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Is Dick Cheney still hanging around Washington?

The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.

The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.

The Fourth Amendment, you say??

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.
Wouldn't all areas within 100 miles of a border actually comprise a not-inconsiderable portion of the entire damned Country, making 8 or 10%  of the United States "Fourth Amendment Free Zones"?

Link

Ain't nobody asked me, but this is one more thing I don't particularly care for...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (131+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon, Otteray Scribe, Horace Boothroyd III, phonegery, AaronInSanDiego, marina, Cassandra Waites, chantedor, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Chacounne, Wino, annieli, wu ming, gerrilea, squarewheel, linkage, Deward Hastings, Aureas2, chuco35, mofembot, Youffraita, Marjmar, Orinoco, Jim Tietz, GeorgeXVIII, notrouble, edrie, antirove, blueoasis, Paper Cup, Shahryar, vahana, lazybum, riverlover, Superskepticalman, northsylvania, Tinfoil Hat, wilderness voice, Son of a Cat, lotlizard, meagert, petulans, HarpboyAK, jcrit, theatre goon, Clues, The Lone Apple, MKinTN, splashy, evilstorm, ChemBob, One Pissed Off Liberal, CupaJoe, Mentatmark, Carol in San Antonio, Ginny in CO, Tool, penguins4peace, triplepoint, RonV, ARS, envwq, JesseCW, GreyHawk, OllieGarkey, gooderservice, tbirchard, stevenwag, tle, Glen The Plumber, DavidMS, offred, Crashing Vor, Sam Hill, dewley notid, zerelda, Johnny Nucleo, politik, SD Goat, Wendy Slammo, Justus, Byron from Denver, hyperstation, Dobber, yoduuuh do or do not, The Jester, cybersaur, white blitz, Lily O Lady, dmhlt 66, Curt Matlock, Paul Ferguson, xynz, weelzup, OldSoldier99, Flying Goat, J M F, OldDragon, turn blue, VetGrl, Rikpa, cloudbustingkid, rja, ArchTeryx, FlyingToaster, Showman, Sun Tzu, BennyToothpick, Liberal Thinking, tofumagoo, roadbear, IreGyre, Massconfusion, happymisanthropy, snoopydawg, lineatus, jaf49, itzadryheat, Kombema, kevinpdx, grollen, Roadbed Guy, progdog, letsgetreal, TheDuckManCometh, Rick Aucoin, sceptical observer, Calamity Jean, 43north, chimene, KenBee

    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by The Baculum King on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 09:57:10 PM PST

  •  I carry a cell phone. (76+ / 0-)

    It does exactly two things.  Send and receive phone calls.  Voicemail?  Forget it.  Pictures?  Nope.  Speed-dial? Nope.  Games or apps?  Nope.  

    It is not because I am a technophobe.  It is deliberate.

    I have a friend who has a spare laptop for travel.  It has absolutely nothing on it.  He keeps all his files on a confidential encrypted email account that he accesses as needed, then deletes and wipes.  He is a forensic scientist and does not want the results of any of his investigations to fall into the hands of ANYBODY.  

    It is a sad state of affairs that we have come to this.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:05:43 PM PST

    •  amen - tell it ! (10+ / 0-)

      people shouldn't expect privacy because they continue to give it up for the most trivial instances of convenience.

      not too late to get it back.

      encryption for the masses !

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:57:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Privacy never has been respected yet. (30+ / 0-)

        If a woman's vagina can be inspected as a condition of receiving medical care, why complain about being frisked and inspected at the border the Congress wants to be secure?

        Liberty = mobility. Mostly, we don't appreciate that. People going places are inherently suspect. Why? Because people moving around are hard to control. Why do people have to be controlled? It's less risky than killing them off. Why do humans want to kill their own kind? Cain, presumably, did not know. I think it was envy. Where does envy come from? From wanting to be something that you're not? From wanting to be somebody?

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:13:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I recall reading about a well known (33+ / 0-)

          political activist who traveled outside the country.  When he came back through customs, they asked  to see his cell phone.  He told them it was at home in a dresser drawer.  The customs people seemed angry and upset and called him a liar.  He simply grinned and replied he did not take his regular phone with him for this very reason.  When he gets to his destination, he buys a throwaway cell phone, then destroys it and tosses it in the trash before returning through customs.  They were truly pissed with him for not having a cell phone on his person or in his luggage.  

          The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

          by Otteray Scribe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:46:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmm (7+ / 0-)

            Political activist enrages customs inspectors by circumventing their ability to ignore 4th Amendment rights. And he didn't need a gun!

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:40:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ???? (9+ / 0-)

              For what purpose would he need a firearm?  As you can tell from my sig line, I am a student of Sun Tsu.  He taught that tactical advantage wins over brute strength every time.  I would rather outsmart an opponent than fight them any day.  Contrary to action movies and James Bond, spycraft and intelligence services very seldom use force.  The actual character Ian Fleming based his character James Bond on was an agent named Dušan "Duško" Popov. He worked for the British MI5 during WW-II.  Popov was given the code name "Tricycle."  As far as I know, Popov never used a firearm on anyone....all that was artistic license by Ian Fleming.  But like the fictional Bond, Popov was a ladies man and a big spender.  

              Despite my preference for talking my way out of dangerous situations, sometimes you are left no choice.  I have had this conversation with my daughter many times.  She works in law enforcement and is a crack shot.  She enjoys target shooting at the range because it is a good way to work off stress. But she says, "Daddy, I am not sure I could ever bring myself to shoot somebody."  I tell her that if it is to protect the life of one of her buddies, or a kid being victimized, she could do it without hesitation.  It is actually harder to pull a trigger to protect your own life than the life of another.  That is a strange quirk of human nature.  

              The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

              by Otteray Scribe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:14:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, I do know all that, and appreciate your (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Otteray Scribe

                excellent comments on these issues. Sorry the snark was not clear.

                Outsmarting any officials who are traipsing over the basic rights and other infringements that erode our rights, is the first and best defense. I am always frustrated by the inability of those who want guns to protect themselves to understand how rarely using them actually accomplishes what is intended, whether common crime or violations of rights.

