I’m working on and steal my ideas! If you think you’ve got risky data, don’t carry it. And our borders will only tighter so get used to it. Mhains, you can not sign for all of Canada. When Canada becomes a superpower, let us know, then maybe we’ll care what you have to say. We aren’t stroming the Capitol for lots of reasons. I’m sure you can figure a few of those out on your own. (Dude, it’s August and it’s hot and humid in DC. My hair would frizz!)

  7. I’m trying to avoid going to the US these days, and I have the feeling I’m not the only one. Is there any evidence that scientific conferences tend to move away from the US and to more, um, liberal-minded countries?

  8. The reason that we don’t storm capital hill is that anybody who plans on trying to overtake the government is labeled a terrorist and is subsequently detained for a “Period of time.”

    Every day I feel even less like a citizen, and more like a prisoner.

  9. If I was crossing the border, and a border agent tried to seize my laptop, here is what I would say.

    “Oops, my bad. I thought I was going to the United States. I must have went the wrong way.”

    “This is the United States.”

    “It can’t be. Those sort of things aren’t allowed in the United States”

  10. Rebdav, we have been assimilated, most of us just dont’ know it yet. Although, if you want a good laugh, ask a Canadian what makes them different from Americans (as a culture); ignore the artifacts of Canada’s gov’t (free health care, etc.) – the answers are astonishing; my personal favourite is my mom’s, “We aren’t as patriotic as them.” :)

  11. I worked for BOSCH in the US several years ago as an IT manager. One of the hot projects at that time was implementing encryption for all internal employee email on our private network.

    We thought management was crazy implementing this.

    A few months later the news was full of stories on project ECHELON and improper transfer of Aerobus bid info to Boieng via the CIA and HQ started to look pretty smart.

    If we don’t cut the crap we are going to loose out on a huge chunks of global business.

  12. Perhaps it’s time to start rent-a-laptop businesses in major airports. Then you can just bring a USB drive, plug it into your rental lappy, use it on your trip, return it to the store, and go home with only your data.

  13. Passive resistance technique #4:

    Buy an old laptop. Run a program that fills the hard drive with random data. They will interpret it as ‘encrypted’ and spend millions of man-hours attempting to decrypt it.

    If even one person a day does this, their system will be overwhelmed.

  14. @#2: “The US stumbles like an injured bull, dying empires are very dangerous.”

    Huh? What does this have to do with the US being a dying empire? Lots of countries that aren’t dying OR empires have policies that are even more batshit crazy.

  15. “Buy an old laptop. Run a program that fills the hard drive with random data. They will interpret it as ‘encrypted’ and spend millions of man-hours attempting to decrypt it.”

    They will send you to Gitmo until you give them the keys. Since there is no key, you will stay there forever.

    Great plan!

  16. @Jeff: Well, I have to admit – this is why I put my data on a shared drive at home and access that while traveling. There’s no private data on my laptop at all. Yet another reason to go with a MacBook Air (no need for bulk)… except that I just bought a laptop last year (sigh).

    @Suburbancowboy: I cross the US border quite a bit, and, unfortunately, making a joke or remark like that at a crossing will almost guarantee getting pulled aside for even longer.

  17. The USA will become just like China. You will be free to make money but that will be all.
    The Real ID act, The so called “Patriot” Act etc have set the stage for an American Dictator.
    If Americans don’t start fighting back now the US will no longer be free.
    The US governmnet is more of a threat to Freedom than any foreign entity.
    It is amazing to me that so many Americans are so cowardly and sheep like that they allow the governmnet to do these things and don’t protest at all.
    Thanks to Boing Boing for fighting the good fight for Freedom.

  18. Sorry US citizens but you will not be receiving any of my tourist money for a good while yet. I’ve avoided travelling there since they started the fingerprinting and cavity searches, and every month I just get a new reason.

    Unfortunately it looks like parts of Europe are closing in dangerously as well.

    Ah well, I can visit the world via the Internet… still…

  19. #10: En quelle langue?
    Avez-vous passez assez temps avec nos freres et soeurs d’aborigene pour disez une remarque comme ca?
    Le risque d’assimilation avec les E-U?
    Bah! Rien….

  20. Business opportunity!

    When you arrive at your destination, you rent a media package – cell phone, laptop, digital camera – for your vacation or business trip, for a fee. When you’re done, you return them. Either you transfer your data through the internet yourself, or you have the rental company do it.

