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Last post Author Topic: More Abuses of Technology - Government Surveillance - Computer Confiscation  (Read 25141 times)

Renegade

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Yet more depressing oppression...

City Council Spying on People:
http://news.bbc.co.u...d/dorset/7341179.stm

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A council has admitted spying on a family using laws to track criminals and terrorists to find out if they were really living in a school catchment.

Council Defending Themselves:
http://news.bbc.co.u...ducation/7342281.stm

This whole Big Brother thing is getting far too close to reality now.

And it gets worse:

http://www.guardian....5/computing.security

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Last month a US court ruled that border agents can search your laptop, or any other electronic device, when you're entering the country. They can take your computer and download its entire contents, or keep it for several days. Customs and Border Patrol has not published any rules regarding this practice, and I and others have written a letter to Congress urging it to investigate and regulate this practice.

But the US is not alone. British customs agents search laptops for pornography. And there are reports on the internet of this sort of thing happening at other borders, too. You might not like it, but it's a fact.

I just don't know what to say... Rant. Rant. Rant. It's the same stripping of freedoms and treating people like criminals that's been gaining momentum since the 80's when the "terrorism" buzzword first started to gain popularity.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

cranioscopical

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It's grim.

Nobody seems to have a firm grip on the reins.

Further, if you or I ran a business with such a lack of culpability we'd either be in jail or filthy rich.


kartal

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I think that searching for pornography is a dirty cover up trick to search everyone`s computer. The amount of data they can gather about citizens through such disgusting practices are huge.

If they are looking for predators they should be going after american catholic churches, you know many of their priests already admitted sexually abusing young boys. These laws are way to flex goverment muscle.

Renegade

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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Deozaan

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I just don't understand these things. The world is becoming a very scary place. How can you not be paranoid with laws like these coming into place?

In one sense it makes me almost want to encrypt my entire computer and refuse to share the password, but on the other hand I'm almost afraid to in order to avoid raising suspicions.


Carol Haynes

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There is a solution to this ...

If everyone in your address book sends you a small password protected file (and likewise to them) and all your conttacts agree to refuse to divulge the password (in fact people would only have the password to the file they created) the government would have to imprison the entire country on the basis of files commonly held on many computers.

Could be a kind of extended LAN party ...

kartal

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Now that they have behaviour cops at the airports anything is possible. So they can detain you even without any real evidence. I personally think that societies are too stupid to understand what is going on here.

Lashiec

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In one sense it makes me almost want to encrypt my entire computer and refuse to share the password, but on the other hand I'm almost afraid to in order to avoid raising suspicions.

Oh, encrypting a laptop, huh? I'm sending a notice to the authorities just in case, you could be a terrorist ;D

Now that they have behaviour cops at the airports anything is possible.

What's the job of such cops?

kartal

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"New airport agents check for danger in fliers' facial expressions"

Specially trained security personnel are watching body language and facial cues of passengers for signs of bad intentions. The watcher could be the attendant who hands you the tray for your laptop or the one standing behind the ticket-checker. Or the one next to the curbside baggage attendant.

http://www.mcclatchy...age/story/18923.html


or read from TSA
http://www.tsa.gov/p...bdo_finds_felon.shtm

Cpilot

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Gee, so it's all the "evil gubmints" fault huh?
I suppose the consensus here is that the "evil gubmint" masterminded 911, or how about the Lockerbie bombing?
And heaven forbid that a sovereign country would have the nerve to control what crosses it's own borders right?
I suppose there's no one in the world who would wish harm on all us "enlightened, civilized" people.

I wonder what the opinions would be if there was a "911" or a "Lockerbie bombing" once a month or so. If more and more people lost others that they knew and loved?
Then people would be screaming for the "evil gubmint" to do something.

No winners possible here are there?

kartal

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Cpilot that is a spin. Noone said or claimed such things here.

"And heaven forbid that a sovereign country would have the nerve to control what crosses it's own borders right?"  tell me the same thing next time someone detains an american citizen in another country ok?

« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 07:22:55 PM by kartal »

Carol Haynes

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I suppose it is a balancing act on how to deal with genuine threats. Having said that the worrying part of this in the US and the UK (and probably other countries too) is that democracy is being defended by taking action against individuals without any due cause and with no recourse to the law for those individuals.

The idea that any 'civilised' country can put people in prison for a single day without being charged with a crime and no access to the courts or to a lawyer is what bothers me most.

If this is the situation with the Patriot Act in the US (which incidentally has a disproportionately higher impact on law abiding US citizens than terrorists) or the UK anti terror legislation (which sees a 70 year old delegate at the government party conference thrown in a cell for shouting rubbish) thean what is democracy and why are we defending it.

