In a post-9/11 world, the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin become ever more salient: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” The people of this fine nation have forgotten the place from whence we came. Private corporations embed programs deep within our devices to track each keystroke we enter. Now, the Federal Government wants to force SOPA and PIPA down our throats. Fortunately, the populace rose up and demanded those measures be put aside. Unfortunately, Supreme Court rulings gutting the Fourth Amendment continue unabated. Broader searches are some of the most egregious examples of overreaching, constitutional violations I have ever heard of. It goes a little like this: Bob is a traveler. It doesn’t matter where he is going, except that it must be out of the United States–even between the US and Canada. It doesn’t matter his purpose of travel. It doesn’t matter that Bob was born in the United States and by all accounts is an upstanding, flag-waving, awesome American with no criminal history and no connections to illegal activities of any kind. Bob passes through security at the airport and the Traffic Safety Administration seizes his computer, his tablet and his smartphone. The devices are searched immediately and, if nothing incriminating is found immediately, the devices are seized to be returned at the convenience of the United States government.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the way Bob has been treated is permissible under the United States Constitution. Even typing those words gives me chills. Law enforcement has gone entirely over the edge. America has crucified the idea of freedom in the name of the false deity of safety. Multi-billionaires have come riding to the aid of law enforcement with an array of devices that are not only unnecessary to preserve national security but come at a cost to the overall health of the nation by their exorbitant price tags.
Criminal defense lawyers across the nation are battling the illegal searches of their clients. The conservative courts continue to expand the exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. If you’re faced with a situation where your personal property has been illegally seized, you should call the Delaware Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Office of Brian Jones. As warriors for the people, we will pursue every legal avenue available to uphold the United States and Ohio Constitutions against the illegal actions of police and prosecutors.
If you must travel outside the United States and you must have data with you, our criminal defense attorneys suggest the following measures to ensure the security of your data from illegal search and disclosure of your company secrets to rival corporations and the breach of confidential information about your clients.
- Take a dummy computer: if your company is financially capable of doing so, purchase a computer strictly for international travel. The computer should have no modifications from the factory settings and contain no data not provided by the factory. When law enforcement sees there is absolutely nothing of value on your device, they will be less likely to seize it. Even if they do, at least the government isn’t accessing your company’s private information.
- Upload data to secure servers: the internet is available in most places around the world. Once you reach your final destination with your dummy computer, you can access the information using a program such as GoToMyPC or other Virtual Private Network (VPN). All of the information remains on your secure computer or server that remains in the United States protected, for now, by the Fourth Amendment.
If you are unable to purchase a computer for international travel, you can still use the VPN method to keep your data secure from illegal searches and seizure. Load the data necessary for your trip onto the VPN or email the data to yourself if the volume is appropriate for that method. Cloud based storage systems, like DropBox.com also provide a method of data transportation and allow avoidance of these guys at the border crossing. If you would like additional information or advice on how to maintain your information securely internationally, call The Law Office of Brian Jones for a consultation.