    That’s what ALL of these stupid DHS things are resulting in – business opportunities for your destination. Leave home with nothing but a credit card, and come home considerably poorer.

    @9 – Hey Subcow! LTNS! It’s T-funk, small internet!

  21. As far as I can see this is a Banana republic worthy type of industrial espionage….nothing more. Venal.

  22. A friend of mine crossed the boarder from the US to Canada via plane. Somebody went into his camera bag and took the flash card out of his camera somewhere between his leaving, and his arriving at home.

    After complaining to US, Canadian and Airline officials, nobody had anything to say. The entire trip was for a photo shoot and his data was on that card.

    Several weeks later, in a plain envelope with no return address, the flash card showed up in his home mailbox. All the data was still on it. No explanation, no letter, nothing but the card.

    My friend, a photographer and artist, still wonders why.


  23. #15 Of course there are consequences to passive resistance. Ask Ghandi. As Martin Luther King, Jr. The point is, when freedoms are threatened you have to be willing to passively resist, and to pay the price for that resistance, until you win.

  24. #6: “If you think you’ve got risky data, don’t carry it.”

    the old “if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about” angle? that’s exactly why most americans don’t even blink when they hear stories like this.

  25. I do not understand how data on a computer can be considered a threat sufficient to warrant permitting seizure by Peace Officers or Border guards.
    #14: The point is that you are backsliding …we had (reasonably, IMO) expected better from the USA, considering your Nation’s history.
    The rest of the batshit craziness is more or less as it ever was…but you were doing so much better…until about 8 years ago. ‘sup with that? I thought that your buildings were under attack not your minds…

  26. God I love the recent trend of passing legislation that just says something another existing law or the Constitution already says.

    “[Feingold] said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.”

    I’m pretty sure US Citizens already enjoy both of these protections under two Amendments to the Constitution… at least within our borders.

    Can somebody point me to the Supreme Court case(s) that set a precedent of us waving our Constitutional protections at the border to our own country? I’d like to try to understand the logic.

  27. 4th AMENDMENT. 4th SHMAMENDMENT. It’s really just an inconvenience to those who are trying to protect you and me. It’s not like we’d need to have a super majority in Congress vote to conduct a national referendum where at least 38 of the states’ legislatures would have to vote to amend the Constitution before authorities could legitimately do something like this.

  28. #20 Touche; I must submit that the French are distinct, however I counter-submit with Texas.

  29. … he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches …

    Isn’t that called the Constitution?

  30. #6 – There is nothing in there that says that your shiny new lappy in the box or freshly restored drive is off the table, if some DHS employee takes a shining to it.

    *The policies state that officers may “detain” laptops “for a reasonable period of time” to “review and analyze information.” This may take place “absent individualized suspicion.”*

    You thinking you’re free of ‘risky data’ doesn’t do shit to take you out of the running.

  31. It isn’t “the government” that’s done this. We did it. We collectively widdled ourselves (with help from the President’s men and a truly cooperative mediasphere) and let the President create the American Security Superpolice. They now do what they like to us. But we have only ourselves to blame. A few Americans railed and protested, got themselves arrested and, no doubt, will be spied on for the rest of their lives for their trouble by the very secret police they tried to stop.

    Amazing – thinking about it – how so many very detailed laws covering thousands of pages were so ready to be passed within weeks of the 9-11 attack. It’s almost like someone was waiting for their chance. Who? Who are these people? Why doesn’t anyone care?

  32. same old then; flood the borders with e-waste, use disposable phones, send all your data encrypted over the web. Sounds familiar. Do your job badly enough and they won’t ask you twice. Make the borders impassable and no one will cross them (more sleep time for you), make it impossible for people to bring things with them and then less lifting for you. It’s all bulletproof government sinecure welfare anyway since the “terrorists” make your increasing easy job lay-off proof since it’s part of “national defense”.

  33. Canadians are notorious for their grating 17th century accents but at least they speak it properly. UGLY CANUK, you need to work a little harder at remembering what you forgot in your high school french classes. There is a grammatical mistake or barbarism in every sentence you wrote.

  34. IIRC crypto software = munitions for US Gov purposes so maybe a “technical” argument for this power to seize computers.

