Can They Take Your Laptop Now On International Flights?

by Willie Crawford 33 replies
Interesting article:
NOW THEY'LL TAKE YOUR LAPTOP - New York Post

Especially since many of us do depend upon or laptops
and the security of that data so much.

Willie
#main internet marketing discussion forum #flights #international #laptop
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  • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
    I'm pretty sure "they" have been able to take your laptop (or anything else for that matter) for a long time now. Color me skeptical that the odds of it happening are anything short of astronomical.
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    • Profile picture of the author Anon7
      Last year, when I flew to Beijing, I didn't have any problems with my laptop. Going both from the U.S. to China and back again, they (security) just had me turn on my laptop to make sure it worked and wasn't a fake with something else in it.

      I guess I would recommend having a charged battery in it, to avoid problems.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ricter
        Well, with astronomy as one of my hobbies, I wouldn't put the probability in that category. Still, that's correct, they have had the authority to seize information bearing devices for many, many years. The odds are low your laptop would be seized, though. This applies to bringing it into the U.S. only. I know nothing of how whacked other countries might be.

        Nevertheless, I advise (this is revelatory!) that you back up your data elsewhere.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
          Originally Posted by Ricter View Post

          I know nothing of how whacked other countries might be.
          I am so glad that I live in one of those other countries. Since the 9/11 that gave the US administration a good excuse for turning the US into a fortress, I have not traveled to your whacked Homeland. I have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and am happy to report that the rest of the world is not becoming as whacked as the US.

          May whackedness be a short lived disease. May common sense return again soon.
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          • Profile picture of the author Thomas Wilkinson
            Many of us hope that common sense will be sworn in
            on January 20th.

            T.W.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Williams
            Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

            I am so glad that I live in one of those other countries. Since the 9/11 that gave the US administration a good excuse for turning the US into a fortress, I have not traveled to your whacked Homeland. I have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and am happy to report that the rest of the world is not becoming as whacked as the US.

            May whackedness be a short lived disease. May common sense return again soon.
            I think England is worse. You get fined for not putting your trash can on right and there are like 10 cameras on each block.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kalidasa
              I have a friend with an unfortunate name that is the same as someone on some list. He gets his computer searched every time he flies into the US. Used to take more than two hours till he got a traveling computer. Now it just doesn't take as long.
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              • Profile picture of the author Thomas Wilkinson
                "A Traveling Computer" That's what Bev was talking about.
                Its come to this. (Actually in some countries it was ALWAYS this.)
                I can't wait to fly with my new Sarah Palin with a bikini and a gun
                wallpaper.

                T.W.
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          • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
            Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

            I am so glad that I live in one of those other countries. Since the 9/11 that gave the US administration a good excuse for turning the US into a fortress, I have not traveled to your whacked Homeland. I have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and am happy to report that the rest of the world is not becoming as whacked as the US.

            May whackedness be a short lived disease. May common sense return again soon.
            Hey Kev, so does this mean we're not doing Sake bombs in downtown LA together next year? Hahahahaha

            RoD

            Note: I've had to turn on my laptop a few times on Int'l flights, but so far no major problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricter
    iPhones are also subject to search.

    The good news is that if you're carrying your laptop, as opposed to shipping it, you don't have to make a separate declaration for the RAM (anti-dumping), LOL.
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Michie
      Last time I flew to LA, I had to turn on my laptop, login and let the customs dude look at it for a couple of minutes if I wanted to bring it
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricter
    Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

    Still cannot see the sense of it all though, what's to stop you buying a laptop whilst your there and downloading all the information from the net?
    Hmm, you seem to know a great deal about circumvention. I think we better check you out... rubber gloves *snap*!
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  • Profile picture of the author VulcanMan750
    Wow, I do fieldservice work for a company in Cleveland, and I travel almost every week out of Hopkins International.

    I've never had this happen to me at all, I've never even had to turn my laptop on. At the Continental security gate they even have a new x-ray machine called the COBRA where you don't even have to take your laptop out. That line is so fast!

    Anyways, I have all my IM stuff backed up on the thumbdrive on my keychain. All though I can't believe how many times TSA has asked me what it is. I thought everybody had joined the 21st century except for my parents maybe? I love you mom and dad
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    • Profile picture of the author Ricter
      Originally Posted by VulcanMan750 View Post

      Wow, I do fieldservice work for a company in Cleveland, and I travel almost every week out of Hopkins International.