                While the technology and brazen abuse of official power is understandably alarming, the history of war is ever increasing technology, science, and innovation to conquer the enemy. It only succeeds until the enemy comes up with a new tactic. We can and have used that process just as well in non-violent resistance. Which became truly viable at national levels in the 20th century when Gandhi, King and Mandela successfully used it in three different countries.

                As you point out and I acknowledge, guns can be necessary and effective in some situations. It's the notion that if many more were armed we would be better able to protect ourselves and it would happen frequently, that I consider overblown. It carries far more risk of unintended harm than outsmarting the over confident and foolish. Someone trying to use a gun in customs is on the level of the people building in-ground bunkers or trying to barricade their home against government agents.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:41:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  perceptive comment (7+ / 0-)

          as usual hannah.

          i think envy comes from wanting to make life significant and purposeful, and seeing someone else appearing to succeed in areas where one feels a failure.

          this can be remedied by encouraging the young to admire and emulate without envy, letting them know that their own lives hold the meaning they will never get from aping or co-opting another's, or hating someone who appears to have been dealt a better hand than yours.

          simple programming when recipient is young and malleable still, very tricky to unearth and reprogram later in life as the insecurity motivating said envy is wound deeply into core identity by then.

          by focussing on emulation and admiration, one retains focus on the person's normal and healthy needs for role models, and helps to understand about the projection that's going on, and how this is disempowering if it slips into envy.

          why? just kos..... *just cause*

          by melo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:15:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  concur (5+ / 0-)

      This has been the case for years, and is why I will never bring my usual laptop past the US border.

    •  Is your friend a U.S. citizen? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, white blitz, xynz, 43north

      If not, the mere existence of encryption software on his laptop is likely to result in him being placed on the do not fly list at best, arrested as a terrorist at worst.

      •  Yes. Born, raised and educated in the US. (7+ / 0-)

        He is a PhD and forensic scientist.  There is no way one could even tell he encrypts anything, because he uses the internet to access his files, where he can edit, add pictures or whatever.  He actually uses his traveling laptop as a "Dumb terminal."  

        He has software that wipes all traces of his internet activity from his hard drive.  He has the usual Microsoft office stuff installed so he can edit his files remotely, but those files (such as Microsoft Word) are empty. Many of the cases he works on are high profile, and some of the things he learns could be explosive if they made the news.  He is also Jewish, and does not want to get caught up in any I/P spy investigations.  He tries to stay out of that furball as much as he can.

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:43:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  bullshit (4+ / 0-)

        All laptops have some form of encryption software on them:
        SSL, SSH, IPSEC...

        +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

        by cybersaur on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:55:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I suppose a single photo, of the 4th amendment (11+ / 0-)

      on a placard, would be asking for trouble.

      Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

      by triplepoint on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:01:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly right. (9+ / 0-)

      I bought two el-cheapo Acer netbook computers at a couple hundred bucks each that I use when traveling.  This includes if flying domestically.  My entire life - passwords, account numbers, contacts, you name it - is on my  regular computer.  No way in hell I'm letting that be "analyzed" by anybody.

      Oh, and even these little disposable computers have full-disk encryption.  (I use BestCrypt from Jetico, the same people who make BC Wipe.)  TSA could probably waterboard the pass phrase from me if they had a mind to - something I don't really worry about just yet - but really the only risk is that they'll decide to confiscate the disposable.  And that I'll miss my connecting flight, I guess.  They need to punish you somehow.

      •  My friend is not a tech person (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldSoldier99, 43north

        and he calls me for advice quite often. I try to keep it simple....for one thing I am not a full-time geek, and my scientific efforts have not been in computer science.  I have suggested the kinds of questions he should ask his computer guy where he lives.  

        I don't own a laptop myself.  I had one and hated it.  Laptop keyboards, especially the small travel friendly ones, and my hands are not compatible.  I have rather large hands.  Picture the average NFL wide receiver and you get the idea.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:56:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those phone are becoming hard to find. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe

      The accepted reason is that the carriers want to sell you more services.  A $169 per month full package is far better than $69 per month.

      It has nothing to do with this.

  •  And For AaronInSanDiego (10+ / 0-)

    That's 2 ;)

    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by The Baculum King on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:12:17 PM PST

  •  Okay, that's #2 :) (16+ / 0-)

    I live less than 30 miles from the border, so I guess this impacts me. I used to get down much closer, but ecologically sensitive the canyon down near the border where I used to go birding has been filled in to build the border fence. I admit I've been a bit reticent to go down there since 2001, but I checked it out a couple years ago and found the scene of a huge berm where a canyon used to be disconcerting.

    On the other hand, I have some conflict of interest on this topic, since I work on projects that support various parts of DHS including CBP, so I can't really comment objectively.

    "Let's do this!" - Leeroy Jenkins

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:20:13 PM PST

  •  Here's a map (37+ / 0-)

    http://www.aclu.org/...
    You can see that some entire states could be considered "Constitution-free'. How and when and where the 'authorities' decide to enforce their laws is questionable.

    There was a diary a long while back where commenters spoke of being stopped on roads in the Southwest, and some that they avoid because of the Border Patrol checkpoints.

  •  no , Obama is still hanging around washington (25+ / 0-)

    no need to invoke cheney, the CIC is more than happy to continue to eat away at the 4th amendment to ensure our "freedom".

    al qaeda fucking won. they definitive proof of that will be the drones flying over american cities to "protect" us.

    just another voter wishing for a pony, who doesn't realize this is the best president of my lifetime.

    Obama is PRESSING for these kind of policies, but I'm still supposed to clap louder.

    fuck that.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:55:15 PM PST

  •  Welcome to America! The New American (34+ / 0-)

    Police State here to strip, scan, touch, feel and take all you thought was good.

    I've known about this "theory" for over 20 yrs.  Nice isn't it?  80% of the total US population lives in the "constitution free zone".

    I asked a CBP agent once how they could claim such authority beyond the constitution itself and was told that their authority doesn't come from the constitution but from Congress.

    I laughed and asked, "What gives Congress the power to rescind the constitution" for any geographic area? And the answer was "national security."

