30 August 2009

US Government: "Leave Laptops At Home" or "You Cannot Come In!"

OK under the "what must they be thinking" department - Here is today's stupid government pet trick.

Thanks to Professor Andrew for this one: See here for the whole government official recommendation for travelling with laptops etc.

http://file.sunshinepress.org:54445/dhs-travel-threat-assessment-2008.pdf (See page 3).

However the critical section is a statement as follows:

"Risks associated with use of electronic media overseas can be reduced
through proper handling techniques. The simplest of these is to leave such devices at home. Barring that, protective measures should include using designated “travel” computers, single-use cell phones, and temporary e-mail addresses as well as refraining from communicating with a home organization’s information technology systems."

So the US government has decided that we should not carry laptops with us when traveling and further we should not electronically speak back to the central office in the USA.

Thank god we have the CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) to protect us at Homeland Security. Clearly with their finger on the pulse of the world - their response is a Monroe Doctrine like isolationism. Gotta love those guys!

So if you think that is good... then I can now officially tell you something well official is a difficult expression as according to the document the following warning is applied: "(U) Warning: This document is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (U//FOUO). It contains information that may be exempt from public release under the
Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). It is to be controlled, stored, handled, transmitted, distributed, and disposed of in accordance with DHS policy relating to
FOUO information and is not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know without prior approval of an
authorized DHS official. State and local Homeland security officials may share this document with authorized security personnel without further approval from DHS."

So what is it that I can tell you?

1. That your laptop can be treated like a suitcase.
2. it is subject to search and if necessary both short term and long term confiscation without any probable cause.

Further - if you are a NON-US citizen - failure to provide (if asked) passwords and access to your computer may result in you being denied entry into the USA.

I can think of only 3 other countries who have the same restriction. Burma (Myanmar) North Korea and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


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