Illegal Downloads -- New Concerns For Cross-Border Travelers

Posted on Wednesday, November 08 at 10:36 by rearguard
However, while Im used to having my bags checked, my last cross-border trip was different. Once again I was called into the back room, and when I got there a lone customs official was already conducting a search of another passenger's bags. I had to "wait behind the red line" and make sure "not to use my cell phone" in "the secured area." Violate these rules and you're in deep you-know-what.

From a distance, then, I watched as the other guy's bags got a good going-over -- the same thing that would be presumably happening to my bags in due time. The customs official was really going to town. He was checking everything -- yanking out clothes, checking through pockets, looking at various packages, and so on. I figured that they must really have something on this guy.

Then I heard the official ask the gentleman for his laptop, which I thought was just to ensure that it wasnt bought abroad and brought back without paying taxes (which is why you should always carry some sort of proof of purchase with you, or get a special customs card made that stipulates the product was purchased in your home country -- they question these sorts of things). But they werent just considering where hed bought it; they were about to conduct a search of the contents of his computer. You know, the files stored on it! Id never seen this done before, and my heart skipped a beat. I had a laptop too!

Full story here [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 9, 2006]

Note: Full story here

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