Homeland Security: all your data are belong to us, citizen

Imagine if you will: you’re walking through a checkpointcustoms and if you’re like me, your passport picture makes you look like the Unabomber, so you get “randomly” selected for “secondary screening.” And they say, “Sir, turn on your laptop, we’re going to snoop through all your files and search for anything we feel, as practically untrained off-the-street power-tripping badge-wavers, is possibly a danger to Freedom.” And you say, “What the hell? Aren’t you limited to checking if something is physically dangerous or whatever?” And they say (pdf):

“Officers may detain documents and electronic devices, or copies thereof, for a reasonable period of time to perform a thorough border search. The search may take place on-site or at an off-site location.”

And they confiscate your laptop, detain you for a couple hours, and check if you have any un-American porn. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Encrypting and displacing all your data is beginning to look less and less paranoid. [via El Reg]