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DHS policies

On August 1, 2008, the Washington Post reported that Department of Homeland Security policies allow federal agents to “take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing.” [15] Further, “officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons.” [15] Senator Russell Feingold called these policies “truly alarming” and said that he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion, or national origin. [15] Meanwhile Ryan Singel of Wired.com recommended placing one's electronics and papers “in a first class U.S. mail envelope and stamp it—or even better mail it to yourself before the trip,” [16] since ‘officers may not read or permit others to read correspondence contained in sealed letter class mail (the international equivalent of First Class) without an appropriate search warrant or consent’. However, this only applies to articles in the postal system, not to letters carried by individuals or private carriers such as DHL, UPS, or FedEx. [17]


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