    I continued my questions: Could you point me to that part in that part that says under national security the Constitution does not apply?

    Answer: "We're the first line of defense for this nation. You don't want to be attacked again, right? My power is absolute while I'm in that booth and as long as you wish to come into my country."

    I asked again, noticing the deflection & failure to answer the question.  What gives you the right to stop a vehicle 90 miles inside the border?

    The answer:  "We know that we will only stop around 30% of all illegal trafficking of drugs, merchandise, etc AT the border. So we've devised a plan to raise those "interception rates."

    I asked who granted you such blanket authority? Answer: "Congress doesn't give us the manpower or resources needed so we've devised this plan."

    That plan allows for 70% of all illegal trafficking to go through our border so they can stop it down the road.

    Perfect isn't it?  Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    That was over 20 yrs ago.  Now they can take your property and not give it back to you.  They can copy, print and save anything on any camera or computer and you have no recourse.

    Sweet tyranny.  I love my country, I love my country, I love my country.

    ;(

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:12:47 PM PST

    •  Traveling to my cottage in Canada, (6+ / 0-)

      as an American, I have been searched at the border crossing many times. First, to cross the St Lawrence on a ferry, I have to pass through radiation detectors. On the Canadian side, I had two tomato plants seized and deported back to the USA. Oranges seem to get the OK...

      Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

      by riverlover on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 02:27:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They search me a lot too (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kickemout, gerrilea, 43north, PavePusher

        If I go in thru the Buffalo area then they leave me alone.  But if I go into New Brunswick or Alberta, I know they will nearly pull the floorboards out of my van.

        They say they are searching for guns.  And they seem to think anyone with a Texas tag has guns hidden in the vehicle.  Last time they asked if I had a concealed carry permit.

        When did a permit in Texas disqualify me from visiting family in Canada?  

        If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

        by tacklelady on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:27:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The treatment of Canadians is similar (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, Tom Seaview, PavePusher

          but the item they're looking for is merchandise purchased in Tax-Free New Hampshire.

          What they miss, is the tires, mufflers, brakes and tune-up done on holiday, the 10 days of dirty LL Bean and Old Navy laundry.

          The trick is to let them "Gotcha!!!" over something important:

          "So... Missus.  These Hoover vacuum bags and drive belts from Sears in Newington, New Hampshire USA are where on your declared items form?  Eh!  That's double-tariff as you well know."
          Aw geeze, a whole $5 CDN extra.  
          And The Dominion is saved.
          •  Are you sure???? Does paying taxes "save" anyone? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            43north, PavePusher

            http://www.thewhig.com/...

            QUEBEC CITY - A judge has given Revenue Quebec permission to go after a former employee and convicted pot dealer for his drug-related income.

            The agency can seize property belonging directly or indirectly to Jason Dolan, who pleaded guilty last fall to marijuana trafficking and possession.

            Revenue Quebec wants to recoup $86,915 in provincial sales tax and $26,200 in GST amounts.

            The province says Dolan, 34, failed to report income earned from $551,000 in drug sales last year as well as an additional $19,000 in income from 2005 to 2011.

            The smoking gun was a $40,000 sum of cash that police seized from his home during a drug bust.

            Something tells me it's just about the money, the excuse is that their "saving us".

            ;)

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:36:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well of course it's about the money. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea, PavePusher

              When it's the principle of the thing?  It's the money.
              When it's a matter of security?  It's the money.
              When it's a matter of law and order?  It's the money.

              There's money to be made for all those reasons.
              Where there's freedom of choice, movement, purchasing?
              There's a challenge to the money.

              OWS knows this.  Wall Street must be secure.
              Farmers sued by Monsanto know this.  The basic principles of intellectual property rights must be upheld, or there's chaos.
              No incentive to find a cure for diabetes, if you lift our iron fisted grasp of seed genetics.
              Young black men under lock-and-key know this.  Law and Order.  No school, no family, no job, no hope, no future - but goddamnit!  There's going to be LAW and I Order YOU to Prison.  Pay the man at the door.

    •  it comes from the constitution. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      an inherent characteristic of a sovereign country is the power to control its borders.

      •  I'd love to agree with you on that, really but... (11+ / 0-)

        Nothing is "inherent' in our Constitutional Republic.  We can amend that founding document called the Constitution if we wish to grant our created government more authority however.

        Their authority is defined and limited by said piece of paper, they cannot grant them more powers than are contained therein.  They cannot rescind said lawful requirements we told them they MUST follow.

        Our government doesn't not have a divine right to exist or rule.  I equate "inherent" with "divine right", as you might suspect.

        It's this specific mentality that has expanded into targeting and killing of Americans anywhere in the world.  To the NDAA, the warrantless searches now codified until 2017 by this Congress.  The indefinite detention of anyone labeled "an enemy combatant".  Secret courts, secret rulings, secret legal interpretations, etc.

        Dangerous times we live in.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:52:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Searching electronics at border crossings makes (7+ / 0-)

        no sense, and does not in fact help anyone control our borders, since all data can be trivially transferred electronically.

        •  Right (8+ / 0-)

          The only possible question of interest is "is this thing explosives in disguise?". As soon as the answer is "no", they have no reason at all to search it further.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:22:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I remember those days (5+ / 0-)

            ... when they used to make me boot my MacBook to prove it wasn't an explosive.  It always freaked out the guys at Logan because the Mac gong is 'way different from the Windows startup.

            One friend who travels overseas uses a NetBook, with a tiny hard drive for the OS only; the other uses an iPad.  We got an iPad this past XMas with that in mind.  Everything gets saved online, you have to login to save, and no I'm not giving you my password.  The only thing you can see without a password is the drawings WarriorGirl makes and that she has watched Gangnam Style at least a thousand times :)

            We always got prepaid phones overseas; our phones here won't work, and we'll be together from here to the airport (and the airport on the other end), so there wasn't much point in bringing ours.

            I'm not looking forward to international travel with my daughter; while the Logan guys are fairly copacetic (won't try to put us through scanners when she's with us), the other end even in the states can go very weird and creepy.  

