Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cracking Your Laptop

Bruce Schneier just sent out the 120th monthly issue of his security e-newsletter this week. I've been getting it for nearly long as he's been sending it out, if it's only been ten years.

While he writes about arcane cryptoshit a lot of the time, he also has practical security advice. This month, he writes about crossing international borders with your laptop.

Last month a US court ruled that border agents can search your laptop, or any other electronic device, when you're entering the country. They can take your computer and download its entire contents, or keep it for several days. Customs and Border Patrol has not published any rules regarding this practice, and I and others have written a letter to Congress urging it to investigate and regulate this practice.

But the US is not alone. British customs agents search laptops for pornography. And there are reports on the internet of this sort of thing happening at other borders, too. You might not like it, but it's a fact. So how do you protect yourself?

The article has advice. But I thought folks would want to know about this. Presumably the Canadian and Mexican borders count. Or will soon.

Unrelated good news: California Court overturns gay marriage ban