Another Blow to Privacy From The 9th Circuit

No suspicion needed to search laptops at customs entry points.

Say what you will, but I can’t see this as anything but bad. Yes, they stopped a scum-sucking child pornographer, but come on, the bigger implications here are scary.

What about copyrighted material?
What about business documents?

really stretching here

What about documenting political affiliations or personal choices stored privately on a hard drive?

I personally like the anonymous commenter that ties this in with the war on terror, saying this is for our safety and we should just deal with it. Crazy people give up freedoms so easy.

I know I for one live in fear of the laptop of death coming into the country, oh wait, scrap that. I have a windows PC, I only fear the blue screen of death.

I own a web production company that is contracted to Mevio. I work with people from several countries. My documents and media productions fall under contracts and copywrited works. Much of what I do is set for future release.

Have any of you seen the likes of the TSA people at the airports? I do not trust these people to see things that I am under contract to keep to myself.

Disturbing.

I am also not saying that there should not be searches, just that there has to be some set of rules in place to protect people from having their personal, and business, privacy exposed.

Discuss please.

Not so disturbing. By crossing a border, you forfeit your right to privacy. The fact that they want to search drives instead of suitcases, pockets and rectums changes nothing.

There is no doubt that this whole war on terror BS has been detrimental to the rights of Americans and non-Americans. But getting riled up over your laptop getting searched is bogus. The “Patriot” Act is still around in case you haven’t noticed, and the Bill of Rights is getting flushed down the toilet. Those are more pressing and tangible issues than the customs calling the RI/MPAA because they found your mp3 stash.

Meanwhile, there are like a billion ways to circumvent this, from TrueCrypt to Fedex-ing your laptop in advance.

What about people who travel with sensitive material?

They dont need to search your harddrive to tell if you are going to blow up the plane. Just have the bomb sniffing dogs check for explosives. Damn, what a bunch of shit, If you were aloud to pack heat on the plane it would be safe. When al-janutcase tries to take it over he’d get his ass blown to pieces and thrown out the door, problem solved, cheaper too.

I saw a thing on Mythbusters, and no the plane wont decompress super fast and kill everyone if they put a hole in it. They even had a picture of a plane that landed safely with half of the roof blown off from something.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Not so disturbing. [/quote]

Not so disturbing?!?

Yes, in that foreign land. Not in your own country of USA, where you are citizen with rights to privacy.

Last I heard, the Patriot Act was up for vote for it’s continuation early this year. I’d be shocked to hear a Pelosi led Democratic Congress, who have vehemently opposed it’s existence would even let the topic come to the floor, let alone vote - which would end in it’s demise, as a Democratic majority Congress would not vote for it.

I’ll have to double check my facts.

[quote]kroby wrote:
lixy wrote:
By crossing a border, you forfeit your right to privacy.

Yes, in that foreign land. Not in your own country of USA, where you are citizen with rights to privacy. [/quote]

No, you don’t. Have you never had your luggage checked upon entering the country?

http://www.volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_04_20-2008_04_26.shtml#1208829306

[i]
[Orin Kerr, April 21, 2008 at 9:55pm] Trackbacks

Ninth Circuit Allows Suspicionless Computer Searches at the Border:

The Ninth Circuit has (finally) handed down United States v. Arnold ( Page Not Found ); the court ruled that there is no Fourth Amendment requirement of “reasonable suspicion” to search a laptop computer at the border. The decision overturns the opinion of District Judge Dean Pregerson that I blogged about here back in 2006 ( The Volokh Conspiracy - District Court Holds That Border Searches of Computers Require Reasonable Suspicion: ). The unanimous appellate opinion by Judge O’Scannlain reasons that the greater storage capacity of computers does not make computer searches at the international border sufficiently different from other searches involving physical items:

[quote] Arnold has failed to distinguish how the search of his laptop and its electronic contents is logically any different from the suspicionless border searches of travelers’ luggage that the Supreme Court and we have allowed.

With respect to these searches, the Supreme Court has refused to draw distinctions between containers of information and contraband with respect to their quality or nature for purposes of determining the appropriate level of Fourth Amendment protection. [u]Arnold[/u]'s analogy to a search of a home based on a laptop's storage capacity is without merit. The Supreme Court has expressly rejected applying the Fourth Amendment protections afforded to homes to property which is "capable of functioning as a home" simply due to its size, or, distinguishing between "'worthy' and 'unworthy' containers." [u]California v. Carney[/u], 471 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1985).