      •  Hokum (5+ / 0-)

        Powers of the government have to be explicitly granted. You haven't read the Ninth or the Tenth Amendment.

        Nor have you read the Fourth Amendment, which says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated". This means they have to have a reason to believe you (personally, individually) are committing a crime before they can search you, regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen or not ("the people").

        Any theory that sovereignty overrides the right to live or travel free from unreasonable search is against the plain language of the Constitution.

        And I don't buy the idea that I'm being protected by this, anyway, because obviously I'm not. All the illegal searches they were doing up to 9 September 2001 did nothing to stop the U.S. from being attacked. If they're going to violate the law, the minimum required is that they should prove that what they are doing is effective. Laugh, laugh, laugh.

    •  You can't expect a border agent (3+ / 0-)

      to know the intricacies of constitutional law, nor hold them accountable for a possible violation of it that stems from a directive they get from high up, that they naturally assume is lawful. We're not talking about torture here (and if we were, then obviously you CAN hold them accountable for that even if is due to some directive). They don't have the training (nor, in many cases, the mental acuity) to understand all that. Plus they've been brainwashed to believe in this "security over liberty" crap. Not that an unconstitutional directive is ok and shouldn't be challenged. It's not and it should, but in the courts.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:28:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Do (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, snoopydawg, 43north, PavePusher

        I expect border agents and other law enforcement agents to know the Constitution, just like I expect every citizen to know the Constitution and what it means. That's the entire purpose of the document. Otherwise, you wouldn't need a written document. You could just have the courts decide.

        So, I don't give them a pass. They should know exactly why this is unconstitutional, illegal and immoral. That's their duty.

        These people are signing up to do something illegal. That would make me pause to consider taking the job. Would you take this job, knowing that it requires you to perform illegal searches? Would you work for the TSA, knowing that what you are required to do as part of that job is violate people's rights?

        If you had such a job and you found out this is what they wanted you to do, then shouldn't you diligently be looking for another job?

        I hold them directly and personally responsible.

        •  No one who isn't a lawyer or constitutional expert (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick Aucoin

          can or should be expected to know what the constitutional means as applied to many complex real-world situations, and it's not reasonable to expect them to. This is why we have lawyers and courts and judges, to adjudicate such things. A plain text reading of the constitution is nice and fine for informal discussions such as here, but in the real world, it's unrealistic to expect to be able to rely on that, especially when dealing with enforcement agents.

          Just because we have a written constitution (which England still doesn't have, btw, and no one is accusing it of being a totalitarian state) doesn't mean that we don't need the courts to decide on its meaning. "I'm right because I know I'm right because that's how I read the constitution" has no legal meaning or force. There is often no one absolute "right" way to read the constitution.

          And if you disagree, welcome to 2nd amendment debates.

          Btw, could you please explain to me why longstanding laws excluding certain border inspections from 4th amendment prohibitions violate the constitution, or point me towards controlling holdings that agree with you? I'm not saying that they don't, just that I'm not qualified to explain why.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:34:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a Good Opinion You Have (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            43north, gerrilea, PavePusher

            And, in an informal discussion, it carries about as much weight as mine. I've stated it. If you disagree, that's interesting, but not an argument.

            This isn't a nuanced position. The plain text of the Constitution says that they have to have a reason to suspect you of a crime. Just traveling is not sufficient reason to believe someone is a criminal.

            I think we can expect that as you actually enter the country you could be required to show that you are not bringing in something subject to duty without paying for it. That's not the same as just searching people to see what you have. As paper is electronic now, it is excluded by the plain text of the law.

            I'd like to see an amendment that says there's an exception to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments where they can do these kinds of searches if they are going to conduct them. Short of that, the Constitution just says what it says.

            •  A lot of people have faith in their plain text (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea

              reading of the constitution. The problem is that their reading differs from other peoples' readings. I have the classic example of the 2nd amendment. Which is why a plain text reading of the constitution by anyone, even a good lawyer, outside of the legal system, has zero legal weight. If the courts have ruled that border crossings are exempt from the 4th amendment, then that's what the 4th amendment effectively allows, whether you like or agree with it or not.

              We are all allowed our own views and readings of the constitution, including the parts we see as obvious. Doesn't make it so, let alone have legal weight.

              Also, the 4th isn't limited to only paper, but also "effects", which has been taken to also mean electronic data.

              Btw, a plain text reading of the constitution nowhere allows for the creation of an Air Force, but only a Navy and Army. So one could argue that the Air Force is unconstitutional on such a basis. One would also look silly if one tried.

              I think pretty much all con law experts agree that it's not black and white.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:04:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kovie, two functions of Government at the Border. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher, Liberal Thinking

                1) Revenue.  Customs was a revenue generator, since the days of being a Colony.  Taxes and Tariffs.  Enforcement of Embargoes.

                2) Border security regarding immigration and persons excluded from entry.

                No one ever expected a Revenue Cutter or Border Patrolman to exclude an invasion armada or army.  Pancho Villa had little to fear from Border Agents.

                We've expanded that to prohibited plants and materials, as we better understand invasive species, and yet they still get through.  Emerald Ash Borer for example.
                Marijuana for another.

                Now I can accept that the Founders didn't envision a flight from Frankfort to Chicago, as Chicago didn't exist.
                So "border" then becomes "port of entry" - and unless Lufthansa's new service is that we're sent out the door via parachute?
                That "port" should be well defined.  Not all of America from New York to Oklahoma City, Detroit to Dallas.

                •  You can make the most blindingly solid (0+ / 0-)

                  arguments about this or that derivation of the constitution, but unless it's been held as such by the courts, it's just academic, not law. The only people whose "plain text reading" of the constitution that ultimately matters from a legal pov are judges, not lawyers, scholars or bloggers.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:26:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I sadly have to agree with you assessment here. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher, Liberal Thinking

                Isn't that a real problem we face?  The are over 10 million laws on the books.

                For example this:
                Too many laws, too many prisoners

                Mr Norris was 65 years old at the time, and a collector of orchids. He eventually discovered that he was suspected of smuggling the flowers into America, an offence under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

                -cut-

                Prosecutors described Mr Norris as the “kingpin” of an international smuggling ring. He was dumbfounded: his annual profits were never more than about $20,000. When prosecutors suggested that he should inform on other smugglers in return for a lighter sentence, he refused, insisting he knew nothing beyond hearsay.

