Really? Fucking hell.. With every month that goes by, I am less and less inclined to travel to, or do business in, the US..
edit: I'm aware that later in the article they say the courts didn't really agree with this, but it doesn't seem to be preventing it from happening, especially when, after they got what they needed (I call bullshit on "destroy all copies"), they just back down and convince the victim to drop the case.
The insinuation being that the US is the only country doing this?
I hate this sort of thing as much as the next guy, but let's not pretend the US is the only country engaging in this behavior. We can certainly expect better, but don't blind yourself to the obvious. Based on recent events, maybe you shouldn't be traveling anywhere, period.
I live in Canada, so I'm on the border with the US, and while I have certainly travelled worldwide (including to some less than democratic countries), I have overwhelmingly travelled to the US, both for business and personal.
And over the last while, I have become increasingly uncomfortable crossing the border into the US, as compared to how it used to be, based on hearing more and more stories of detention and unreasonable search (both in the media and personal accounts from people I know). I have personally experienced at the very least a new level of hostility and aggressive questioning on a few occasions that I had not experienced before.
So certainly there are other countries where this type of treatment is possible at the border, but I am expressing dismay at the fact that the US is now "one of those" countries, when it didn't used to be.
And yes, "unreasonable" is in the eye of the beholder, but they're my eyes thank you very much, so I may eventually just opt out of visiting the US for any reason.
I've also been subjected to extensive physical searches of all my belongings. (And just to be clear, I'm a healthy, Caucasian, 20-something, US born-and-raised, male.)
I often think of most Canadians as being friendlier than a lot of people around the US, but immigration and border control aren't one of those areas.
It didn't make much sense to me, and I assumed that they'd picked a middle-aged, grey-haired, white guy so that they couldn't be accused of racial profiling... but from comments here it seems it is a lot more general.
Some of the questions didn't make a lot of sense (especially not at gone midnight), one or two were personally rather insulting, and they seemed to think that I was over here for employment rather than business meetings.
Getting into China the following week, on the other hand, was a model of efficienty and politeness...
My most recent entry into .ca was quite the opposite. Bear in mind these are very rural crossing points, nothing like the I5 transit. The most recent Canadian agent was somewhat gruff and unpleasant, asking quite a few questions. Come to think of it, in a prior .ca entry, with a female friend from the UK, the Canadian agent seemed to be convinced that we were entering Canada for the purpose of getting married and asked us repeatedly whether we had such plans. After multiple denials, he went on to advise us not to do so anyway. What??? My crossings back into the U.S. from Canada very recently have been fairly painless compared to going the other way.
I've had nothing but good experiences crossing the border at the Thousand Islands Bridge or Massena, NY. Both ways, everybody was kind, friendly and patient. I hear nothing but horror stories about Niagara falls and the one time I flew into Vancouver was less than pleasant.
Just some more n=1 to stir the pot. :)
I believe this is the sentiment of grandparent commenter, the fact that there might be other places where something like this happens is no excuse for a beacon of democracy such as the US.
I hear that visiting Arab countries with a Jewish last name, or, god forbid, trying to go visit Israel from an Arabian airport will land you in all sorts of trouble.
Any particular reason you're picking on one and not the other? A bit hypocritical, don't you think?
That was the point of my comment. Let's stop now, ok? We're all in the same boat.
1. Israel makes big claims of being an advanced democracy, unlike the Saudi monarchy
2. I wasn't singling Israel in particular. I wouldn't visit Saudi Arabia for the exact same reasons.
But there is another point where your parallel breaks, there is no way to get to Palestine without going through Israel, so if you are a social worker involved with the welfare issues in West Bank or Gaza, or even a Christian pilgrim trying to go to Betlehem, you have no choice but to submit to the ordeal.
Can't you get to the West Bank through Jordan and Gaza through Egypt?
If anything, that should make the TSA embarrassed.
His work took him to relatively long visits (anything up to 4 months, but usually just 2-3 weeks) to about half the countries in Arabian Peninsula and roughly 1/3 of the countries in Africa. (I've been told that I met the Namibian foreign minister when I was 3 and surprised him by apparently trying to sing their national anthem.) During that same time, my father also had to occasionally travel to US and, I believe, Israel. One of the passports was used when traveling in Arabic and (communist) African countries. The other was reserved for rest of the world.
