Infinite Seizure - Database Weekly (2008/8/4)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 714093

  • Tom Juergens

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 107

    How fitting - I heard about this on the radio here in Germany today. The solution put forward was similar to yours - keep all your data accessible on a server (VPN or web storage), don't take any personal data with you.

    It's frightening. You guys are already a long way down a slippery slope, and there doesn't seem to be much resistance. If you're looking for a good read on this subject, grab a copy of Naomi Wolf's "The End Of America". We can only hope that Europe's favorite candidate will turn things around 😀

  • (*)

    Grasshopper

    Points: 17

    Would you rather that they seize and hold you? I don't think it's all that bad if you really think about it. They are responsible for "protecting" us from people entering the country and they should use whatever means are required. This is rather trivial compared to what could happen. Just what do you think the Chicoms, Venezuelans or Cubans would do? It CAN be much worse.

  • D.Oc

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2845

    nbethmann (8/2/2008)


    Just what do you think the Chicoms, Venezuelans or Cubans would do? It CAN be much worse.

    WTF??? are you comparing those countries to US, they are under dictatorship regime.

    I'm really sorry to hear this, loosing your freedom in the name of terrorism 🙁

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  • Ross McMicken

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4372

    This is nothing new. US Customs has always had the power to seize and hold anything, or anyone, entering the United States. Customs can keep items for as long as they deem necessary. And, trust me, you do not want to upset Customs agents. They can make arriving in the US take days. It wasn't a big deal in the days before we all carried laptops and cellphones, but given how much of our professionl life is tied up in digital devices, the potential impact is much greater.

    Now, I don't have to like the powers Customs agents have, but it is reality, and there's not much we can do about it.

  • umailedit

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2087

    "Just what do you think the Chicoms, Venezuelans or Cubans would do? It CAN be much worse. "

    WTF? Is this some new kind of apartheid? Doesn't anyone here support a world without borders? Keeping certain people away from your section of the world is called segregation/apartheid. First and foremost we are ALL humans and the word foreigner should be banned from our minds because we are ALL related to each other. Just because of a few nut cases you can't tarnish entire countries. If a texan (for example) goes on a shooting rampage would you exclude ALL texans from your state because of what they may do?

  • umailedit

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2087

    Another question: If a texan goes on a shooting rampage would you start screening all texans at your state border to see if they are hostile to your state?

  • (*)

    Grasshopper

    Points: 17

    So you don't lock your car or house right and never encrypt anything?

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 714093

    Yikes, didn't mean to start a political debate here.

    The power to seize things and protect a country's borders isn't a problem. Every country has the right to do so. My concern is that power without limits, without recourse, without timeframes, without the need to show justifications, is very open to abuse.

    It's also a business issue. If you lose your laptop for a week, what do you do? Most IT I know that travel with laptops for business would be severely impacted if they lost their laptop for more than a day.

  • Timothy-313907

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1226

    Steve Jones - Editor (8/3/2008)


    My concern is that power without limits, without recourse, without timeframes, without the need to show justifications, is very open to abuse.

    That almost sounded like the text in the Declaration of Independence. 😉 Has our current regime become like the country we rebelled against over 200 years ago? Yikes!

  • umailedit

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2087

    "So you don't lock your car or house right and never encrypt anything?"

    So you are saying racial segregation is Ok? So is it ok for White people to lock out black people from their neighborhoods and vice versa? Locks on a house or car is non-discriminative it keeps out everyone other than you. Customs is discriminative mostly along racial lines like keep out the "Chicoms, Venezuelans or Cubans" and color lines like brown or black or white. Do you think customs and locks are equal?

  • Ross McMicken

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4372

    umailedit, from personal experience, I can safely assert that US Customs is an equal opportunity organization in terms of who gets checked out. I've never seen any discrimination by Customs agents, and I've been travelling internationally for 36 years. On several occasions, I've spent several hours with the Customs agents, as they carefully examined every item in my luggage, down to tags in the clothing. This was my own fault, as I neglected to declare a circuit board I had removed from a customer site for analysis by our engineers in the US.

    Given the number of people travelling with digital devices these days, only a small fraction will be inconvenienced. Customs typically doesn't jsut pull random folks out for inspection. There are clues that tip Customs agents to potential problems, and that's what determines who gets subjected to additional examination.

  • Tom Juergens

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 107

    Timothy (8/3/2008)


    Steve Jones - Editor (8/3/2008)


    My concern is that power without limits, without recourse, without timeframes, without the need to show justifications, is very open to abuse.

    That almost sounded like the text in the Declaration of Independence. 😉 Has our current regime become like the country we rebelled against over 200 years ago? Yikes!

    That's the whole point. Your ancestors fought for a number of basic rights and made them the pillars of their (your) society. The US has been promoting these values around the world for a long time, and many millions of people have profited from this, which is something we're all thankful for. Unfortunately, the outside view has become more and more reserved in recent years because of the hypocritcal state the US is currently in: Using force to shape the world as it sees fit, claiming to be the sole super power and moral leader, but at the same time with total disregard for the constitutional rights of its own citizens. That just doesn't seem right, and it's saddening, because I'd like to see a great US again, one that people can rightly look up to.

    Let me add that I know that I've been generalizing, and that many Americans are also concerned, but it seems pretty clear that this is the direction things are moving in, and that's very worrying.

  • Tom Juergens

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 107

    There are clues that tip Customs agents to potential problems, and that's what determines who gets subjected to additional examination.

    And that's why the system will never work, because there will always be people who look and act 'normally' - not provoking any suspicion - and will get away with smuggling or whatever it is you happen to be after, while others just happen to be suspicious by the nature of their looks or names and therefore will always be just that more likely to be subject to controls. That's discrimination, like it or not. It may be human nature, but there comes a point where the state, instead of providing protection against it, which is what it should be doing, starts using it more or less purposefully to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.

  • Ross McMicken

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4372

    Tom Juergens (8/4/2008)


    There are clues that tip Customs agents to potential problems, and that's what determines who gets subjected to additional examination.

    And that's why the system will never work, because there will always be people who look and act 'normally' - not provoking any suspicion - and will get away with smuggling or whatever it is you happen to be after, while others just happen to be suspicious by the nature of their looks or names and therefore will always be just that more likely to be subject to controls. That's discrimination, like it or not. It may be human nature, but there comes a point where the state, instead of providing protection against it, which is what it should be doing, starts using it more or less purposefully to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.

    Unfortunately, it's impractical to subject everyone to the same level of scrutiny, so some level of "profiling" is going to happen. Unless you think that no level of scrutiny is reasonable, and that all should pass unhindered.

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