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Pocket Protectors

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September 26, 2008

Previously we’ve discussed the push to search under travellers’ clothes with the naked machine and the million names on the terrorist watch list. The latest Civil Discourse comic examines DHS’s need to literally put their hands in your pockets.

The Washington Post reported last month:

Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

DHS doesn’t stop with your MacBook. The policies extend to, well, everything. They claim they can seize “any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form” along with “all papers and other written documentation.” Yes, that antique pendulum clock you’re lugging around qualifies as a analog device and may be searched. (ticking time bomb?)

Just in case you thought of something that could slip through those categories, they included “written materials commonly referred to as ‘pocket trash’ or ‘pocket litter.'”

They defined it twice just to be sure they cover everything under the sun.

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