      I've never had this happen to me at all, I've never even had to turn my laptop on. At the Continental security gate they even have a new x-ray machine called the COBRA where you don't even have to take your laptop out. That line is so fast!

      Anyways, I have all my IM stuff backed up on the thumbdrive on my keychain. All though I can't believe how many times TSA has asked me what it is. I thought everybody had joined the 21st century except for my parents maybe? I love you mom and dad
      You do realize that if they decided to seize your laptop they'd take the flash drive too?
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      • Profile picture of the author VulcanMan750
        yes I do,

        I'd throw it to the ground and step on first before I'd hand it over.

        I have two backups at home
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        • Profile picture of the author Craig McPherson
          A guy from Sydney was marched of a plane by federal agents just the other day for refusing to turn off his laptop when asked to by the Captain. They did not confiscate it, they simply threw him off the plane. (After landing of course)
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  • Profile picture of the author X
    It's the illusion of security.

    Any trained assassin could kill a man
    with a pair of eyeglasses.

    Ask Willie.

    Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

    Still cannot see the sense of it all though, what's to stop you buying a laptop whilst your there and downloading all the information from the net?
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Farrell
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    • Profile picture of the author ctutt
      Oh Shit! I've been trying to convince my wife to let me buy a laptop so we could "do business" anywhere! Even on vacation!

      Are you saying this is NOT something to consider?
      Charles
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      • Profile picture of the author rwil02
        Hmm. I seem to recall an article somewhere about a person winning a case against customs on the basis that the information contained ina laptop or orther elecronic recording device was akin in nature to the thoughts inside a persons head, and as such was not covered by customs mandate. Of course, that's an expensive court case.

        Can;t find it now But this made a good read.

        Clarity Sought on Electronics Searches
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        • Profile picture of the author JasonKing
          Senastion journalism at its best IMHO.
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          • Profile picture of the author Janet Sawyer
            Originally Posted by JasonKing View Post

            Senastion journalism at its best IMHO.
            Thank goodness for that!

            I so wanted to post some humor into this thread

            Like on a domestic flight, UK to Northern Ireland <-------- yep DOMESTIC flight two years ago, my Daughter took her musical instrument on as hand luggage.
            Security made her take it to pieces to make sure she was not hiding anything inside it.

            When she was putting it all back together, they asked her the reason for her visit.
            Her reply "I'm part of the European YOUTH Brass Band", fine, then they pointed to her instrument reassembled and asked her "what's that? and what does it do?"

            She mumbled awkwardly......... It's the first valve trigger!
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            • Profile picture of the author Ricter
              Originally Posted by Janet Sawyer View Post

              Thank goodness for that!

              I so wanted to post some humor into this thread

              Like on a domestic flight, UK to Northern Ireland <-------- yep DOMESTIC flight two years ago, my Daughter took her musical instrument on as hand luggage.
              Security made her take it to pieces to make sure she was not hiding anything inside it.

              When she was putting it all back together, they asked her the reason for her visit.
              Her reply "I'm part of the European YOUTH Brass Band", fine, then they pointed to her instrument reassembled and asked her "what's that? and what does it do?"

              She mumbled awkwardly......... It's the first valve trigger!
              Lol, nice.
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          • Profile picture of the author rwil02
            Originally Posted by JasonKing View Post

            Senastion journalism at its best IMHO.
            I wish.
            But it's not.
            It may have been a slow news day that got it published, but it is still a serious concern.

            I get extra checks every time I travel internationally. Which is odd, given that I've never mentioned in the hearing of a government official that I can manufacture a tactical nuclear device from scratch. Not to mention thermite, plastique, a rudimentary laser, detonators and have a postgraduate degree in a field which means I have the knowledge necessary to engineer microorganisms that would be considered hostile to human life. Oh wait, that's just my RPG characters (maybe). But how would a customs official tell the difference?

            I know a guy that gets the FULL treatment every time he travels. 6ft 4 inches tall, never commited any offence. He eventually found out that he matches the description of a known terrorist. He's NEVER going to have fun travelling.

