Going to USA? Don't bring your computer memory!

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Olle P, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    This is a law that really should hurt US foreign trade.

    Any person entering USA may, at the immigrant officer's discretion, have any brought computer memory taken into custody for investigation (copying, decryption, content analysis, etc.). The official reason is "national security", but I don't think that's very reassuring to persons carrying fully legitimate million dollar trade secrets. :snooty:

    I would think at least twice before doing any business that required sending trade secrets into the US. :boohoo:

    Related articles: International Herald Tribune, CNN International, NewsMax.com, Blogg

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  2. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Are they refering to thumb drives?
  3. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    I am owning the world smallest pendrive from Kingsmax, its so thin , I could actually stuff it anywhere I want to pass through the custom check

  4. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    They refer to all types of memory that can store data.
    Main aim is at laptops, that you might get back within an hour but also might not get back within a year...
    Any data retrieved may be shared with all government agencies, and there are no rules controlling how they store your data.

  5. PsYkHoTiK

    PsYkHoTiK Admin nerd

    I've never heard of this happening (the article points out its not a natural occurance.) My dad has been in and out of the country a number of times and never had his stuff questioned. I brought my PC in and out of the country (twice already) in pieces and the customs has never bothered me with it. My friends have been in and out of the country with their laptops.

    So I doubt its a cause for concern. :D
  6. jamotto

    jamotto Newbie

    Carrying "million dollar trade secrets" around without any form of security measures, would be negligence.
  7. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    Sure, but there's a huge difference between "without any form of security" and the in this case required "NSA proof".
    High end corporate security just isn't sufficient.

    (And if it in fact is NSA proof and you don't help them bypass encryption and other protective methods you'd probably be arrested for obstruction of justice...)

  8. jamotto

    jamotto Newbie

    Well, in my opinion "NSA proof" is reasonably attainable, I think most encryption algorithms have eclipsed the NSA's ability to decrypt them, otherwise they wouldn't have pushed so hard for the key escrow services.

    That would be the case if they have a warrant for your "keys" which is highly unlikely for these "random" security checks. When they start stationing judges in the airports so they can issue search warrants on the spot, then I would be worried.
  9. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    Quoting Herald Tribune, linked in the first post:
    I think it falls under the forensic analysis category, that doesn't need a warrant.
    Read that last part of the last sentence again: Encrypt the data ... although it does not guard it's privacy.

    I think that's really bad!

  10. jamotto

    jamotto Newbie

    Ok, I see why you would be edgy over this. Sadly, I suspect this won't be fixed anytime soon as it doesn't violate the constitution.
  11. sbrehm72255

    sbrehm72255 Newbie

    Folks get way to upset about what they read in the papers and whatnot.........;) I know people that travel in and out of the US almost on a daily basis and have yet to be questioned. Traveling couldn't be easier and the searches here in the US aren't nearly strict as what I've gone through in some European airports.
    But if you look, act and talk trash in a US airport, they will have a good time with you for a while................;)
  12. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    According to the articles it seems to be a matter of where you arrive from.
    South east Asia seems like the major targeted origin.

  13. sbrehm72255

    sbrehm72255 Newbie

    Middle east would be totally understandable to me, as that where most of the bad boys come from. Last I heard, ALL countries check folks that meet a certain proflie a lot harder than all the other folks......;)
  14. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    To me too, but here they go for countries like China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, etc, where pirated software is easy to come by...

  15. xtacymaster80

    xtacymaster80 Newbie

    wow they are definitely tighten up.

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