Recently, the Department of Homeland Security gave it self the power to seize the laptops of airport travelers. DHS unilaterally decided that it may steal your computer without cause and keep it forever. In order to protect your freedom DHS has repealed the 4th Amendment- From the founding fathers-
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Stealing laptops without cause would seem to qualify as an unreasonable seizure.Unfortunately, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld this despicable practice. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a supreme court reversal.
How does DHS justify this unconstitutional privacy violation? First, with denial. Then they cite the War on Drugs as precedent for suspicionless border searches. Finally, the DHS claims that stealing laptops may turn up kiddie porn. You aren’t for kiddie porn are you?
From the Washington Post
Customs Deputy Commissioner Jayson P. Ahern said the efforts “do not infringe on Americans’ privacy.” In a statement submitted to Feingold for a June hearing on the issue, he noted that the executive branch has long had “plenary authority to conduct routine searches and seizures at the border without probable cause or a warrant” to prevent drugs and other contraband from entering the country.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote in an opinion piece published last month in USA Today that “the most dangerous contraband is often contained in laptop computers or other electronic devices.” Searches have uncovered “violent jihadist materials” as well as images of child pornography, he wrote.
Notice what DHS didn’t say- that they could do they same work with warrants (if they weren’t so lazy and incompetent), that this has not prevented any terrorism, and that are no safeguards in place to protect the innocent. When you replace the safeguards of the 4th Amendment with security theater and zealous bureaucrats, you are defending liberty by destroying it.