Did you know that the U.S. government considers the U.S. border to be a â€œconstitution-free zoneâ€?Â Did you know that customs officials can take your computer away from you, keep it for 30 days or more, and make a copy of everything that is on your hard drive?Â Sadly, this is actually true.Â According to the government, when you choose to cross the U.S. border you temporarily give up your constitutional rights.Â They can look at anything on your computer that they want to, and if they findÂ anythingÂ that violates any law, they can use it against you in court.Â You may think twice about taking your computer out of the country after you read the rest of this article.
A lot of people think that it is the TSA that is doing this, but they are not supposed to be doing these kinds of searches.Â According toÂ the official TSA blog, only customs officials are authorized to search laptops and other electronic devicesâ€¦
Our officers might visually inspect your laptop and perform anÂ explosives trace detection test, but thatâ€™s it. Our officers donâ€™t even turn computers on during inspection.
So where are the reports coming from? Theyâ€™re coming from people who have had their laptops searched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
According to the Fourth Amendment, U.S. citizens are never supposed to be searched without probable cause.Â But the U.S. government has decided to throw out the Fourth Amendment, and the courts have gone along with it.Â So now customs officials can search anything that you bring across the border â€“ including your computer.Â The following isÂ from Wikipediaâ€¦
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ICE-HSI Special Agents, and Coast Guard officers (E4 grade and above) who are all customs officers (those tasked with enforcing Title 19 of the United States Code) with the United States Department of Homeland Security, are permitted to search travelers and their belongings at the American border without probable cause or a warrant.Â Pursuant to this authority, customs officers may generally stop and search the property of any traveler entering or exiting the United States at random, or even based largely on ethnic profiles.