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Tor Developer Detained At US Border, Pressed On Wikileaks 637

suraj.sun writes with this news from CNET: "A security researcher involved with the Wikileaks Web site — Jacob Appelbaum, a Seattle-based programmer for the online privacy protection project called Tor — was detained by US agents at the border for three hours and questioned about the controversial whistleblower project as he entered the country on Thursday to attend a hacker conference. He was also approached by two FBI agents at the Defcon conference after his presentation on Saturday afternoon about the Tor Project. Appelbaum, a US citizen, arrived at the Newark, New Jersey, airport from Holland Thursday morning, was taken into a room, frisked and his bag was searched. Officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Army then told him he was not under arrest but was being detained. They asked questions about Wikileaks, asked for his opinions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and asked where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is, but he declined to comment without a lawyer present, according to the sources. He was not permitted to make a phone call, they said." Appelbaum told me that he just spoke at length with The New York Times, and quipped that his Defcon talk about Tor was "just fine, until the FBI showed up"; this post will likely be updated with more details. Update: 08/02 03:59 GMT by T : Here's the NYT's coverage.
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Tor Developer Detained At US Border, Pressed On Wikileaks

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  • Re:UFFSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zironic ( 1112127 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:55PM (#33102510)

    The general idea as far as I know is that if you suspect someone has performed a crime, but you do not yet have evidence, then you can detain them for a short while as you gather your evidence preventing him from for instance running as you start to search his backpack.

    Police seem to like exploiting their right to detain for frivolous reasons though.

  • Re:UFFSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:56PM (#33102520) Journal
    They thought he might be related to a crime (releasing classified documents. Whether you think that should be a crime or not is a different subject). In nearly any country, if the police think you are involved in some crime, they have the power to detain you and ask questions. There is no problem with this: it's what we want our police to be doing, solving crimes. And they do catch real criminals (murderers, etc) at the border. Really, being questioned or detained at a border doesn't make a country fascist.

    The biggest news here is that the government is serious about finding who leaked those documents. For some reason that really annoyed someone high up.

    The biggest problem with what happened is something that wasn't even mentioned in the summary: they kept three of his cell phones for no apparent reason. The article only presents one side of the story, but assuming it is accurate, this is unjust. They shouldn't keep objects without a reason.
  • by volkerdi ( 9854 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:00PM (#33102548)

    The rules are different at the border. Until you pass the border, they can detain you without arresting you, and they can do so on a mere hunch. You aren't "in the United States" yet, and you do not have your constitutional rights until you are.

  • Re:UFFSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by schnikies79 ( 788746 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:06PM (#33102598)

    Tor was originally developed and funded by the U.S. Navy. []

  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:16PM (#33102658) Homepage Journal

    Hostile attitude, disrespect for law enforcement officers - helps color your character the wrong way.

    Unless it's a friendly interrogation (hey did you ever see that guy in Dorm A who went missing last month?) keep your yapper shut and let your lawyer do the talking.

  • Re:UFFSA (Score:2, Informative)

    by fatalwall ( 873645 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:18PM (#33102668)

    Yes they can detain you for questioning but no they can not withhold your right to have your lawyer present for said questioning.

    This is not every country we are talking about here. This is the United States. The country that raves about its treatment of citizens and how glorious Democracy is. Every time they pull things like this they show the truth that no government is any better then any other because people are all the same and will do what they want when in power no matter what rules exist.

  • Re:Well, good (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:23PM (#33102696)

    No names were revealed, they were blanked out. Unlike what some "journalist" might have said. Link:

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:34PM (#33102780)

    How often do you travel? I've been pulled aside lots of times and really interrogated. Lots of personal questions: what do I do for a living, why am I traveling to or returning from country x, what do my relatives do for a living, where do they live, and much more. The extensive follow up questions would be even more personal and intrusive. On occasion the questions lasted for more than an hour. I also get chosen for a "random" search nearly every time. Maybe I just look suspicious. I am ghostly white and none of my family comes from the middle east or Southwest Asia. So it is not racial profiling. I can only imagine what it must be like for a foreigner. We don't exactly put our best foot forward at our borders. Much of the world already regards us as vicious, brutish thugs. Or at least our government. It always seems to happen on departure. Maybe because they know they have you over a barrel. They can easily interrogate you long enough to make you miss your flight. On one occasion they only released me just in time. I made the flight, but with only minutes to spare. In fact, it was only when I showed them my ticket and told them that I was about to miss my flight that they finally released me.