I've been later informed that this practice was not as uncommon as I would have believed. People working "in the field" for industries that were involved in development aid projects did sometimes have multiple passports, for the very reason of making their constant travels easier.
I don't think that holds any longer.
Can you please make up your mind? Either Americans are "exceptional" and this is "the best country in the world", or not. If not then I don't think its okay to hate on others when they are upset with things happening on this soil.
As we all know things in US go downhill since a while. This issue would not suprise in Russia in 80s or on Cuba, but if US is exceptional then it will be judged by exceptional rules. In this case it shows US fails miserably on "land of the free, home of the brave".
So, one should give up their freedom of movement because "recent events" have caused institutions to implement policies to eliminate it? Also, "everybody's doing it" is a pretty distasteful rationale.
The more that we find out, the more I believe that that is an accurate assumption.
Those restrictions include, presumably, that they agree that among eachother they promise not to read achothers' emails, and furthermore if they do this and use the information to spy on our government, they promise to do so discretely....
Go to the scandinavian countries and experience how effective, friendly and welcoming airport terminals can be.
And we can only avoid the ones we know about, so until further evidence appears the USA gets the spotlight.
A lot more countries reserve rights to do so; US actually do it on a grand scale. That makes all the difference.
I believe that it has gotten worse over the years, mostly due to politics and the fact that most people in the US do not have to deal with this. [We have a rather passport-holding-population]
This is not a new revelation. Industrial espionage by spy services has been ongoing for a very long time.
Prior to leaving on an international trip, the traveler "checks out" a laptop from I.T. for the duration of his trip. No personal or business data should exist on the data at this point. Once destinated, the needed business data can be downloaded to the laptop over a secure VPN back to company HQ.
Prior to returning, the traveler will run a "clean up" script that I.T. has developed. This script will upload any business documents that have been created or obtained while outside of the U.S. back to company servers (over that VPN) and then wipe the data from the laptop. Alternately, the laptop could have a partition set up that, when booted to, starts the reimaging process (sorta like how consumer PCs have a "restore partition"). This would be done, obviously, before returning to the U.S.
When the traveler has arrived back in the U.S., s/he returns the laptop to I.T. who again image it with their gold image and store it for the next user who needs it.
It wouldn't be that difficult or that much of a PITA, IMO -- it all depends on how important the data is to the company. It would likely require a change in policy and some users would almost certainly complain about it. Oh well.
At a previous job (.edu), we discovered a compromised host and shortly thereafter found that it was the laptop of a professor who had just returned from China.
It's unfortunate that business people (as opposed to programmers) typically don't have something as compact and transferrable as dotfiles for getting up and running on a branch new machine.
The question is how to travel with a new set of private keys securely so you don't give them up on exit. Coming back isn't a problem because you can just revoke access for that temporary public-private key pair before you log off during your last ssh session before returning to the country.
I don't think this is practical now. But it is a known problem and solutions for quickly getting a machine up and running are getting better and better. I imagine that a chef or puppet script could be used on the new machine to get everything up and running. You just need to ssh in once to fetch the script that would set up the machine at your destination.
How would they have chosen to balance privacy against security in our age?
1. A lot of the Founders really didn't like them. Both Madison and Jefferson spoke out against the laws and argued they were unconstitutional for various reasons.
2. They were allowed to expire around the same time Marbury v. Madison was decided so it isn't clear what the early court thought of the laws.
The first is whether the Verizon warrant would have been considered ok to the founders. The answer is an easy "no." We have there essentially a general warrant, something they were quite familiar with and which they put in prohibitions regarding in the 4th Amendment. There is no serious question that the founders would be deeply concerned over the existence of such a warrant and nearly entirely opposed to such.
However the harder question would be whether the Founders would have found the surveillance authorized by the warrant to be problematic even without a warrant or what they would have thought of the warrant. That's the big question and I don't have an answer there. I do think that the programs would almost certainly have been extremely controversialin part at least due to the existence of secret courts and wide-ranging warrants.
