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I just read this article and it gave me a bit of a chill. I do a fair amount of traveling and my laptop goes with me almost always. Sometimes two laptops which cause enough trouble getting through airport security. Fortunately I don't much international travel for work, but on a personal basis I have some travel planned for outside of the US I would like to do. I would like to carry a laptop with me so I have a place to dump pictures and videos I take. The article I read bothers me because of the "without any suspicion of wrongdoing" clause.
I already use BitLocker on my work laptops to protect my company. I have enabled it on my wife's Tablet to protect her data. I will enable it on my personal laptop as well now especially if I plan to travel in and out of the country. I don't have anything that the government would get miffed about, but if they are saying they can share the data with other agencies....well.....I am going to make them work for it!
Good idea Chris. The real concerns shouldn't necessarily be about entering the U.S. as a U.S. citizen, but it should be a concern when traveling to areas where they typically "frown" on personal encryption technology. As a matter of fact, it is very possible the customs agent of that country could simply demand that you not only provide the drive, but also the cryptographic keys for any encrypted drive you may have. You can either surrender the laptop, the keys, or get back on the plane. Best practice is simply don't travel with any data you aren't willing to part with.
I don't think flying between Seattle and Montana you will face this issue. :)
...but what other country demands to do this? Ive travelled a lot and no other country has ever said there was a risk they would do this. To be honest though I havent been asked to do that here either and I cant imagine them wanting to screen every laptop that came into the US - can you imagine just how long that would take?
Im amazed that its even allowed. Without being any sort of legal expert, I thought the fourth amendment (constitutional law) disallowed this kind of thing?
I have a good friend that just traveled to China for the Olympics. His family is very well off and I told him not to even take a laptop. He was surprised by that so he said he was going to check with the security detail that travels with them. His OOF message indicates he didn't take a laptop. Draw your own conclusions...
The U.S. DHS is not mandating that every person that crosses our borders sacrifice their personal laptop. It's only for persons with "reasonable cause" for suspicion. Trust me when I tell you that other countries due this as well. If I'm a known "person of interest" by the Chinese government, for instance, you can darn sure bet I'd be pulled aside and the contents of all my personal belongings, laptop included, searched. Some nicely...some not so nicely.
Trust me. I work closely with several people who deal with this daily, and it is truly a a major concern. If you're not being pulled aside, consider yourself fortunate and enjoy your travel. If you are, be prepared to be detained, or deported, if you fail to comply. The U.S. is not doing anything any other country is doing....you're just hearing about it because it makes news here.