  • Re:We are at war (Score:3, Informative)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:36PM (#33102810) Homepage Journal

    5) He was allowed to leave the country after his conference, not exactly what police states do.

    They do if they have reason to do so, e.g. protecting their image when the publicity would be worse than harassing the target.

    Mr. Applebaum doesn't act like an innocent victim of human rights abuses. He acts like an uncooperative witness who flees at the first sign of oppurtunity.

    Not hanging around waiting to become a statistic doesn't make you a coward, or a criminal, but it is a sign of intelligence.

    It sounds like the FBI agents were genuinely trying to hear his side of the story about his rights being trampled having been at the conference for other reasons.

    You sound hilarious.

  • Re:Well, good (Score:4, Informative)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:37PM (#33102820) Homepage Journal

    "A large number of Afghan informants had their names exposed "

    Did you even actually read the documents? Names were blacked out.

    Jesus christ.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:43PM (#33102886)

    As soon as you're not free to leave you're under arrest, that's something which isn't very well communicated. Just because they haven't frisked you and put you in handcuffs does not mean you're not arrested. Judicially, there's been quite a bit of slide in terms of miranda warnings lately, with the courts allowing a lot of stuff which really shouldn't be.

    Are you a lawyer? I would guess you're not, because what you are saying is not correct.

    When you are placed under arrest you are charged with a crime. Being detained is a valid (legal) event where the police can prevent you from leaving an area or hold you, but you are not charged with a crime. There is (in most reasonable jurisdictions) a time limit to how long you can be detained without charge. Once that limit has been reached they police must either let you go or charge you (in which case you must then must be able to a judge in a reasonable amount of time—habeas corpus and all that).

    So being detained and being arrested are two different things. Either way, it's generally best to keep your mouth shut.

    IANAL though.

  • Re:Well, good (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:00PM (#33103058)

    A large number of Afghan informants had their names exposed

    No, they did not. Wikileaks took care to remove this sort of information.

    Quit whining and start taking responsibility for your actions.

    Stop reading right-wing neoconservative blogs and think for yourself for a change.

  • by bl968 ( 190792 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:12PM (#33103202) Journal

    Actually you can be detained and searched up to 100 Miles [] from the Border.... It's the Constitution free zone... Roughly 2/3rd of the US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

  • Re:Well, good (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:13PM (#33103214)
    The names were all censored in the release. Perhaps you should actually learn what you're talking about before mouthing off.
  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:21PM (#33103282) Homepage

    We don't need a flawless answer to know "what's going on". Instead, we just need to reestablish the base level of intelligence that we held for many years. From the 50s to 70s, things were pretty clear overall. The USSR was trying to surpass our technology. Soviet spies were coming to the US through various channels, but often with detectable ties. The middle east was dealing with its own problems, and its own issues with the Soviets, too. Korea was so screwed up from war that they weren't much of a threat. Between Russia and us, the nukes kept everyone else pretty quiet.

    We need to get that simple level of understanding again. Some parts are clear already:

    • Forged travel documents are easily available everywhere.
    • The middle east is polarized around loving us or hating us.
    • There are lots of leftover munitions in the middle east. Leaving now leaves them in the hands of the polarized factions.
    • North Korea is run by a child with deadly toys.

    What's not clear (to my knowledge) is how the various factions are operating, where they're located, or what will appease everyone enough to stop fighting. This isn't the oppose-us-and-disappear world of 1984. It's a plea for understanding, backed up by enforcement.