At least with totalitarian dictatorships everyone knows where they stand and they aren't hypocrites!

Cpilot

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"And heaven forbid that a sovereign country would have the nerve to control what crosses it's own borders right?"  tell me the same thing next time someone detains an american citizen in another country ok?
They do detain American citizens in other countries.
Being soverign nations they also have a right to determine who and what comes into their country.
I guess it's only evil if Americans do it.

kartal

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They do detain American citizens in other countries.

Do you mean that you are fine with some country unlawfully(without a search warrant and evidence) detaining an american citizen, confisacting their computer and downloading whole content of her/his laptop to their system  at their border ?

Cpilot

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They do detain American citizens in other countries.

Do you mean that you are fine with some country unlawfully(without a search warrant and evidence) detaining an american citizen, confisacting their computer and downloading whole content of her/his laptop to their system  at their border ?

Hyperbole.
Anyone is subject to search at any border crossing, there is no innate human right to take anything you please anywhere in the world. Anyone who thinks so is self deluding.
There is no "warrant" necessary to search your person or belongings, the rules of search and seizure are prominently displayed at all points of entry.
Anyone has the freedom to abide by the rules or to not travel to that destination, it's all very simple really.
If you're so worried about "the gubmint" seeing what's on your laptop then leave it at home.

CWuestefeld

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Security expert Bruce Schneier offers some advice here:
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But the US is not alone. British customs agents search laptops for pornography. And there are reports on the internet of this sort of thing happening at other borders, too. You might not like it, but it's a fact. So how do you protect yourself?
http://www.schneier....crossing_border.html


I hesitate to inject political content in a technical forum, but I guess the genie's already out of the bottle in this thread...

Being soverign nations they also have a right to determine who and what comes into their country.

Please define "sovereign nation". Certainly individual people should have sovereign control over their own lives -- I daresay that we all here can agree on that. But what can it mean for a nation to be sovereign? - Particularly in cases where that comes directly in conflict with the sovereignty of the individuals.

Consider the human rights questions we have struggled with for half a century, and continue: rights for blacks and women, gay marriage, reproductive freedom, free speech. We've come to some conclusions here in America, and some arguments go on. But in other parts of the world, other value systems apply. Does your hypothetical sovereign nation have the authority to punish an unmarried woman for taking a taxi ride with a man? May that nation protect itself by limiting its citizens' access to information that might be subversive to the government?

Does America (or the UN, for that matter) have the authority to interfere with those "sovereign nations", to ensure the sovereignty of the individual?

(I don't intend these to be leading questions. There are various philosophies that can be logically supported, but yield differing answers. And it's difficult to be entirely consistent -- certainly, neither of the prevailing political views in America is able to do so.)

kartal

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It sounds like mankind has just wasted last 300 years of path to democracy. It is also sad to see that some people would be blindly happy to bring middle ages back in the name of freedom and soverign nation concept.

Btw we are not talking about "search", we are talking about confiscating people`s laptops and their content. So I think that that was another spin.

The problem with downloading content of the laptop is that the content is digital so it can be copied-modified multiple times. It is not like  border agent takes your passport and runs couple of checks and gives it back to you. Maybe you do not see any problem but some of us have project files (copyrighted material), files that are under ndas and contents that are protected by laws. It would be illegal for anyone to let another person to see those files related to company financial details or project details etc. But it sounds like you are ok with goverment fascisming regarding this matter. 

This matter is can of worms that is why it should be regulated properly(maybe even by an international body). You cannot just let some border agent to stop anyone they want and download their laptop data.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 09:03:10 PM by kartal »

Deozaan

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Cpilot: You seem to be making false assumptions and selectively choosing what to acknowledge.

The attack on September 11th, 2001 was and is a tragedy, and yet it has nothing to do with the current discussion, other than perhaps being indirectly, partly responsible for some of these laws being passed.

I don't have a problem with a government controlling who crosses it's borders. I very much encourage it. In fact, I wish the government did a better job controlling who got through. There are numerous problems with the current border control in the USA, with most of the focus being on the southern border. But the northern border is probably just as much or more of a problem.

However, I very strongly oppose the idea that an innocent person can have their privacy and freedom violated without due cause.

The constitution guarantees certain freedoms and liberties to U.S. citizens that are now being violated freely all while raising the banner of national security. It seems to me just a modern Witch Hunt. The last remarkable one I know of being McCarthyism. Now be sure to read this next part carefully! I am aware that there really is a terrorist threat! I am not suggesting that terrorism isn't real or that there is no need for security measures. I am a U.S. Citizen. It was my country that was attacked in 2001!

Having nothing to hide from the government (or others) doesn't mean you want to volunteer the information to whoever wants to see it.

