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NZ Traveler's Electronics Taken At Airport; Interest in Snowden to Blame? 453

Posted by timothy
from the purely-random-searching dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A New Zealand backpacker stripped of all electrical equipment at Auckland airport suggests attending a London talk on cyber-security following the Edward Snowden leaks may be to blame. Samuel Blackman was returning home for Christmas on 11 December from London Heathrow to Auckland via San Francisco when a customs officer at his final destination took the law graduate's two smartphones, iPad, external hard drive and laptop, demanding the passwords for all devices." For a quieter version, see also The New Zealand Herald.
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NZ Traveler's Electronics Taken At Airport; Interest in Snowden to Blame?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:04AM (#45669871)

    Our lords have found a new enemy, and it's us.

  • Figures (Score:4, Interesting)

    by redmid17 (1217076) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:05AM (#45669893)
    And my girlfriend wonders why I encrypt and password protect my phone and laptop. "Give us your password." "No" "We won't let you back in the US." "Um you can't do that to a US citizen." They might confiscate the electronics. Luckily I have the ability to work without the laptop I travel with, and I'm not a fan of this kind of political intimidation. I can't be bothered to do the same to my Kindle Fire though. Unless they want my recently watched shows of netflix, a couple of ebooks (paradise lost, GOT), or my browser history of ESPN and google news, they aren't going to find much.
  • Ok, so... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BringsApples (3418089) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:10AM (#45669921)
    I guess the next step in this array of bullshit is for random folks to dress up like cops, secret service, airport authorities or any other scheme that fits the area, and detain people randomly and take their stuff. If enough people do this, then maybe people will remember why the fuck laws exist at all, and why the legal authorities have rules to follow as well. If we all allow for mere mankind to represent the universal authority (unquestionable authority; same authority that makes gravity a "law") then we're all doomed, as mankind is not fit for such authority.
  • by magic maverick (2615475) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:52AM (#45670297) Homepage Journal

    Google Docs. Lol. You may as well just print your shit off and hand it to the authorities directly. In fact, print it off, and fax it to the national police forces of all the major anglophone countries (including NZ). Because if they want it, they'll get it from Google anyway.

  • confiscation? wtf? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @10:52AM (#45670299)
    OK, first I have to say I travel a lot and I know they can check your devices at a lot of airports, and I hate that as much as everyone. However, my question is why don't they just make a copy/backup/etc of all the devices you have and give them all back? Why do they have to take everything away? It's not that I'd have something sensitive or illegal on my devices: I never take sensitive information with me on travels, I always access them remotely on our servers, all the software I use is legit or free, and I buy all my music and videos. However, taking the devices away can cause a lot of problems, the most important being making you unreachable (and making you unable to reach people). Yes, you can buy a new tablet or a new laptop, and you can buy a new phone, but good luck trying to convince your phone company to forward your calls to a new number if you don't actually have the device and you're not even in your home country... and propagating your new number to all your important contacts could be a real PITA. Yes, some can use Google Voice, but others would be simply fscked. All in all, I don't see how one could come out OK from such an encounter.
  • Re:Highway Robbery (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @11:06AM (#45670429) Homepage Journal

    It's weird to me how Obama does all sorts of terrible things(most of which aren't new, but that's no excuse), but his primary antagonists seem to always be presenting the most discredited or irrelevant nonsense as defining evidence of his totalitarianism.

  • by pigsycyberbully (3450203) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @11:35AM (#45670757) Homepage
    In 2008 I had a computer confiscated they asked me for the password I said the stress of the confiscation made me forget the password. They said to me "do I take them for fools." I said yes but what has that got to do with the password? The laptop was a Dell Computer and it was broken the keyboard did not work and it also did not have a hard drive I had taken it out to use it with another laptop. They never returned the laptop not that I wanted it back anyway. They really are stupid people they just tick boxes and do as they are told they are a special kind of brainless human being. The solicitor told me to make a claim for the laptop "the value of" for a brand-new working computer although I never did. They were looking for clone mobile phone numbers. I have a stubborn rebellious nature that is antiauthority and unfortunately I cannot control my stubborn rebelliousness.

Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how little you have. -- Ernest Haskins