The difference is that this "plenary power" to search at the border has different implications today now that people carry their whole lives around with them on their phones. But that seems to me to be a fault of the people rather than a fault of the law.
An entire philosophy of government, in a nutshell!
You know, it's actually OK to change laws that are bad for the people. For example, three of the four Alien & Sedition Acts were allowed to expire within three years (the fourth is only in force during declared wars), since no one actually liked them.
And I do see CPB vehicles dozens of miles from the bridges, apparently working hard enforcing that open border (or buying Subway).
Easy air travel and mass communication of all forms has blurred our sense of national/jurisdictional borders, but they certainly still exist.
Crossing an international border is something significant, you are leaving behind one social contract and entering into a different one.
Are you making an anarchical argument in which the entire notion of governmental authority and/or social contracts is discarded?
Or are you saying that nation-states are inappropriate sources of authority in preference for some sort of trans-national/global authority?
Regardless of what you want, the fact is that we still have nation states and their associated social contracts and a unilateral effort by an indvidual to disregard or violate those norms isn't without consequences.
There are certainly arguments to be made that some of those social contracts are perverse and one-sided in nature (e.g. North Korea as an extreme example).
What are the flaws in the typical 'Western' social contract that you would see fixed? what is your fix?
Yeah, see, this kind of thing is mostly just a way of projecting modern preferences on to the founders. If you look at the founders as a whole, you see very little consensus on general policy.
Hamilton and Jefferson, for example, didn't agree on much (and certainly not on what government of the United States should look like beyond "more like the Constitution than the Articles of Confederation".) To the extent that "the founders" would be shocked by (or even "opposed to" -- they had familiarity with enough extremes in government that they probably wouldn't be shocked by much) features of our present government, they wouldn't be the same features for different founders, and the features some of the founders opposed, others would probably find the most desirable.
Hamilton -- who wanted Presidents and Senators to serve, like members of the Supreme Court, for life, would probably be generally pleased with the way the power of incumbency works out so that short of major scandal, turnover is not all that common (and be displeased with Presidential term limits being written into the Constitution.)
Jefferson, OTOH, might well see things 180-degrees the opposite, given his keen focus on the need for periodic renewal.
> Wait, did you start a two-party system as well?
The two-party system was well in place by Washington's second election, most of the founders were still alive and active in politics -- and, for that matter, provided the leadership for both factions.
So, no, I don't think they'd ask that question, except perhaps as a result of senility. They started a two-party system.
What a cancerous growth this DHS is.
"When we're watching EVERYBODY, you'll never catch ANYBODY." which made a lot of sense to me. It seems like these agencies are trying to watch everybody in an effort to catch one lone person without considering any supporting data. Thus, you end up with scenario's like this where innocent people are being caught up in this wide net their casting.
Example on http://hasbrouck.org/documents/secondary.pdf
Is there a way to consult this database? (FOIA?)
It could be interesting.
The entire 10 minute cellphone video of the incident can be found on YouTube, if anyone is interested.
Certainly the situation could have (and should have) been handled better, and the RCMP should have only tasered him once, but to call it murder, and specifically to say it's because he didn't speak english, is a blatant falsehood.
It's an anecdote I know, but it is what it is.
Anyhow, they probably suspected he was going to work illegally in Canada (plenty of people come as visitors and work illegally), and wanted to make sure that those weren't his plans.
Edit - furthermore, having any sort of sensitive information on a cell phone is idiotic, since they are far from secure. It's not terribly difficult to hack any device with physical access - and it's not hard to simply lose your cell phone...
If you've ever flown into Toronto when it's busy, you can spend longer waiting on the normal queue in customs... Is that detainment too?
I'm sure if he wanted, he could have gone back the other way. He didn't need to enter Canada. At no point in the podcast did he describe anything that could actually be called 'holding' or 'detainment'....
So it does not make sense, to me at least.
Personally for political reasons I will stay in Canada, but finding investors for my startup is going to be difficult.
Lucikly Intel will save the day for me.(fingers crossed).