                The Constitution only has 4,400 words in it.

                There's only 16 words in the damn Commerce Clause.

                How many agencies have been created out of that?

                Back to the subject at hand, the "officers" are not duly authorized or recognized has having "police powers." Customs agents have been trying to get themselves "deemed" such by Congress for a very long time.

                They know the difference, really.

                If they catch you smuggling drugs, they can't arrest you but can detain you until the local police arrive.

                "ICE" agents are police officers.  Customs agents are not.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:05:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Elastic clause allows all sorts of derivations (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gerrilea

                  from those few words, and justifiably so. You don't actually think anyone could produce a constitution that accounted for every possible need and with strictly enumerated powers? I'm not sure even Scalia believes that.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:28:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They did provide protections against these things (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PavePusher

                    hate to say it but the 9th and 10th A's do make things much more clear.

                    9th- The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                     10th- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

                    The "vagueness" you reference is very dangerous, imo.

                    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                    by gerrilea on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:50:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The 9th amendment is important (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gerrilea

                      But the 10th is basically meaningless, no matter how much the teabaggers think otherwise. They basically reject nearly 200 years of law and rulings and most of today's government powers. To limit federal powers to those explicitly granted in the constitution is to render government meaningless. The theory of implied powers is well formulated and essential to government being able to do its job, and supported by Article I, Section 8, various court rulings, and the Federalist Papers. It doesn't grant the government unlimited powers, mind you, just those that logically derive from its enumerated ones.

                      And I have no fear of vagueness. Courts are pretty clear on what is and isn't constitutional. What I fear is when congress and the executive do as they please regardless. For example, FISA is clearly unconstitutional. Hopefully, it will be found to be so by SCOTUS someday soon and struck down.

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:39:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I'm Not Giving Them a Pass (0+ / 0-)

                They signed up for a law enforcement function. At a minimum they need to understand the law.

                They are responsible to know that the Constitution has specific guidelines for search. They have to know, since it is widely known (even to criminals) in our society that people have a right not to be searched unless there is a specific indication they are breaking the law. For someone to be ignorant on such a fundamental and commonly known part of American law would suggest willful ignorance.

                You don't have to be a constitutional scholar to know that this is illegal and wrong.

                (As for the Air Force, Congress has the power to tax and spend. The Constitution doesn't call out the CIA, but I do not claim the CIA is unconstitutional.)

                Not everything about the Constitution is obvious. If I claimed the TSA was working corruption of blood, I would not expect their average agent to have the slightest idea what I was talking about. Illegal searches--give me a break!

                •  You're missing my point (0+ / 0-)

                  Just because YOU view this as an obviously unconstitutional abuse of power doesn't mean that one, it is, and two, it's seen as such by the legal system. If the courts have ruled that the constitution allows these powers, then it allows them, period, end of discussion, and your only recourse is to try to change the laws that grant these powers, or file suit in the courts against them.

                  None of us gets to decide what the constitution does or doesn't mean beyond the realm of discussion and debate. Our opinions on this have no legal weight. Just as, incidentally, does Obama's, even if he is a lawyer, constitutional expert and the president. Ultimately, the law is the law, not our views of it. Which is why Obama and his lawyers' opinion that the drone program is lawful is not a legitimate legal justification for it.

                  Btw, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you on the substance of this matter. I have a serious problem with border agents being able to inspect our belongings without cause, just because we're entering the US, and it may well be unconstitutional. But if there are laws that allow this and court rulings that support it, then it's effectively constitutional, like it or not, and your only recourse is through the legislative or legal system, or civil disobedience.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:52:45 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Got the Point (0+ / 0-)

                    I just disagree with it.

                    Now here's my point. I'm talking about what the law should be. This is where the American citizens tell their legislators what they want. It isn't where the courts tell us anything.

                    I'm not in court. I'm not accused of anything. So, I don't have to care. What I do care about is telling them exactly what they are supposed to think. That's my right as an American citizen.

                    You get the same right. Go ahead. Argue your point. It doesn't matter to me because it isn't about me.

    •  "You don't want to be attacked again, right? " (8+ / 0-)

      I'm being attacked right now. My liberties are important to me.

  •  Maybe I need a computer shaped like (21+ / 0-)

    an assault rifle. Those don't seem to have attracted much notice in border areas.  (snark)

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:37:49 PM PST

  •  First of all, the Amendments outline (13+ / 0-)

    a few prohibitions, which agents of government are supposed to adhere to. Prohibitions are never very effective because any behavior can only be addressed after it occurs -- i.e. when it is already too late. Which is why the main body of the Constitution is framed as duties and obligations. If they are not carried out, then the simple recourse (enforcement power) is to dismiss the agents.
    To a certain extent, the Amendments have proved counter-productive because they have set the stage for the argument that "everything that is not prohibited is permitted" to agents of government, just like it is to the ordinary person. The word "reasonable" also promotes that generous interpretation because, of course, any behavior can be rationalized. Add "security" as the main mission, rather than "providing for the general wellfare," and you've got a prescription for a locked-down nation. I'm not sure whether most people realize that locking someone out implies locking someone else in. The people inside the castle gates are in a prison. People who live in gated communities have imprisoned themselves. The White House is a prison. The President not being able to go anywhere without guards is a prisoner.

    Think of voluntary and involuntary servitude. The Cons would have us believe that the only thing wrong with slavery was that it was involuntary. If people can be persuaded to surrender all their rights, it's not abuse. If one consents to be married, then, according to tradition, marital relations cannot be abusive. If one agrees, then one is complicit and, if one does not resist, then one agrees.