In Carney, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that evidence obtained from a warrantless search of a mobile home should be suppressed because it was "capable of functioning as a home." [u]Id[/u]. at 387-88, 393-94. The Supreme Court refused to treat a mobile home differently from other vehicles just because it could be used as a home. [u]Id[/u]. at 394-95. The two main reasons that the Court gave in support of its holding, were: (1) that a mobile home is "readily movable," and (2) that "the expectation [of privacy] with respect to one's automobile is significantly less than that relating to one's home or office." [u]Id[/u]. at 391 (quotation marks omitted).

Here, beyond the simple fact that one cannot live in a laptop, Carney militates against the proposition that a laptop is a home. First, as Arnold himself admits, a laptop goes with the person, and, therefore is "readily mobile." [u]Carney, 471 U.S. at 391[/u]. Second, one's "expectation of privacy [at the border] . . . is significantly less than that relating to one�??s home or office." [u]Id[/u].

Moreover, case law does not support a finding that a search which occurs in an otherwise ordinary manner, is "particularly offensive" simply due to the storage capacity of the object being searched. See [u]California v. Acevedo, 500 U.S. 565, 576 (1991)[/u] (refusing to find that "looking inside a closed container" when already properly searching a car was unreasonable when the Court had previously found "destroying the interior of an automobile" to be reasonable in [u]Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132 (1925)[/u]).

Because there is no basis in the record to support the contention that the manner in which the search occurred was "particularly offensive" in light of other searches allowed by the Supreme Court and our precedents, the district court�??s judgment cannot be sustained.[/quote]

I think this result is correct based on existing precedents and the record in this case, although Judge O’Scannlain’s suggestion that storage capacity is irrelevant strikes me as too broad. Storage capacity is relevant to the Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement, for example: The particularity requirement is closely attuned to the scope of the place being searched. And as I argued in this article ( http://www.harvardlawreview.org/issues/119/Dec05/Kerr.pdf ), I think storage capacity is relevant to how the courts approach the plain view exception (not an issue raised in this case).

In addition, California v. Carney ( CALIFORNIA v. CARNEY | FindLaw ) strikes me as a puzzling case to rely on here. The issue in Arnold is not whether a computer actually is a home, but rather whether the storage capacity of computers and the type of information they contain makes searching a computer particularly invasive for purposes of the border search exception. I think it’s likely to correct that the answer is no, at least based on the record of this case, but I don’t see how the Carney case is particularly relevant. (Hat tip: How Appealing)[/i]

[quote]lixy wrote:
Not so disturbing. By crossing a border, you forfeit your right to privacy. The fact that they want to search drives instead of suitcases, pockets and rectums changes nothing.

There is no doubt that this whole war on terror BS has been detrimental to the rights of Americans and non-Americans. But getting riled up over your laptop getting searched is bogus. The “Patriot” Act is still around in case you haven’t noticed, and the Bill of Rights is getting flushed down the toilet. Those are more pressing and tangible issues than the customs calling the RI/MPAA because they found your mp3 stash.

Meanwhile, there are like a billion ways to circumvent this, from TrueCrypt to Fedex-ing your laptop in advance.[/quote]

Actually, your hard drive is treated differently than your rectum.

I love it when the 9th Circuit rules on shit like this.

The liberal ass hats love to blame the republicans for the erosion of personal rights in this country.

Why is it the fucking left-wing kook fringe 9th Circuit is taking the rules and making them even more intrusive?

I swear - the 9th Circuit needs to be wiped clean. Or - at the very least - any ruling handed down by the 9th Circuit should automatically be appealed to, and heard by the SCOTUS.

[quote]lixy wrote:
kroby wrote:
lixy wrote:
By crossing a border, you forfeit your right to privacy.

Yes, in that foreign land. Not in your own country of USA, where you are citizen with rights to privacy.

No, you don’t. Have you never had your luggage checked upon entering the country?[/quote]

Lixy is correct. There is no expectation of privacy when going through customs. If you don’t want your luggage searched swim the Rio grande.