            It's a fundamental conflict between the individual and society. The more you need to protect society, the more harm you must do to individuals to do so. Tax is the most basic example as it affects the highest number of people. Customs and police searches are another. It gets worse over time because every organisation eventually seeks to expand its reach, that being a basic evolutionary trait, grow or die.
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            • Profile picture of the author Sylvia Meier
              I read my hubby this post and the news article and he laughed and made a very good point. They won't allow YOU to take YOUR laptop on the plane, but will allow YOU to ship your own laptop to yourself overnight, which would mean it's still going on a plane.
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              • Profile picture of the author Alex Sol
                Homeland's Security NEW Power Trip...
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              • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
                Let's put this into perspective. This isn't something new, however much people would like to think it is.

                Certain countries will ask to take your computer to check it out. They will then download all your data, so they can check you have nothing on it against that country. They will then drop something onto your computer which means they can monitor your computer when you get home. The same with your cell phone, they want to know who you have contacted when you visit their country.

                Having travelled extensively, we carry our laptops with us, but since the rules in certain countries changed recently, we won't carry our normal laptops with us. We will get a small laptop with just the basic information on it. We might even get a brand new gmail account with no email address in it.

                For those who think shipping your computer to yourself is a good idea, think again. This is guarenteed to have security checking your computer out, and you don't know what they will do in your absense.

                At least when we travel we have to put our computers through the scanners, now you have to remove them from their cases, but we watch everything they do. If they take them out of your sight how do you know what they will do.
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                • Profile picture of the author Thomas Wilkinson
                  This is a little off the subject BUT.... I've had to pretty
                  much give up flying because I have an artificial leg and
                  I'm sick of the treatment I get, the rudeness, the hassles,
                  the delays and everything else that goes along with trying
                  to walk onto an airplane like anyone else. Hmmm I ought
                  to start a blog about this rant. Oh, That's right, I
                  already did.

                  T.W.
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                  When you hear someone telling you what YOU can't do, they are usually talking about what THEY can't do.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
                    I don't have a laptop, but I DO have two artificial hips. I had two artificial total hip replacements before I was 30 when both of my hips dislocated. (Not at the same time.) I was given an ID card by my doctor to carry with me when I travel and must go through security.

                    Well, this could be fun! At least I get to have SOME fun out this, I thought. I rarely set off the detectors though.

                    Well, that was before 9/11 and before I had the second hip replaced.

                    Now, it's post-9/11, they've beefed up security and their metal detectors, and I have twice the titanium in me. So now the metal detector shrills EVERY time I go through security. And it's not funny.

                    It's rather a pain, but I've never found the TSA to be rude per se. In fact, I went to CA this past May and the TSA agent who patted me down was particularly pleasant and professional. I always cheerfully explain that I have two artifical hips and since their wand beeps when it passes over my hips, they're fine with it. (I've found a quick explanation and cheerful attitude -- i.e. non-suspicious behavior -- does wonders.) I just have to expect to be patted down every time I travel, that's all. I'm not about to stop traveling just because I get stopped every time I go through security.

                    I was in KS a month ago and got patted down. I'm leaving for CO this Wednesday and will be patted down again. Goes with the territory.

                    I DO get a little disgruntled when they go through extra steps with me because I wear skirts instead of pants. Apparently, I could have an AK47 strapped to my leg underneath my skirt. I've always felt it was a little discriminatory.

                    I found it rather amusing though when it was me and a little old lady with a pacemaker who set off the metal detectors and got pulled aside to be patted down. Yep, that's us: terrorists. Put out an ABP!

                    Michelle


                    Originally Posted by Thomas Wilkinson View Post

                    This is a little off the subject BUT.... I've had to pretty
                    much give up flying because I have an artificial leg and
                    I'm sick of the treatment I get, the rudeness, the hassles,
                    the delays and everything else that goes along with trying
                    to walk onto an airplane like anyone else. Hmmm I ought
                    to start a blog about this rant. Oh, That's right, I
                    already did.

                    T.W.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
                      Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

                      (I've found a quick explanation and cheerful attitude -- i.e. non-suspicious behavior -- does wonders.)
                      Or ... you can act like Mr Bean in his first movie when he landed at LAX. good for a laugh.
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              • Profile picture of the author rwil02
                Originally Posted by Sylvia Rolfe View Post

                I read my hubby this post and the news article and he laughed and made a very good point. They won't allow YOU to take YOUR laptop on the plane, but will allow YOU to ship your own laptop to yourself overnight, which would mean it's still going on a plane.
                That's the difference between checked and carry on luggage though.
                But the basic point is that they can seize it without reasonable cause, and have no limitations on keeping it, or the use/access to sensitive information contained upon it.
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