  35. This reminds me of when Steve Jackson Games were raided all those years ago in Operation Sundevil, it helped create the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I certainly hope this change in policy either gives the EFF more supporters and the financial backing to be able to take on something as big as this, or if they feel its out of their area of expertise, that something is created that is large enough to take on something like this.

  36. #41 Criticism acknowledged and accepted but I hope that my point was clear. Sure it’s not ‘barbarity’?

  37. Etawat said, “Sorry US citizens but you will not be receiving any of my tourist money for a good while yet.”

    Oh well, maybe you can go spend all the big bucks in that bastian of Freedom–Great Britian!

    I live near the border with Canada and even have Canadian friends (I don’t let my parents know that)! I’ve never had a problem on the border. But I’m all for tighter borders. As an American I realize that many people (most good but some bad) want to come to visit my country. Lots of people actually want to move here! Imagine that. Sorry if it’s harder to do so, but we have our reasons. Let’s hope we can continue to improve the security process so that it won’t take so much time. Better safe than sorry. And if you don’t like America, then please, do yourself a favor and don’t come here. Even if it’s to sign books. Really.

  38. #41 Not to be prolix but you’re correct: “barbarity” is more obsolete; your usage is preferred. Sorry.

  39. #45 Indeed when I visit your fantastic country I usually travel very light ($ only) , for all that I need is to be found in the USA, I think.
    Rock on freedom loving dudes and dudettes! Hope y’all lighten up when the time’s more seasonable.
    Of course feel free to visit up here many good things here too, but please, leave yer (hand)guns at home and make sure to take the proper steps to bring yer shooting pieces in legally.

  40. I’m not so much worried about security checks at the border taking up my time, I’m a pretty patient person and I’m sure there are many expeditious ways to violate one’s civil liberties.

    If I should ever go to the states again, or have to fly through to get to where I’d prefer to be, I just want to know that the harmless stuff that I saved so diligently for will still be mine at the end of it.

    Have any threats been successfully squelched by stopping a laptop from crossing the border? You’d think that’d be something they’d want us to know…

  41. #4

    Tell you what. We’ll take up pitchforks, you shut down your unelected, unaccountable “human rights commissions,” and we’ll all revolt together.


  42. @JEFF #6

    “And our borders will only tighter so get used to it.”

    So glad I’m a European, where we have worked out a couple of decades ago that the world becomes a better place when you start to rub out borders.

  43. #45- Safe from what, exactly? There have been two credible foreign terrorist plots on US soil, and they both succeeded, the last one was 7 years ago, and NOTHING that the DHS has done in the time since, including this, would have prevented them.

    So what good will this do?

    also- randomly seizing stuff without explanation used to be a fairly common movie scene when travelling to the USSR or some pissant dictatorship. now the US can do it. turning inot your own worst enemies.

  44. #11:
    “If we don’t cut the crap we are going to loose out on a huge chunks of global business.”

    We already are. We’re actively hostile to tourism, and we’re enthusiastically doing all we can to all but kill the airline industry.

    From a business and economics standpoint, we’re killing ourselves to make the world a safer place. As ironic as that may sound from a satirical foreign policy angle, from a domestic policy it’s entirely as bloody retarded as it looks at face value.

  45. Someone make a USB key that looks like jewellery…maybe put some watch gears on it and call it steampunk?

  46. When are you Americans going to form that well regulated militia mentioned in the Second Amendment to overthrow your oppressive government?
    Or is that just something you use to justify deer hunting with automatic weapons?

    But seriously, one good outcome of this may be that people become aware of security/privacy danger of transporting data on physical media. Everything from terror cell rosters to government documents should only exist on a server and downloaded securely when needed.

    Terrorists already know better than to keep incriminating information with them, but e.g. British civil servants could use an information security wake up call.

  47. The U.S. just creates these policies as foder for the long-standing American tradition of bitching and complaining about government.

    They don’t actually plan to DO anything with these policies.

  48. I wonder how this applies to the Border Patrol checkpoints within the 100 mile limit of the border? I commute to college (Education Major) four days a week which means I go through one every day and the Border Patrol is less than professional many times, especially the younger agents, who are quite rude and arrogant, not to mention nosy as hell.

