Steve Jones - Editor (8/3/2008)
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.
I think you DID mean to start a political debate. Your comment in your editorial, "but perhaps it's not so far fetched given our current US government", reveals your personal bias against the current administration. As an American, you should have a distrust of ALL government authority, not just a distrust of government authority wielded by your political enemies. As a DEVOUT Republican, I am embarrassed to hear this apparent affront to our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, but I'm hardly surprised.
Even the most well intentioned governments sometimes do reprehensible things. Often they attempt to justify them by the context of those actions, but the light of history always reveals them to be what they are. Consider Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a Democrat) in 1942, which ordered 120,000 Americans into internment camps simply due to their Japanese ancestry. Adding insult to injury, the Supreme Court who is normally charged with upholding the Constitution against abuses by the other two branches of government, ruled in favor of the government that the internments were legal.
I strongly considered canceling my subscriptions when I read your article from my e-mail, not because I disagreed that the seizures violated the Constitution, but because you used a platform I subscribed to STRICTLY for technical information/technical opinion to advance your non-technical political agenda.