[ISN] Customs targets laptop hard drive contents

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Aug 20 1998 - 18:28:57 PDT

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    Forwarded From: "Jay D. Dyson" <jdysonat_private>
    Courtesy of Cryptography List.
    (Let the traveller beware!)
    (Side note: The best way to secure your data is to not take your secret
    key with you when you travel.  Leave it in a secured location or send it
    to a trusted third party ahead of you.  That way, your data cannot be
    decrypted even if you provide your key to the people who have no business
    invading your privacy.  Additionally, keep encrypted data on separate
    disks and do not volunteer them to the people who would so willingly
    trample your civil rights.) 
    - ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Ian Brown <I.Brownat_private>
    UK Customs' view of encrypted laptop hard disks... 
    Customs targets laptop hard drive contents 
    By Simon Davies 
    A spokesman for Customs and Excise said officials would routinely scan
    laptops for illegal material such as pornography. Encrypted files will be
    treated in the same way as a ordinary luggage. "So far as we are
    concerned, there is no difference between an encrypted file and a locked
    suitcase," said the spokesman. "All travellers entering the country should
    be prepared to have their equipment scanned."
    Laptop carriers will have little choice but to submit to the demands of
    Customs officials. People refusing to open files or divulge keys will be
    subject to a court order. Refusal to obey the order would constitute
    contempt of court - an offence that can result in imprisonment.
    Unlike cases involving body searches, Customs officers are not required to
    establish grounds for "reasonable suspicion" before conducting a computer
    The Home Office has not issued specific guidelines on the practice,
    leaving Customs officers free to take copies of disk scans. This has
    alarmed business leaders, who have raised concerns that sensitive
    commercial data could be compromised.
    Version: 2.6.2
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