  49. It is well established standard operating procedure for these types of people like Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to bring out the good ole’ defense of “we found jihadist materials and child pornography this way so if you oppose us that means you enjoy child porn and terrorism”

    There must be something the FDA injects in our food to keep us from losing our minds and staging mass riots across the country.

    Where is Chuck Norris to fight against oppression and save us all from the evil dictatorship? (Sorry, Missing In Action is on tv)

  50. #54 – It’s been done: http://tinyurl.com/5meu5e

    It’s a little too bling (and too pricey) for my tastes, though.

    I’ve personally been thinking of fitting a USB stick into a lipstick case precisely because I’m a paranoid nut and don’t feel comfortable carrying my data across the border. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with it yet. Maybe somebody on Instructables will come up with something.

  51. There is an even greater danger to this – let’s say they take my laptop for an unspecified period of time. Let’s say I’m properly paranoid and have wiped the hard drive multiple times and installed a clean, fresh OS. No data of any kind.
    I’m kind of mad they swiped my laptop, so let’s say I start calling and writing DHS, writing my congresscritters, etc.
    Next thing I know, I’m being arrested – they “found” porn of the most vile and illegal kind on my laptop! I can’t prove they put it there, plus, who’s going to take the side of a horrific pervert, anyways?
    Seems a lot easier to take the laptop and install “evidence” at leisure than trying to break into someone’s house or hack their computer.

  52. There is a silver lining in this. It shows us where we need to change the laws. Criminals like the Bush administration sort of do us a favor. They show us where our vulnerabilities are. Just as computer viruses show us where the holes are in one’s OS.

  53. if they are going to frame you, they will do it as soon as they have you in their clutches anyway.

    I fear the first A.I. has been created. It is at the meme stage only so far, but it can only grow since nothing seems to oppose it. It’s manipulators and tendrils are multiplying every day. One day,it will cross into the mainframe of daily life and you will never be free of it. Every single daily action will be scrutinized and any non-compulsory action will die aborning since there will be no point. You already limit your actions in what you risk, you are starting to limit or eliminate your travel. You are self-censoring and forgoing all kinds of formerly available choices since there is no point in arguing with power-mad, unaccountable idiots.
    This new creature does not have to be self-aware to want to grow and survive. It won’t even notice eating you. Which is appropriate since the vast majority won’t even notice they are being consumed. How old today is a child born Sept 11th,2001?

  54. If anyone has the telephone number to the rumor mill, please give them a call and ask them to pass around the “fact” that the US government is installing “citizen tracking software” on folk’s laptops / MP3 players / GameBoys, etc. when they fly*. It might work as well as the story about CIA agents selling drugs in South LA.

    * Rumors only need some elements of truth.

  55. officials may share copies of the laptop’s contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that I have some MP3s (legally obtained, of course) on my hard drive. The Feds copy these MP3s and send them off to Langley to see if there’s a message steganographically embedded in them (along the lines of “Paul is dead”). Somebody just became a copyright violator.

    I wonder how the US government would square this with their obvious enthusiasm for preventing copyright violation.

  56. Even the Police don’t have that power in the US– it has to be evidence in a crime for them to confiscate it.

    This power they have apparently granted themselves is just begging to be abused– can you imagine when Christmas comes around, and someone at DHS wants to get a new ipod for his kid. . . “Oh look, here’s the newest generation ipod on a ‘suspicious’ person. . . I think I should confiscate this just to be safe!”

    There seems to be this illogical fear, like a fear of alien replicants hiding among us. Everyone is essentially being treated as “guilty until proven innocent” and most of us don’t realize it. There’s this “better safe than sorry” attitude, whereby it’s better to confiscate a computer, or taser somebody, or even shoot to kill a suspect, “just in case.” It also reminds me of the Soviet Union’s paranoia about “counter-revolutionaries”– ANYBODY could reasonably be considered a threat to the state, from an adolescent to a grandmother, and since there’s no way to know what “evil” thoughts might be hiding in their heads, there’s no way to prove anything, innocence or guilt.

    The argument “you don’t have anything to worry about if you are innocent” is a sorry excuse for allowing totalitarian tactics on supposedly free soil; it’s also incorrect. As this article shows, even innocent people can have their (expensive) personal property confiscated for no reason at all. And really, if you are innocent, and suddenly find yourself being pursued by police in riot gear, are you going to just cooperate, or try and flee? When everybody is considered “guilty until proven innocent” what’s to stop the police from beating or tasering you? You can cooperate if you want, I’ll take my chances running. . . at least it’ll be good practice for when the alien replicants really do invade.