I of course mean the (typically backscatter x-ray) full body scanners.
confiscated his laptop computer, camera and a USB drive
If this happened to a computer scientist abroad, say Moscow airport, there would be a storm coming from the western media about oppressive regimes and human rights. Possibly even a condemnation from the US government.
I did some FOIAs in to this stuff with the EU recently @ http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/information_on_pnr_agreem...
My interpretation was that the picture the response painted was of five eyes nations all hitting up the EU for their passenger data. Right after the US got their claws in Australia was in there and the US utilized its grand experience with bureaucracy to ensure the EU Data Protection Supervisor didn't even have time to review the proposal before it was passed.
After that query, I updated Wikipedia's info over here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_name_record#Internat...
The lesson here is that you are wary of authorities for whatever reason (and we probably all should be), then you should seek to avoid pre-booking flights (or ships) ... just turn up and buy a ticket instead ... and preferably avoid long haul flights at all, certainly those terminating in countries with dodgy authorities, if you can afford to do so.
(If you don't get the sarcasm there, please forgive me and the gentlemen mentioned above too...)
I can understand foreigners, but why homosexuals?
The key passage from the article:
"The implication is that rather than search its own ATS database of copies of PNR data, the ICE investigator searched the airline’s own internal PNR database, using the DHS root access to the Sabre computerized reservation system (CRS) used by American Airlines. That was probably easier than searching ATS because the way DHS “ingests” PNR data from CRSs into ATS leaves the data less well indexed in TECS and ATS than it was (and still is — the airline sends DHS a copy, but of course retains the PNR data itself) in the CRS.
Notably, there’s nothing to indicate that the ICE investigator needed approval from a supervisor to go into Sabre, or tried some other source of PNR information (e.g. the internal ATS database of DHS copies of PNR data) first. Root access to Sabre was apparently at his fingertips, and his use of it warranted no special comment and no recording of compliance with any authorization protocols. It was a routine tool for him."
It is reasonable to take precautionary steps in your personal life while at the very same time demanding that the government behave such that those steps are completely unnecessary.
While you may believe that current surveillance has gone too far, advocating for no security is much too far the other direction. As usual, the answer is somewhere in the middle.
Without any visas or border control, you have no way to prevent ingress and egress of known criminals, people carrying infectious diseases, or any of myriad other actually real threats. Just because people exaggerate threats like terrorism does not mean there is nothing to defend against.
It is also important to prevent people who have no means of sustenance from moving into your country and becoming a burden. In no way am I implying that exceptions should not be granted for asylum or other exceptional circumstances. However, being in a country is a bit like being in a club -- everyone pays dues (taxes) and there are perks too. Why should club members want to give everyone the perks while they have all the responsibilities?
Your thought that people should try to be closer to one another is admirable, but I think if you reflect on it further, you'll agree that some forms of restriction are necessary.
As for infectious diseases, they should be controlled locally, not on some arbitrarily defined border.
Diseases and criminal activity is just a small fraction of all immigration issues. Government doesn't care about it as much. I'd be absolutely fine with them if those were the only restrictions.
Cheers to a free mind such as yourself who won't be lured into circular reasoning by the happenstance of being born subject to arbitrary policy, and to a free mind who recognizes that borders are inhumane comparatively, in a natural sense, irrespective of the policies of other groups that claim territory and dictate the travels of others.
Land grab has been a 'bumpy road' over the course of millennia, to say the least, yet mob rule within a framework of a [rule of law] does not make the effects of policy more justified ethically. Historically and presently, the lines are drawn under a simple premise: "might makes right." I believe it's eventually possible to change that mindset. It would take an entire "nation" to effectively lead by example, under the ironic creed of Lady Liberty. That's clearly a daunting prospect any time soon, at least for large nations. However, nurturing more people to have freer, conscientious minds who can extrapolate ethics from [law/might] are the important part of a path to getting there.
There is nothing "free" about a mind that believes and children's fairy tales like universal "ethics."
Also, there's no need to protect me from anarchy, since the exact meaning of the word "anarchy" is "no rulers". I'd rather be protected from _rulers, than from lack of rulers.
