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Airport threat to your laptop: U.S. also gets power to seize iPods and mobiles in new anti-terror measure

UK Daily Mail [1]
Saturday, Aug 2, 2008

Travellers to the U.S. could have their laptops and other electronic devices seized at the airport under new anti-terror measures.

Federal agents have been granted powers to take such devices and hold them as long as they like.

They do not even need grounds to suspect wrongdoing.

The Department of Homeland Security said the policies applied to anyone entering the country by land, sea or air, including U.S. citizens.

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The extent of the new powers, which have been secretly in place for some time, was revealed yesterday in the Washington Post.

They cover hard drives, flash drives, mobile phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes, as well as books, pamphlets and other written materials, the report said.

Federal agents must take measures to protect business information and lawyer-client privileged material.

Copies of data must be destroyed when a review is completed and no probable cause exists to keep the information.

But agents are allowed to share the contents of seized computers with other agencies and private entities for data decryption and ‘other reasons’.

Copies sent to non-federal entities must be returned to the DHS, but there is no limitation on authorities keeping written notes or reports about the materials.

Full article here [1]