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> what stops the TSA/DHS from saying "We suspect you are a terrorist; please unlock your phone"?

The same thing that stops all tyranny. A vigilant and engaged citizen body.

Practically, this means donating to the ACLU and related groups. It also means, if you’re party to injustice, suing or reaching out to organisation who can help you sue to assert our rights.




Suing any LEO is hard. Patriot Act covered this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km4uCOAzrbM

I agree donating to ACLU, EFF and similar orgs is our best option. Most of us do not get prosecuted unjustly, but we need to pool resources to defend those that do.


So we're doomed, then.


Even the headline of the article suggests otherwise.


Do these suspicions require some sort of preliminary-evidence of those suspicions before acted upon?


Edit: Oops. Fixed a use of "probable cause" where I meant "reasonable suspicion".

IANAL, but my rough impression from the opinion is kinda. It seems like the reasonable suspicion can emerge entirely from the interaction itself, but that it should be based facts/reasons the agent(s) can articulate.

I found the section titled "7. Reasonable Suspicion, not Probable Cause, Applies to Both Such Searches" on pages 33-38 of the actual opinion (embedded on https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/alasaad-v-mcaleenan-opin...) provided good background on this.


Later on page 46 there's a more succinct statement.

The judge is evaluating one element of the relief the plaintiffs sought--that the agencies be required to expunge data copied during a search which, per the ruling, is unconstitutional. More specifically, the judge is addressing one stated reason for seeking that relief--concern that data obtained unconstitutionally will leave them forever flagged for extra scrutiny.

> "in the future, whether information has been retained from prior searches or not, agents must be able to point to specific and articulable facts for reasonable suspicion to believe that Plaintiffs’ electronic devices contain contraband, which also addresses the concern about any likelihood, greater than the general public of U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. borders, of being subject to a non-cursory search."


Reasonable suspicion must be based on rational inferences from specific and articulable facts, as opposed to just a hunch.


Sadly I fear officers in this scenario will probably just find a "furtive gesture" or "smell of marijuana" equivalent to point to.


"The same thing that stops all tyranny. A vigilant and engaged citizen body."

Because I'm interested, what would be the top three situations where that happened that come to your mind?


You may recall a certain war faught against the British...


The UK was a tyranny at that time? How would you define tyranny then?


A general definition is "oppressive power."

A tyranny must be recognized. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution

"The Continental Congress declared King George a tyrant who trampled the colonists' rights as Englishmen..."

If you recognize a tyranny but do nothing, you stand to receive further oppression. Consider the case of the PRC. The CCP is tyrannical toward those they rule; we plainly see this reality from our perch of liberty. However, unless the Chinese people recognize the tyrannical nature of the CCP, they'll continue receiving oppression. Making this realization harder is the PRC's surveillance apparatus and the population's indoctrination. I wish them luck.


So what you say the main thing is, when I declare you a tyrant you are a tyrant.

And because they suppressed (non voting, poor) people in the UK didn't declare their king a tyrant it wasn't one for them.


Humans can recognize tyranny but never do anything about it. Bullying, abusive relationships, and slavery are some examples of this reality. Once you recognize the form of tyranny, you can put a name to it and act.

I don't know the exact reasons people put up with tyranny. I suspect every situation is somewhat unique. However, answering that question would allow many future harms to be prevented.

The American revolutionaries declared King George III a tyrant, but that couldn't be the end; open rebellion would mean certain harm or death. So, they acted. They made a case for taking up arms against the crown. They then resolved to become independent (found in the Lee Resolution/"Resolution of Independence"). Two days later, they declared independence. And they fought. Note, though, that the Revolution required the recognition of tyranny.


<noirony>I would really be interested in case where 'A vigilant and engaged citizen body.' stopped tyranny.</noirony>




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