Sunday, February 20, 2011

On Searches And Hard Drives

This article recently popped up on customs and the searching of hard drives. This whole thing really reeks to me of unreasonable search and seizure. It's one thing to have your luggage scanned through, and another to have the contents of your computer looked through. It's the difference between having someone look through your backpack, and having that same person look through not only your house, but everything you've done for the past month, six months, or even further back (if you're someone who never cleans out their caches).

"Well if you don't have anything to hide, you won't mind being searched."

Oh, fuck no.

This whole thing just reeks of irony (and not just because I'm not at a bus stop!).

When asked for comments on specific cases of computer seizures, customs replied they could not offer much information. Why?

"The privacy rights that citizens have really supersede the government's ability to go into any depth."

Wait. Shouldn't these same rights apply to our hard drives? Especially given, oh, I don't know, the fourth amendment?

Okay, anyways, let's move on. I mean, it's hardly fair to bash customs. They prevent terrorism, day-in, and day-out. I mean, without them, there would be so many more terrorist attacks. This policy with scanning hard drives, they've caught dozens of would-be terrorists, right?

Well, you'd think that if customs had caught a terrorist, it'd be all over the news. They'd at least reference it, right? To show they were doing something.

No reports. No news stories. No nothing. Unless terrorists caught by customs happen to fly under the sensationalist media news radar (hint: they wouldn't!) I think it's safe to say there have been none.

I'll close with these statements: of the terrorist attacks in the past decade, how many have been on a plane whose passengers passed through customs? Now how many have not had anything to do with customs? How many terrorist attacks has customs caught? How many terrorist attacks were caught on the plane, having bypassed customs?

We don't need stricter customs, we need smarter customs. Once again, I point towards the Israeli setup. I think it's wonderful, and should be implemented here.

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