Thursday, May 15, 2008

E-Security and Laptops

Bruce Schneier writes about electronic security issues and sends out a monthly newsletter by e-mail. Most of the time, the stuff is too obscure for me to pay attention. But this is something everyone should know, especially investigative reporter and editor types.

Last month a US court ruled that border agents can search your laptop, or any other electronic device, when you're entering the country. They can take your computer and download its entire contents, or keep it for several days. Customs and Border Patrol has not published any rules regarding this practice, and I and others have written a letter to Congress urging it to investigate and regulate this practice.

But the US is not alone. British customs agents search laptops for pornography. And there are reports on the internet of this sort of thing happening at other borders, too. You might not like it, but it's a fact. So how do you protect yourself?

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