Re: anarchy, it's a cute philosophy for sheltered westerners who grew up with the blessings of good government. Ask anyone in rural Pakistan, where government power is almost nil and warlords dominate, what they think of anarchy.
I agree that the majority of the people controlling a territory get to set the rules they wish to set - that's "the way it is". A warlord gets to set the rules within the territory he's controlling. Putin gets to set the rules in Russia. The banking / military-industrial cartel gets to set the rules in the US.
What "should be", however, is an entirely different matter. "The majority of people controlling my house" should consist of exactly one person - me. That's the definition of private property. I should be the one setting the rules in my house - not "the majority of the people", not "the majority of Americans", not "the majority of the residents of Washington". My ownership of my private property should not be consistent upon the will of a group of people in a randomly selected geographical area.
Warlords are not "anarchy", warlords are proto-governments, feudal governments, whatever you call them. Anarchy means "no rulers", no warlords, in particular.
Exactly. Government (a collective domination) is only more humane the more its architecture is built to transparently protect people from tyranny. Tyranny especially includes itself: tyranny of government, of groups, and of individuals. It might be from a mafia. It might be a Congress. It might be a roving gang. It might be the head of a state. It's subjecting you physically and economically either way.
So begins the complexity of how to have a system of governance that can limit people from claiming power over others. The US didn't achieve this, sadly, compared to the corporate oligarchy it continues to entrench itself into. Having a more humane system than what most dictatorships had was a worthy cause, especially in the 18th century. It's a low bar to set and mentally dwell in now though. Imagine a world where there are no people who want to improve or truly change the systems into which they're violently subjected. It's a scary thought. It looks a lot like reality.
When _my_ friends cannot visit me in _my_ house, however, because they are lacking a piece of paper called visa, the world is really messed up.
So don't you dare say that I have my house because of the government.
The key distinction between the two is that nerds like us on Hacker News can't defend territory. Without ganging up together to ensure collective defense, we're at the mercy of the physically strong. Without society, nerds have nothing to trade for security. That's why before the existence of democratic government, the western world was dominated by military men (feudal barons), not businessmen or intellectual men.
Assuming things versus verifying things are two different ways to live your life.
whenever an issue like this comes up everybody starts to fight and nitpick. as if nobody can see through it. as if everybody is blinded. as if everybody doesn't care about the core of the matter. as if an entire generation or two is just too dumbed down to recognize the scheme.
you know, i love you. but i'm sick of you.
if you don't fix your bloody country, nobody will do it for you.
If a person or company keeps sensitive files on an insecure computer, then that company/person should be at fault.
If you send sensitive data over the internet then it should be encrypted. If not, then companies, governments, and other organizations could easily grab that data.
In reality though, there are millions of completely insecure computers and devices which carry data that could harm companies, individuals, or governments if compromised. Educating the operators of those machines and ensuring that they properly secure them is very difficult. The best method would be to have hard-drive level encryption on all devices, make sure people know how to properly backup data, and to educate people that they can easily say, "I don't know the password, I'm suppose to call my IT manager after I arrive at my destination and he will provide the password."
2. Bright orange link text is even more horrible than usual because of light gray on black color scheme.
3. Extra tiny font size (1em) is almost unreadable against black background.
4. There are constant readability crimes in the text with overuse of scare quotes, unnecessary abuse of the 'and/or' abomination, incorrect use of double scare quotes outside literal quotations, and overuse of parenthetical statements.
5. Use of "beg the question" to mean "raise the question" is incorrect.
The content was fine, but you'd better be young, brave, and impervious to pain if you want to access it.
Of course I want law officials to have real time information about travel and be able to catch a criminal before he flees.
The issue should not be that, but that they use that to initiate illegal searches.
The focus should be on illegal searches, period.
This is like those dumb fox new things saying something trivial is a crime because it 'involved computers'.
They can already do that, but inefficiently by posting your pictures all over the place and having officers look for your face. AFTER they get a warrant or follow due process.
This is just a more efficient way of doing the above.
The focus should be on the lack of due process, not on the means being more efficient.