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Activist who supports soldier in WikiLeaks case sues U.S. over seizure of laptop

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posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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Activist who supports soldier in WikiLeaks case sues U.S. over seizure of laptop


www.washingtonpost.com

The co-founder of a group advocating for an Army private accused of leaking classified material to the antisecrecy Web site WikiLeaks is suing the U.S. government for unlawfully seizing his computer and copying its contents to aid a criminal investigation of the site.

Computer scientist David House’s laptop was taken in November at an international airport by two Department of Homeland Security agents without a hint that it contained evidence of wrongdoing...
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.techeye.net




posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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... without a hint that it contained evidence of wrongdoing, but rather because House was a vocal supporter of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the accused leaker, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged in a complaint to be filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boston.


I really hate to do this.....

Why? Because I expect many people to be unable to disengage their 'hostility' towards Private Manning and will fail to see the potential civil peril this event demonstrates.


The case, the civil liberties advocates contend, is a troubling instance of how the government’s more aggressive border search policies in the post-Sept. 11 era are being used not to enforce customs or immigration laws, but to advance government investigations of third parties and to collect information about people’s political activities.


Now, consider that this was Mr. House's personal laptop. Consider that his vocal advocacy against the government's conduct regarding Manning has subjected him to some serious consequences, not the least of which being his notoriety in the government's intelligence and law enforcement community dealing with the case.


News of the seizure last fall caused potential donors to back away — a chilling, House said, of his First Amendment right of association. The publicity also led to calls last year for his dismissal as a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he said. (House eventually left to become a freelancer.)


Rather than elaborate on my opinion regarding the tools of government and how they should and shouldn't be used (or fabricated) I leave it to you to reflect on this;

As we have begun the era where our personal computing devices have more in common with personal diaries than communication utensils, do you think that we should have to 'hide' everything on our laptops because whenever we travel it becomes fair game to investigators?

And can we state that the effect such mandated personal 'transparency' is the way we want to conduct our lives?

www.washingtonpost.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:17 PM
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Damn, once people with power don't like you, they will do anything in their power to see you suffer.
'When a man seeks blood, he finds it'.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


This issue has actually been around for some time prior to the Manning incident. The Department of Homeland security allows the search of electronic devices when entering the United States from a foreign country. This has been around for some time, and as of yet I have not seen any legal challenges to it (in line with Federal Law).

DHS Article on Laptop searches - 2009

If they do a search, the new rules require the BCP to do paperwork documenting the search. This can occur at any US border entry point, and DHS does not need any type of probable cause to initiate a search of electronics. This is inline with CBP policies and Federal law that covers the ability for border protection staff to be able to initiate searches on vehicles / items etc entering the United States prior to it being combined and merged into the DHS.

The supreme Court of California upheld law enforcements (local) ability to search electronic devices without a warrant during a search incident to arrest. Michigan State Poilice ( as well as other states) have devices that allow them to doanload all the contents of a cellphone, including deleted items, for review (although this is suppose to be a search incident to an arrest as well, and as of yet, no local court rulings in these toher states on it).

Digital privacy is the new game, and we have several issues that are at the court level. As with everything, a balance must be found, but not at the expense of a persons rights.

Food for thought.

Here is the DHS-CBP info on digital serarches and how they are conducted and under what authority. If I recall the guy in the OP article was searched in Chicago, and arrived from a European destination. The search on his items were conducted within established law for entering the US, although in his case my personal opinion was the search was intentional bevcause of his support and position on Pvt. Manning.

US Customes and Border Protection - Search Authority

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer’s border search authority is derived from federal statutes and regulations, including 19 C.F.R. 162.6, which states that, “All persons, baggage and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside thereof are liable to inspection by a CBP officer.” Unless exempt by diplomatic status, all persons entering the United States, including U.S. citizens, are subject to examination and search by CBP officers.


CPB - Authority to search electronic devices
CBP - Electronic Search Fact Sheet



edit on 13-5-2011 by Xcathdra because: Added CBP website and search authority info

edit on 13-5-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-5-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-5-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 




I really hate to do this.....

Why? Because I expect many people to be unable to disengage their 'hostility' towards Private Manning and will fail to see the potential civil peril this event demonstrates.


Yeah, I've seen several people (on here, let alone any Fox News comments page about Manning) goe ape-poo wanting Manning dead (without due process or anything!
).

I take a bit of comfort knowing that those who continually call for more restrictive laws will also be the ones getting cavity-searched, clubbed, and tasered, and then going "what did I do? I didn't ask for any of this."

Yeah, you did. Either directly ("we need this law passed!") or indirectly (by watching tv while your rights are being taken away).

For those who choose not to fight now, don't cry later.

ETA: On a related note, Indiana has just effectively done away with the 4th amendment. Here's the thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 13-5-2011 by notsofunnyguy because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 




The case, the civil liberties advocates contend, is a troubling instance of how the government’s more aggressive border search policies in the post-Sept. 11 era are being used not to enforce customs or immigration laws, but to advance government investigations of third parties and to collect information about people’s political activities.


This is a step over the line. It would be nice to see some laws updated to reflect the digital revolution. Government is getting away with far to much in the cyber age and people dont see it. Banning websites is no different to burning books. Scanning someones hard drive is like bugging someones home. Arresting people for Denial of Service Attacks is like arresting people that are peacefully protesting outside a bank for example. Human rights need to spread from the analog to digital.

kx



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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nvm.. re read article and missed a key point.
edit on 13-5-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by Maxmars


I really hate to do this.....

Why? Because I expect many people to be unable to disengage their 'hostility' towards Private Manning and will fail to see the potential civil peril this event demonstrates.



Well I for one am glad you are doing it. People who think that Mannings actions deserve the suspension of his rights, of our collective rights, are beyond hope anyway.

Its good to spread this information for those of us who do not think that the government should have the right to disregard the Constitution or law for any old reason they feel they want to.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


The guy who was searched did not have his rights violated in the sense he arrived from a foriegn country at a port of entry, and such was subject to inspection. I agree the reason he was searched was because of his political position, and that alone should merit an inquiry into the event.

This can only occur upon entering the US from a foriegn destination.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 07:29 PM
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I don't understand why they are allowed to search through someones electronics. Isn't the purpose supposed to be to stop people from bringing weapons or bombs on the planes or into the country, or drugs etc etc. I mean fine check my laptop to make sure it's not going to blow up or something but what is the purpose of checking my files, emails, photos, history ?? I just don't get how this came about or was allowed in the first place. What was who ever thought of this brilliant idea thinking?? I've never heard of this before, I'm so disgusted that this is going on. I'm even more disgusted that the people in the past that have had this happen weren't screaming from the rooftops, making a stink, suing....anything at all except sitting back and accepting it.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 07:52 PM
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If it was encrypted with TrueCrypt they would have ZERO chance of recovering data. I would ask them to pay me the cost of the laptop + data + pain and suffering + legal support + fuel transportation + missed pay + food



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by THE_PROFESSIONAL
 


Problem is... there's no one worth suing except on principle... which has been increasingly diminished in value since about a century ago.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 05:40 AM
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This is inline with CBP policies and Federal law that covers the ability for border protection staff to be able to initiate searches on vehicles / items etc entering the United States prior to it being combined and merged into the DHS.




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