    We as a nation have let the enemy win as a significant portion of the citizenry and leaders have been terrorized into removing what makes this nation great in the hopes of not being afraid.

    Like what, exactly? The right to state your opinion without being imprisoned for it? Sure, you might be investigated, just like you would if you walked down the street shouting "I killed five children!" but you won't face anything too serious. Certainly nothing like the forced suicide you'd meet after insulting the North Korean government.

    We had temporary safety from about 1985 until 2001. We obtained it by being the strongest (and most stable) military power in the world. Now that guerilla/terrorist warfare is recognized to be stronger, we have lost all security.

    To regain our security, we must start investigating again. As I said originally, it falls to the various activists and watchdog groups to voice concerns over the cost. Consider what good ol' Ben Franklin said:

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    I am not suggesting we give up essential liberty. I suggest we be a bit more accommodating of the agencies trying to secure our country. When things get out of hand, let the activists complain. I'll consider the issue and sign a petition if I agree. In the mean time, I will simply wait.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:47PM (#33103498) Journal

    There's nothing to be gain from talking to ANY officer. Name, drivers license, and that's it. (And if you're driving, you don't even need to show an drivers license. "My name is ____," will comply with the law. When I was pulled over by the Homeland Gestapo while traveling across the country, they tried to get me to talk but I refused.

    "Why won't you let us search your trunk?"
    "You said you don't have a search warrant."
    "What do you got in there?"
    "Where are you headed?"
    "Where did you come from?"

    They then made me stand in the hot afternoon sun for an hour, but I refused to comply. Eventually they let me go when they realized they had no other option.

  • Re:of course (Score:4, Informative)

    by rhook ( 943951 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:47PM (#33103504)

    Since he wasn't under arrest he had no right to a phone call. Last time I checked, US Customs didn't need a reason to detain anyone crossing the border.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:54PM (#33103554) Journal

    Here in the U.S. they wouldn't lay a hand on you unless you gave them clear cause to do so.

    Have a look at the Oscar-winning documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side" and get back to me.

    There's a time limit on the detention, after which they much charge you are let you go.

    Have you ever heard of the "PATRIOT Act"?

  • Re:of course (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:04PM (#33103638) Journal

    Funny, I don't see an "except for the border" clause in the Bill of Rights.

  • Re:Well, good (Score:3, Informative)

    by antibryce ( 124264 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:13PM (#33103720)

    Did you actually read them? []

    The sanitized version in papers had names blacked out, but the actual leaked docs were basically unedited. The Taliban has already announced they're using it to compile a list of people to kill. []

  • Re:of course (Score:5, Informative)

    by Abreu ( 173023 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:14PM (#33103726)

    He would have been disappeared in a jail somewhere in Poland or Romania []

  • Re:We are at war (Score:3, Informative)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:44PM (#33103948)
    3) A 3 hour border detention is less than someone would be detained for unpaid parking tickets. They did not arrest him. They could have easily arrested him as a material witness.

    You can't arrest someone for being a witness. You can question them and subpoena them, but you only arrest suspects, not witnesses.
  • Re:Well, good (Score:5, Informative)

    by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:56PM (#33104078)

    Just no. There is no link anywhere to non-sanitized version. Leaked docs that are posted on wikileaks are sanitized. Taleban is doing what it was doing since 1970s - scaring the shit out of informants though any means necessary, which includes lying. I'm sorry, but you're clueless.

  • by Erikderzweite ( 1146485 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @06:16PM (#33104300)

    Terrorist attacks happened in Spain, March 11, 2004. That's EU. No "patriot" acts so far. Spain also has a long story of terrorist attacks in Basque province.

  • Re:of course (Score:4, Informative)

    by arashi no garou ( 699761 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @07:05PM (#33104806)

    Keep in mind it's not the "one phone call" that you are entitled to as a detained or arrested individual. Take it from someone who worked as a booking officer early in life: Cops are only *required* to let you phone someone if you specifically say you want to call your lawyer. Anyone else -- Mom, Dad, best friend, etc. -- is entirely up to how gracious the detaining officers are.