    Also, electronic recording devices are a threat to all bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are people who accumulate and store records. Therein lies their authority and their power. People making records of their behavior are, therefor, threatening. The watchers do not like being watched. People who rely on superficial optics are particularly sensitive. They know their snooping is intrusive and they don't want to be intruded upon.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 01:03:35 AM PST

  •  A friend of mine, (13+ / 0-)

    age about 75, who is nonetheless hale, hearty, and an avid golfer, used to travel to Florida every February with her disabled husband to enjoy some sunny weather out on the links. After the second year of having the wheelchair totally disassembled at the border security station in Miami, they have given up on vacations in the States entirely, and have taken to spending the month in South Africa, a place they feel to be much less repressive.
    We already have cheap tablet devices for travelling because my spouse has often had proprietary company information on his computer. I just didn't want mine confiscated arbitrarily. The Constitution Free Zone might be the deciding factor in flying our family over here as it is cheaper, easier, and far less annoying.

    "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

    by northsylvania on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:11:20 AM PST

  •  DHS Is Now A Corporate Subsidiary (12+ / 0-)

    I would bet that there will be fewer terrorists caught by doing this than file sharers soon to be sued by the RIAA or the MPAA.

    Encrypt everything and be sure to tell them that the password is "e@tmysh1t"

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:28:15 AM PST

  •  The 4th Amendment means what it says. (10+ / 0-)

    This shouldn't be hard. Although I am not a lawyer (perhaps because I am not a lawyer), I am quite puzzled about why anyone making the exceptional claims described for the DHS report can be taken seriously.

    Interpreting something as plainly written as the Fourth Amendment isn't difficult, and the amendment gives no broad areas of exception. Why do we allow people to claim that its directive is especially nuanced or provisional or incomplete?

    The proper answer to the DHS report and any lawyer or judge upholding that conclusion is, "You are peddling horseshit, and you need to step down."

    *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

    by CupaJoe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:05:19 AM PST

    •  the founders thought that ships could be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, realalaskan, FG

      seized and searched when they entered port from abroad. (and passed a statute in 1789 permitting that) were the misreading their own amendment?

      •  The statute covered something different. (7+ / 0-)

        If you are referring to the law adopted on July 4, "An Act for laying a Duty on Goods, Wares, and Merchandises imported into the United States," it described things that would seem to lie outside the realm of the Fourth Amendment. The law applied taxes and restrictions on the import of a long list of goods and commodities. Those were items that were both in trade and in transit, which probably distinguishes them from the "houses, papers, and effects" covered by the Fourth Amendment.

        I would not claim that citizens have the right to transport any and every tangible substance across the border. I merely assert that the constitutional amendment applies in a very clear way to citizens, and their stuff, and their information that is within the United States.

        *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

        by CupaJoe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:50:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it permitted search and seizure. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          realalaskan

          your original point was that a plain reading of the 4th didn't permit any border exceptions, yet here we have an exception.  here's SCOTUS:

          .

          The Congress which proposed the Bill of Rights, including the Fourth Amendment, to the state legislatures on September 2, 1789, 1 Stat. 97, had, some two months prior to that proposal, enacted the first customs statute, Act of July 31, 1789, c. 5, 1 Stat. 29. Section 24 of this statute granted customs officials "full power and authority" to enter and search "any ship or vessel, in which they shall have reason to suspect any goods, wares or merchandise subject to duty shall be concealed. . . ."
          search and seizure without a warrant.  there's the exception at work.  

          http://supreme.justia.com/...

          •  There Is Precedent (3+ / 0-)

            But the precedent can be abused and the states or the court interpretation should be changed to allow people to freely come and go in their own country bearing information that is legally protected without harrassment.

            The Obama administration is currently harrassing people who have publicly defended Wikileaks and Bradley Manning in this way -- people who have not been accused or charged with any crimes except what the Justice Department and the military considers, outside the legal code, to be crimes of thought or speech.

            "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

            by bink on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:08:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're joking, right? (6+ / 0-)
            "any ship or vessel, in which they shall have reason to suspect any goods, wares or merchandise subject to duty shall be concealed. . . .
            "

            Got that?  Reasonable suspicion, as written out in the script of another age.

            I'm sorry Johhny, but you did not win todays showcase.  

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:11:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Border exceptions" wasn't my point. (4+ / 0-)

            I should have been more clear when I wrote the original comment. I was not claiming that the amendment prohibits border searches. I acknowledge that the matter of border searches is nuanced. They might be covered by Fourth Amendment prohibitions in some cases. For example, there may be a distinction between tangible items (goods and commodities) versus information. I'm not sure, and I'm not knowledgeable enough about cross-border trade to be able to discuss all circumstances.

            However, DHS apparently claims that it may search and seize things that are not in transition across the border. In addition, other federal agencies have claimed they may search through information and monitor communications by citizens in ways that clearly are at odds with the amendment. Those are the things that should be rejected.

            *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

            by CupaJoe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:28:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Did they pass a statute allowing private papers (4+ / 0-)

        and personal effects to be seized without cause 100 miles from the border?

        "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

        by JesseCW on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:07:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  my only point was that the naive interpretation (0+ / 0-)

          of the 4th amendment which would permit no exceptions at all for the border is false.  the commenter is corrected and recognizes at least an exception for items in "trade or transit," so I'm done.

          I'm not terribly interested in the fine grain details the way you and the other originalists appear to be.

          •  The power to regulate commerce is explicitly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybersaur, xynz, Liberal Thinking

            granted in the Constitution.

            That's why they're free to search commercial vehicles whenever they like, but not free to search the drivers private belongings.

            It's not "because borders scared pissy-pants terrorists coming AHHHhhhhhhhhhh......".

            It's called the commerce clause.  It's not new.

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:38:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The naive interpretation... (3+ / 0-)

            This is probably revealing about a more fundamental difference between your and my take on the matter. I would suggest that the naive interpretation of any law is usually the best place to start. Trying to build a system of interpretation that relies heavily on "precedent," dragging in cases that really were about other things, is what has made our system of laws so baroque and unwieldy.

            The law should not be so complicated that it is accessible only to an elite class of experts who are inducted into the ways of interpreting it.

            A lawyer would probably say that the web of legal precedents makes for a system of laws that is more internally consistent and fair. I would argue that it results in a system that is unreasonably nuanced, inflexible, and subject to abuse.

            This position probably sounds horribly anarchist to you.