  57. It’s so daft.

    If any criminal/terrorist/prevert [sic] masterminds want to bring evil data into the US, they just have to upload it somewhere, and then download it when they get to their evil hotel room lair.

    So – the only people that will get nabbed by this are the very stupid evil people (0.001% of the people inconvenienced) or entirely innocent people (the other 99.999%).

  58. Meh. As a non-citizen I shall put up with your border controls, for it’s my choice to enter your country.
    However if I were an American, and this happened…I’d be way more political than I am now, boy. I would be right pissed.
    Also, are they still going to require that Americans produce some Official ID to re-enter? I can’t believe that Americans would accept that…

  59. Re: Just upload to a secure server and download when in the US.

    Sorry, won’t work. The NSA has backdoors built in to most things. If you are really suspect they can easily get the info they want on you in a variety of ways. The real answer is through legislation to control and regulate the security state. We can’t eliminate the surveillance state, there are good reasons for some of it to exist. We need openness and congressional oversight.

  60. The Ohm Project

    How to Beat the “Heat:” Anti-Surveillance 101

    1. Use Open Source software.

    Proprietary software, like MS products, can contain back doors that only the maker and the snoops know about.

    2. Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt.

    “The CIA/FBI/NSA/Illuminati already have ‘the key.'” That’s ridiculous. There is no single “key.” Instead, you create a fresh key for yourself.

    3. Don’t trust “the man.”

    Most corporations are anxious to cooperate with the governments that regulate (and financially rescue) them. Skype, owned by PayPal/eBay has a back door they been giving–maybe even selling–to governments around the world.

    4. Use VPN

    VPN, Virtual Private Network, is how road warriors connect to the corporate LAN when they’re traveling.

    5. Put your confidential data on a server, encrypt it and access it from your computer that way.

    6. Disable as much as you can of the built-in snooping devices loaded into your computer and browsing software:

  61. The rate at which these changes are happening is difficult to comprehend. The real test will come after january when we finally start to discover the truth about our next president.

    1. One man is elected and nothing changes.


    2. The other man is elected and nothing changes?

  62. apart from USB drives hidden in common objects, what else works for common media? If they don’t specifically demand you had over all your media, and there is nothing illegal like child porn on it, why can’t you conceal it however you wish? CDs/DVDs would fit in thin, hidden clothing pockets, a hard drive in a book, help me out here.

  63. Gee, Cory,

    This all sounds just a bit like a book I read recently – um…Could it have been yours?

    Great book BTW, unfortunately, I can’t hack anything to save myself from DHS. I’ll have to find a “Marcus” to save me.


  64. USBs hidden in common objects will be revealed by x-ray scanners. Then you have to explain why you are hiding a USB drive.

  65. Use SVN. If you have access to an offsite server you can use SVN to manage your personal files when crossing the border. You set up an SVN repository on the remote server, put all of your critical files onto it and update as necessary. When crossing the border delete your local version of the repository. At your destination download the repository again.

  66. Won’t x-ray machines find most of these things. It will have to be easily concealed on your person, in something that will not normally be removed for x-rayed, and pass a wanding.

    I’m guessing micro-SD cards under a normal sized band-aid.

  67. Why do you have to explain hidden media? Is carrying media illegal? Do they clearly and by law demand you declare all media? Do they x-ray you for swallowed micro-SD cards? What right do they have to make you tell them you are carrying information?
    They glomm onto your phone or laptop because they are hard to hide. But would you be breaking any law if you successfully did hide your laptop? If there is no illegal image or information in the first place, what right do they have?

  68. Thinking further an 8G micro-SD in a phone that won’t recognize an 8G card would possibly create the perfect Purloined Letter.

  69. This just goes to prove that departments (including Congressional creations like the FCC but especially cabinet agencies like Homeland Sec.) should not be able to declare policies. Legislation should be made by legislatures. If DHS wants to recommend to the POTUS that he introduce these policies into Congress, and if he wants to do so, and if Congress approves, and if the president signs it, then everything is all legal. (I suppose this might require constitutional amendment, but you could always try to fit it in the “reasonable” clause of the 4th amendment)

    None of which is to say that I disagree with the policy. I’d vote for people who would vote for it. But doing it this way is not kosher.

