I don’t know about you, but a lot of my life, my real life, is on my laptop. Family photos, my writing, blog stuff, social media backups, contacts, etc etc. Oh, you as well? I’m not surprised. The banking and tax stuff, passwords are all under strong encryption. If I had the time and inclination I’d simply TrueCrypt the whole hard drive, but my encryptor is much more subtle and works on a per file or per folder basis, which saves decrypting non-sensitive stuff.
So, it’s important to keep it safe. Thanks to protections enshrined in the glorious US Constitution, the US government generally cannot snoop through your laptop or other gadget for no reason if you’re already in the US. But those privacy protections apparently do not apply if you are crossing an international border into the US. The government can take any of your electronic devices, search through all the files, and keep it for a short period for further scrutiny – even if they have no reason to be suspicious of your, your character or your laptop.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) published a neat guide on how to protect your privacy when entering the US way back in December 2011: Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices.
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