            *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

            by CupaJoe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:51:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  If that statute was passed in 1789 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DavidMS, penguins4peace

        then it preceded the 4th amendment by several years. In any case, the right to inspect travelers and cargo coming from abroad, in port or in transit, has always been seen as being outside the sorts of rights protected by the 4th amendment. Most of us have had cars or luggage inspected in customs upon returning from abroad without explicit court order, and it's perfectly legal.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:21:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So let me see if I have this right (0+ / 0-)

      You think that the 4th Amendment prevents a customs agent from opening the heroin stuffed luggage of a drug mule at the border? From opening a trunk filled with plastic explosives brought here by a would be terrorist?  

      Seriously?

      •  No, that is absolutely not what I implied. (5+ / 0-)

        See the comments above.

        *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

        by CupaJoe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:09:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is the difference between (0+ / 0-)

          opening up a suitcase and rifling through its contents and opening up a laptop and going through its contents?

          •  In terms of border searches, I don't know. (0+ / 0-)

            I said earlier that I do not know enough about cross-border trade to offer an opinion about whether searches AT the border are prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. Along the lines of your question, it seems reasonable that there might be a difference between information on a laptop and stuff in a suitcase, but I'm not trying to assert anything about that.

            I was making the point that, without probable cause and a warrant, any searches and seizures of stuff or information INSIDE the U.S. violate the Fourth Amendment. Currently, the DHS is claiming that they can conduct their searches inside the U.S., and that violates the amendment. Similarly, monitoring of electronic communications or files without a warrant is also a violation.

            *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

            by CupaJoe on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:59:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone on the border trying to destroy America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    loses all constitutional rights dontchanow? *snark*

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:32:35 AM PST

  •  But, but it could save childrens' lives (5+ / 0-)

    Isn't that the only thing we should be worrying about when discussing the Bill of Rights? Why should anyone be worried about this if you aren't doing anything illegal? People have to understand that their hobby of electronics does not trump the safety of kids from pedophiles and terrorists.  I say we register electronics, tax the hell out of memory, mandate electronics insurance, and ban certain types of high speed laptops. Nobody needs a 1 TB harddrive or 8 GB of ram.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:46:01 AM PST

    •  Our Homeland (5+ / 0-)

      Then there was the privacy advocate who was detained at airport security for trying to bring a wiped memory stick into the country that had nothing on it except the U.S. Bill of Rights.

      http://www.salon.com/...

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:03:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Will it now become illegal to wipe storage (2+ / 0-)

        devices w/o government-approved wiping software that sends DHS or NSA its contents before wiping or analyzes its content? Hell, for some time now I've wondered whether some piece of software we all have on our computers, put there via an OS or app install or update, or via some anti-malware app or an update to it, is spying on us without our knowledge, with software companies under a strict gag order to not disclose and to deny it. The only thing that makes me think that this is not going on is that eventually some clever hacker would have figured it out and let everyone know, even at risk to themselves. But that the government would want and might seek ways to do this on a large scale w/o warrants or due process I'm now sure of.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:12:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Speak for yourself (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur, mmacdDE, happymisanthropy

      I'm now eying a new 4TB drive to consolidate a bunch of videos I have (mainly CSPAN and other political recordings I've made over the years, some of them ironically of hearings and discussion over this very topic).

      Plus, I keep recording various TV shows and movies that air with my DVR that I mean to see "eventually" but never seem to get to, and with HD taking up a lot of space, I need the extra storage. And, all those family home videos.

      If DHS found anything remotely interesting in any of this, then we're in trouble indeed. Sometimes I think they create work just to justify their existence.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:17:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking

        Setting aside the fact that this policy is unconstitutional, it's just ineffective. I suppose the fuckheads at DHS have never heard of the Internet. Any plot that truly threatens the country isn't going to be brought in on Joe Schmoe's iPod! Why risk discovery at a checkpoint when all you'd have to do is connect to vpn.terrorhq.org and download blowupafewcities.exe.
        We're having our Constitutional rights taken away from us for no reason!

        +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

        by cybersaur on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:06:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It looks like you forgot to eat your carrots. (0+ / 0-)

        You seem to have snark blindness.

        In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

        by xynz on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:09:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Encrypt all that stuff anyway (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        Make it a pain in the ass for them to decrypt it (if they ever can... 256-AES is I think unbreakable).

        Why? Just because. No reason not to make the government's job difficult and frustrating, especially when there will eventually be zero payoff for them.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:28:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One should do that anyway (0+ / 0-)

          in case your data gets lost or stolen, to prevent others from getting at it. If one wants to exclude the government from being able to see your data too, then that's one's prerogative. However, if the government wants to look at your data, it could order you to decrypt it, and if you refuse, it could lock you up. Perhaps not lawfully, but that hardly seems meaningful these days.

          No doubt there are people in DHS and the NHS, among other government agencies, who would love to be able to get their hands on every last byte of personal and corporate data out there, including real time data, and see no reason why they shouldn't be able to. And we're now at the point where it's actually possible to do this, without our knowledge, given that most computers (which includes smartphones and tablets, and even TiVos and some cars) are connected to the internet 24/7, and it's possible to mask such access so we don't know about it, by hacking kernel-level processes.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:46:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie
            However, if the government wants to look at your data, it could order you to decrypt it, and if you refuse, it could lock you up. Perhaps not lawfully, but that hardly seems meaningful these days.
            That's why you use false-volume encryption where one password decrypts harmless or decoy data and another password decrypts the real data.

            It's impossible to tell that there is a false volume in such an archive. Of course, it also makes your real data vulnerable to deletion if anyone fills the false volume up completely.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:06:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem with that (0+ / 0-)

              is that one, you have to be a good liar, and agents are trained to detect bad ones, and two, you have to put convincing-seeming files on the decoy volume that are fairly recent to make it seem plausible, and that takes discipline (or some way of automating this). Most people would fail both tests.

              Also, protecting the hidden volume data from wiping. But I assume that people concerned enough about losing their data are going to have multiple backups in multiple locations, all properly encrypted.

              Of course, most people are probably not going to get searched and/or care enough to do any of this or have a particular need to.