  70. Awful, any chance this can be contested in the courts?

    And why does the government assume the evil terror plans will be stored on a laptop or ipod? This seems to be a cultural thing, may or may not be specific to Americans. ~We~ all use laptops and ipods so ~of course~ the evil people must use them too! That strikes me as a very naive view of the world that just leaves you vulnerable to low tech methods.

  71. I think one of the larger stories being told here is the obvious lack of competence on the part of our security and intelligence agencies. We see one hair-brained idea after another forced on the public, all in the name of either “keeping us from having another 9/11 (sic)” or “winning (sic) the war on terror”.

    There is no way the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Transportation Security Administration have any clue as to what to look for, how to look for it, or how to recognize it if they found it. As an American I have no confidence in the intelligence and security agencies of my government!

    I read these stories time and time again, and while it is security theater, it also is erosion of human values, wasteful, and totally ineffective. I see police vehicles running their engines day and night. I see hoards of security personnel “patrolling” the target du jour. I see millions of dollars spent on shoe sniffers, baby x-rays, and old people scanning wands.

    When will the madness stop? I don’t know; maybe when we stop caring.

  72. #50 IWOOD:
    “Tell you what. We’ll take up pitchforks, you shut down your unelected, unaccountable “human rights commissions,” and we’ll all revolt together.”

    …yes, we’ll scrap our world renowned human rights commission and adopt America’s policy on human rights.

    That will be MUCH better.

  73. When will the madness stop?

    China’s All-Seeing Eye
    “Remember how we’ve always been told that free markets and free people go hand in hand? That was a lie. It turns out that the most efficient delivery system for capitalism is actually a communist-style police state, fortressed with American “homeland security” technologies, pumped up with “war on terror” rhetoric.”

    Not caring isn’t the answer. Revolt will only make it worse.

  74. From: Policy Regarding Border Search of Information, July 16,2008

    “…policy guidelines within which officers may search, review, retain, and share certain information possessed by individuals who are encountered by CBP at the border, functional equivalent of the border, or extended border.

    B. …officers can review and analyze the information transported by any individual attempting to enter, reenter, depart, pass through, or reside in the United States, subject to the requirements and limitations provided herein…

    Very clever! Use of the comma in a list without introducing the list with a colon, allows the verb clause “attempting to” to apply to any or all of the listed items.

    Oh, this rule applies to CBP and ICE so the U.S. borders and the interior of the country are included in the rule.

    Every day when I come home from work, I attempt to reside in the United States. But I am questioning the wisdom of that decision.

  75. Wow, Takuan noticed me.

    Reading things like this and the other posts related to the generally corrupt state of the US makes me feel pretty depressed. The Naomi piece only makes things worse. Other than bitching on a blog I wish I had answers. The only answer I have is the belief that somehow the truth will prevail.

    I tell myself various things so I don’t lose it completely. Like: It’s always been this bad. We just have this new technology, the internet, that allows us to see the political sausage being made. And other other thought that, ok, now that a lot of people know how ugly this all is maybe there will be some real changes. It will take time and won’t happen overnight, just relax.

    But that’s a hard stance to keep when you read the Naomi article.

  76. I know it’s underwhelming, but I do still stalk you on weekends. Speaking of, roses? Why roses? I’m still picking thorns. Plant something friendlier outside the bathroom window – please.

  77. ….wait a minute….. wait…you don’t suppose…no! It couldn’t be! These “border” measures COULDN’T be about …domestic spying!??

  78. If only there were some way of transmitting data across national boundaries without carrying physical storage media!

  79. #45 Jeff sez, … as an American I realize that many people (most good but some bad) want to come to visit my country. Lots of people actually want to move here! …

    Correction, many people wanted to move there. Emphasis on the past tense.

    The prevailing opinion is not “the Bush administration is awful, when he leaves office, we’ll welcome the Americans back to the human race”. That may run true in Europe, but in the rest of the world, it’s more “under Bush, the Americans have revealed their true face”. I just don’t see how that could be fixed.

  80. the monsters birthed in the Bush Interregnum are not going to crawl back into their leathery egg cases simply over a change of rulers. Their suckers and bristles are firmly embedded in the American body politic and will only relinquish their blood-meal if fire and acid are applied.

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