Friday, February 15, 2013

DHS: Up To 100 Miles From The Border Is Constitution Free Zone

In a report from Wired Magazine  the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented what is in effect a Constitution free zone anywhere within 100 miles from the border of the United States. Here is a picture of the Constitution free zone from the ACLU:


In the actual DHS policy document it says:


..officers may examine documents, books, pamphlets, and other printed material, as well as computers, disks, hard drives, and other electronic or digital storage devices.

If you use encryption on your laptop like I do, then it would seem they will keep you detained until they can get it decrypted from other authorities. The document goes on to say:

Officers may encounter information in documents or electronic devices that is in a foreign language and/or encrypted.  To assist CBP in determining the meaning of such information, CBP may seek translation and/or decryption assistance from other Federal agencies or entities. Officers may seek such assistance absent individualized suspicion. Requests for translation and decryption assistance shall be documented.

They don't even need to have a suspicion that you are doing anything wrong!

AllGov reported:

The ACLU, which has already filed an FOIA request demanding the full report, released a statement arguing that “allowing government agents to search through all of a traveler’s data without reasonable suspicion is completely incompatible with our fundamental rights: our Fourth Amendment right to privacy—and more specifically the right to be free from unreasonable searches—is implicated when the government can rummage through our computers and cell phones for no reason other than that we happen to have traveled abroad. Suspicionless searches also open the door to profiling based on perceived or actual race, ethnicity, or religion. And our First Amendment rights to free speech and free association are inhibited when agents at the border can target us for searches based on our exercise of those rights.”

In case you are unaware of your Fourth Amendment rights that are protected under the Constitution, here is the text:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This is clearly a violation of the Fourth Amendment. I don't care how close I am to the border. If you are an American citizen, you cannot violate my rights!

 

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