              I'm personally not worried about the government because, although it's a cliche, I really don't have anything to hide or that they'd find very interesting. I do encrypt some of my data, but only in case it gets lost or stolen, to keep it out of the hands of criminals and other jerks. And for them, I don't need a hidden volume. My data simply isn't that interesting.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:26:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I see what you did there. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Let's do this!" - Leeroy Jenkins

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:08:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, residents of Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester (3+ / 0-)

    beware, your homes and their contents can be searched on demand?

    Obama who?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:06:16 AM PST

    •  Can you cite an example (0+ / 0-)

      of something like this actually happening?

      •  Not the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        That DHS believes it can do this is sufficient cause for alarm. Can you prove that you've been spied on without a warrant via your cell phone? Since you can't (I assume), then you have no reason to be worried about NSA's claimed right to do this, according to your logic.

        Plus, Obama's president, so we can trust him, right?

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:04:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I think it is very much the point (0+ / 0-)

          I think you misunderstand the DHS memo if you think they believe they can enter and search homes without warrants within 100 miles of the border. Their searches are related only to border crossings.

          If they believed they could search those homes warrant free, why haven't they done it?  Come on. You know it's nonsense.

          •  What's the point of a 100 mile wide (0+ / 0-)

            4th amendment-free zone if it only applies to actual borders, which are just a few hundred feet wide including buildings and fences?

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:45:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Har har har ... (9+ / 0-)
    The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog
    Ho ho ho
    hee hee hee

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:15:48 AM PST

  •  8 to 10%, maybe, in land mass. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, bobinson, xynz, tofumagoo

    But I'll bet it's a much larger percentage of the population. Population density is highest along the coastlines.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:29:46 AM PST

  •  Wow.... (4+ / 0-)

    ...but then, Americans not being so 'concerned' about the 'officals' making summary judgements about people (and thier surrounding community) that end in 'state sponsored executions based on an 'imminent threat'...and so on wouldnt find a problem havint thier things taken in the name of 'national security'...would they?

    I am sure that as long as the victims of execution are named Muhammad and Fatima...live in Pakistan or Yemen, are 'brown skinned', and not Christian...Americans will support summary judgement.

    I hope that when Mr Smith gets his phone taken away, or Mrs Jones has her Ipad taken away in Phoenix Arizona... Americans will wake up and look at what is being done in the name of 'national security'...and what they are sponsering through things like the drone programme...and figure out why people dont like them.

    Remember, it isnt Muslims, or Arabs, or al Quid'a that is taking away American liberty and privacy...it is fear, and nothing else that allow Americans to sit back and let it happen.

    The true strength of of an oath is forged in adversity.

    by Nur Alia Chang on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:36:16 AM PST

  •  Most pp live on the coasts so that covers most (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz, happymisanthropy

    everyone all the time

  •  Back in 2003... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, Calamity Jean

    ...we had a family vacation to Paris.  During our time there we took many photos of our 18 month old daughter walking the streets and visiting museums.  I particularly remember her standing next to Degas' "The Little Dancer" and the amazing photo I took of it.  

    In our excitement, we visited a copy/computer shop and downloaded a few photos from the memory card and emailed them back home.  We somehow had mistakenly left the memory card at the shop and didn't realize it until we returned.  Incredibly, we found the phone number of the small shop, called them and they had kept it in lost and found.  They were also incredibly nice in willing to put it in an envelope and mail it to us.

    We received the envelope and it was empty.  The rear had a sort of smudge imprint of the card.  It had been in there when it was mailed and clearly had passed thru mail sorting machines.  In the upper right was an expertly done slit where it had been removed.

    I have always blamed "Homeland Security" and have been sick about it ever since.

  •  Because.... FREEDOM!!!! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  DHS is the American KGB, pure and simple (3+ / 0-)

    It is a state within a state, above the law, accountable to no one. It continually seeks to expand its reach, poking its nose into things like copyright law which have nothing to do with the reasons for its creation. As the KGB did, it has established border security zones extending dozens of kilometers from the actual border. It arrogates to itself extraordinary powers in the name of national security. It thrives on paranoia, and will always use the fear of terrorism to trump any objections, whether by Congress or anyone else.

    My gut tells me DHS is a greater threat to liberty than all the terrorists who ever lived.

  •  I live about 5 miles from the beach... (3+ / 0-)

    in Florida. That puts me 5 miles from the border. Apparently I don't have the 4th amendment to rely on. Nice.

    I live in Florida... we're not strong with counting down here.

    by weelzup on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:07:54 AM PST

  •  Where do you get the blockquotes? (0+ / 0-)

    They are not quotes from the linked article.  One of the premises of this diary is that the government claims it has unlimited search and seizure powers within 100 miles from the border, and I cannot find any support for that premise.

    The more I read the linked article, though, the more I think the ACLU is engaging in hyperbole here. The fact that a border checkpoint, authorized by an act of Congress, has been set up 100 miles from the border does not mean that everywhere 100 miles from the border is a 4th Amendment-free zone.

    But more links would help make the case.  I'm thoroughly unconvinced.

    •  Never mind (0+ / 0-)

      I found the links in another diary.

      Now to read them.

    •  Okay, read. (0+ / 0-)

      Still not finding any claim by the government that there is a 4th Amendment-free zone within 100 miles from the border.  Looks like that just applies to these "border" checkpoints set up by Congress.

      Someone please feel free to link me to a place where the government's claiming such a thing.

      If the ACLU doesn't think the inside-border checkpoints protect 4th Amendment rights, they should find an aggrieved party and sue.

  •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean
    By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.
    Actually, they interpret "border" to mean any place the country can be entered from. Beyond the actual border, that includes:
    - major rivers
    - international airports
    - embassies and consulates
    ... and a few other things I can't remember right now.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:00:49 AM PST

  •  fuck "national security" (0+ / 0-)

    whatever the hell that is anymore

  •  Added to Prosecuting Officials for Crimes (0+ / 0-)

    I've added this as a reference to the Prosecuting Officials for Crimes page on Dkosopedia.

    This is for documentation purposes, only, since I don't expect a return to democracy.

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