Winston-Salem, Business, News, Events, Greensboro, Technology, IT Services

In a court case dating back to 2005 where a traveler coming back from the Philippines had his notebook seized by Customs Agents the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled border searches can include your notebook, digital camera, cell phone or any other digital device.

So you ask how does this really relate to me well let’s just see.

Let’s say you just took a trip to Europe with the entire family and of course you took memory card after memory card full of all those special times with the family. On your return through JFK Customs an Agent decides to not just look at your images but since you have multiple cards and he has no idea how to use your camera he confiscates your cards for further inspection. Now we all know the Government works really quick so you know they will get your memory cards back to you ASAP, in others words a few months from now. Oh wait I forgot something your from Winston-Salem and Customs was in JFK so guess where you will have to go to get your cards back because they are under no obligation to mail you anything.

Okay so I hear you already, “it’s not a big deal and I can handle waiting for my pictures.” Oh really? What happens if your a professional photographer sent to Brazil on a job. Of course you load up a good two dozen cards full of work for which you will get paid when you get back but oh wait, those Customs guys in Miami decided to hold onto your cards as well as your $2,200 camera. So back in Winston your boss ask for your work, your empty handed and paycheck less.

Yeah, yeah I know your still going on about how this won’t happen to me or my pictures are not that important. Let’s look back at the ruling because it’s pretty broad (as usual when it comes to technology and the Government with their Tubes) as to what the Government can search, ” laptop or other personal electronic storage devices at the border” so that means your computer, your camera, your PDA, your IPhone, your Cell Phone, your MP3 player, etc, etc, etc. Ah that got some attention I bet. Life would really suck after that business trip if your business laptop, cell phone and any flash drives were taken from you at the border for “further inspection.” I think I see some light bulbs going off as well for those of you with HIPAA, SOX and other compliance issues.

Hopefully those parties involved with this case can go forward or we get our elected officials to legislate some very specific terms for how, what and when your notebook can be taken from you at the border because this is a mess.

As a side note for those of you that do travel, even if just to Florida, may I suggest you never assume Digital images are safely stored on those memory cards. There are far to many ways to get those images from card to online storage, emailed to a family member or maybe burned to CD/DVD which by the way are made mainly of plastic, (HINT HINT) to risk losing a card full of your child’s first visit to Disney.

Be Sociable, Share!
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Login »

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE