Customs Searches U.S. Citizen’s Personal Files on Laptop

There was a story on CNN yesterday about an Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, who is an IT Consultant who travels a lot for work. Every time he returns HOME to the United States, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) not only search all his things, but they have started taking his laptop and not only physically searching it, but demanding his logins and password to examine the files on his laptop, including confidential company information files AND his own personal information.

The man is an American Citizen, and he is put through this? We have a Constitutional right to NOT be stopped, detained, searched without probable cause, warrants and due process.

This man should have at least been put on a ‘safe list’ since he travels so much AND is a citizen of this country and has been through customs on his return every time. At some point they have to figure out he’s NOT a terrorist. At least you’d think they would.

There’s a suit now again the CBP and I hope this man wins.

Suit: Airport searches of laptops, other devices intrusive

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Amir Khan says he becomes frustrated and humiliated every time he enters the United States and federal agents search his computers. Khan, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, says it has happened five times since 2003.

He says agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have even forced him to give them access to password-protected, confidential information from his company and his banking records.

An IT consultant who travels to Europe, Turkey and Pakistan, Khan says he has cooperated with the questions and searches but feels by now border agents should know he doesn’t pose a threat.

Situations for travelers such as Khan are at issue in a lawsuit filed last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Asian Law Caucus in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit accuses customs agents of “lengthy questioning and intrusive searches” and seeks clarification on the law that allows such searches.

Read FULL STORY here.

In the video, you’ll see/hear Mr. Khan explain how they threatened to force him to login and then they wouldn’t even allow him to watch what they were doing on his computer.

View Video here.

There are some who will claim that this is perfectly acceptable to keep us safe. How exactly is prying into his private files going to keep me safe? No one with half a brain would carry anything on their person that would in any way link them to terrorists. Regardless of how slimey we think terrorists are, they are not complete idiots either.

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~ by swfreedomlover on February 12, 2008.

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