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There is no innate human right to take anything you please anywhere in the world.

This is true. There are import and export laws that prohibit certain things from entering or leaving a country. Also, different countries deem different items as illegal. So while certain drugs in the USA may be illegal, another country might have no problem with those items being in someone's possession. As such, I wouldn't dream of taking an item into a country in which it is illegal.

But until Laptops, MP3 players, and other personal/consumer electronics are outlawed, I have every right (according to the sovereign nation's laws) to bring them with me wherever it's not illegal.


Cpilot

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It sounds like mankind has just wasted last 300 years of path to democracy. It is also sad to see that some people would be blindly happy to bring middle ages back in the name of freedom and soverign nation concept.

Geez
For the umpteenth time, the United States is not a democracy, it's a representative republic. Hence the reason we have congress critters, senators and the electoral college.
We elect people to represent us and do what is best to secure the nation and oversee the needs of the citizens.
If we don't like it we elect someone else to do the job.
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Btw we are not talking about "search", we are talking about confiscating people`s laptops and their content. So I think that that was another spin.
So I suppose it's a grievous human rights violation to confiscate that piece of fruit or bottles of liquor that are in your luggage too?

Who's doing the spin?

kartal

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I was not just talking about Usa. There are 6 billion other people and numerous nations on earth. Once these practices become a norm around the globe then you will see what I mean. Since you are an american citizen you think that you are immune from those practices which is fine. I hope that one day you wont find yourself in an embarrassing situation in another country.

I think that Deozaan has already answered your second question. On the other hand comparing  confiscation of personal-business financial-project data to confiscation of a bottle of liquor is utter craziness I would say.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 09:19:00 PM by kartal »

Cpilot

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I think that Deozaan has already answered your second question. On the other hand comparing  confiscation of personal-business financial-project data to confiscation of a bottle of liquor is utter craziness I would say.
Property is property my friend, to me people going all bugshit over rules and regulations that for the most part have been around since nations formed borders is a little silly.
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I hope that one day you wont find yourself in an embarrassing situation in another country.
I've already done my traveling around the world and am quite content to stay where I am now. Btw, I never did have any problems.

Cpilot

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Does your hypothetical sovereign nation have the authority to punish an unmarried woman for taking a taxi ride with a man? May that nation protect itself by limiting its citizens' access to information that might be subversive to the government?
Apparently they do.
On the one hand other nations scream bloody murder if we interfere with someone elses internal cultures and conflicts.
On the other hand other nations *cough* the UN *cough* scream bloody murder if "we don't do something to stop these terrible human rights abuses".
Can't have it both ways folks, nations who do these things do it with the obvious consent of their citizens, if they didn't those people would speak out against it wouldn't they?
I mean after all, all of you would....wouldn't you?
Cause you seem to do fine ganging up on America, but then again if we have such horrible human rights violations everyone would be afraid to, wouldn't they?

Deozaan

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The interesting thing here is that a lot of the things Cpilot seems to take issue with, I also take issue with.

For example, the contradiction of the world complaining about the USA being the "world police", but then turning around and complaining when we don't do anything to solve other countries' problems.

But the thing that worries me is that it seems to me that the terrorism of 2001 has lead the US to start making laws that may be, technically, terrorist in nature.

My first comment in this thread was a perfect example of what I mean. The fact that any US border agent could detain me or confiscate my personal belongings for no predetermined amount of time and no reason other than they felt like it makes me want to encrypt all my data. Yet the fear of that action arousing suspicions and automatically assigning me with a "guilty" keeps me from being sure if I should encrypt my electronic data.

In that regard, the terrorists have been very successful, because we've been full of nothing but fear since the September 11 attack. Freedoms and liberties have been restricted. Laws are being passed that contradict the constitution this country was built on. I love my country more than I can describe, and it makes me extremely sad (and scared!) to see where it's heading with these laws that disregard the constitution and ignore our "inalienable rights" as human beings.


kartal

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So Usa is spreading a system that she does not practice around the world

For the umpteenth time, the United States is not a democracy, it's a representative republic. Hence the reason we have congress critters, senators and the electoral college.



Cpilot

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In that regard, the terrorists have been very successful, because we've been full of nothing but fear since the September 11 attack. Freedoms and liberties have been restricted. Laws are being passed that contradict the constitution this country was built on. I love my country more than I can describe, and it makes me extremely sad (and scared!) to see where it's heading with these laws that disregard the constitution and ignore our "inalienable rights" as human beings.
No offense Deozaan but I've read stuff like this all over the net and yet no one has ever been able to tell me exactly what laws are doing all this damage.
Lots of hysteria but not one person has been able to give me any specific instance where their rights have been violated, and what I mean by that is what rights have you had specifically, that have been violated?