    Speaking of unlawful detainment, didn't you know there is no such thing anymore, at least if the federal government is the entity detaining you? Georgie Bush wiped his ass with the Due Process and Habeas Corpus parts of the law, remember?

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @07:26PM (#33105028)

    So let's say a crime has happened, or the police expect one has. They got a 911 call to that effect. There's a bunch of people around, and it looks like something might have happened. When they come up, you say "I'm leaving." They can detain you. They don't arrest you yet, since it isn't clear you've done anything wrong, but they can tell you that you can't leave. Reason is that they don't want you running off, should it be that they need to arrest you. So for how long? Isn't precisely defined. Like many things in the law, it is situational and open for some interpretations. Like "reasonable doubt" or "probably cause" "reasonable amounts of time" is not defined down to the millisecond. It is, well, what is reasonable. So if they detained you while they interviewed people and figured out what the hell was going on, that would probably be ruled reasonable in a court. If they took you to jail and held you for a couple days without charging you, that would almost certainly be ruled as not reasonable.

  • Re:What IS The Law? (Score:3, Informative)

    by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @07:49PM (#33105216)

    If you get a passport and do some international travelling, you are going to have to lose your attitude.

    Do a little research about the authority of the Customs. It's not very difficult. []

    Any country's port of entry has the right to search your stuff, including your own country. You will wait for that process to be complete if they choose to do this.

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @08:10PM (#33105386) Homepage Journal

    Unless it's a friendly interrogation (hey did you ever see that guy in Dorm A who went missing last month?) keep your yapper shut and let your lawyer do the talking.

    - buddy, stop giving stupid advices.

    Don't talk to cops or any other 'agencies' ever about anything, you may get seriously hurt.

    There is no such concept as 'friendly interrogation', what's wrong with you?

    -Hey, did you ever see that guy in Dorm A who went missing last month?

    The correct answer is: -Am I under arrest? No? Bye.

  • Re:of course (Score:3, Informative)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @08:19PM (#33105458) Journal []
    "... federal statute 8 CFR 287.1 (a)(1-3) defines the border zone for enforcement purposes as encompassing an area within 100 miles of the actual border"
    They can get to you at any "random" internal checkpoint they like :) [] some vids of the stops.
  • Re:Well, good (Score:4, Informative)

    by antibryce ( 124264 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @09:58PM (#33106116)

    uh, there are names in the wikileaks postings. Several news outlets, including the Washington Post, have searched the released docs and found names that weren't redacted: []

    wikileaks didn't scrub the docs thoroughly, even the founder of wikileaks is basically saying "hey, not our problem!" He's not denying it, I find it interesting you are.

  • by Rocketship Underpant ( 804162 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @01:40AM (#33107280)

    So the name on the desk changed. The calamitous policies, the wars, the complete disregard for human rights continue.

  • Re:of course (Score:3, Informative)

    by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Monday August 02, 2010 @01:48AM (#33107324) Homepage
    The Obama administration also claims the right to simply call any US citizen a terrorist and assassinate him or her. No need for evidence, trials, or convictions. Just the say-so of some shadowy group or person. Now there's some change. []
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday August 02, 2010 @07:18AM (#33108488) Journal

    Not accurate, 412 covers detention of terrorists

    You left out a word, SuperKendall: "suspected".

    Section 412 covers detention of suspected terrorists. And what does it take to be a suspected terrorist?

    There's a big difference between an "enemy combatant" and a suspected terrorist.

    You started this all by saying "around here we don't have indefinite detentions" and now we're down to indefinitely detaining suspects for god's sake (not to mention sex offenders who have completed their sentences).

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @02:20AM (#33178524) Journal

    An arraignment is a formal reading of the charges.

    At which time, you are charged with the crime. Until the arraignment, if you are in custody, you are under arrest but you are not yet charged.


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