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Your Rights

2007-06-20 18:07:02.584548+00 by ebradway 6 comments

I find this kind of confusing. I always assumed that the Constitution and Bill of Rights a list of things that the Government is supposed to do and not do. In that assumption is that belief that these guidelines define our Government. I know that Guantanamo Bay stretches those guidelines significantly - but those are not American citizens and suspected terrorists. But what I didn't realize is that those guidelines for our Government don't apply to our Government's treatment of American citizens who aren't quite on American soil.

This comes from a Wired article about random laptop searches by the Border Patrol. Somehow, the Government thinks there isn't anything wrong with turning on someone's laptop and routing through their files!

[ related topics: Politics moron Law Current Events Civil Liberties California Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-20 18:25:35.216429+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

I think my confusion comes from the fact that the phrase:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Is from the Declaration of Independence which must not hold precedence over the Constitution. My assumption was that "that all men..are endowed...with certain unalienable Rights" applied to the Bill of Rights. But I guess the Bill of Rights only applies to American citizens inside the borders of the states that ratified the Bill of Rights.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-20 20:17:40.630432+00 by: Dan Lyke

I know that when I went to Hong Kong and China I was extremely careful to make sure that the contents of my laptop would be acceptable to the most conservative southern Baptist congregation, but I'd never continued that I'd have more to fear coming back into this country than going there...

#Comment Re: Your Rights made: 2007-06-21 05:49:12.241031+00 by: Pete

The word "citizen" never appears in the Bill of Rights. If someone tells you that it only applies to citizens of America, they are lying to you.

#Comment Draconian border guards made: 2007-06-21 09:49:19.782286+00 by: feltpen

Laptop searches *should* be rendered useless by http://www.truecrypt.org/ (You can have hidden volumes inside your main encrypted volume. Border guards will have no way of telling - except torture)

Google searches, OTOH, are next to impossible to beat: http://thetyee.ca/News/2007/04/23/Feldmar/

The Feldmar story is a terrible one.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-21 10:56:58.385828+00 by: jeff

In agreement about the Feldmar story. Terrible. Better to live off the grid as an undocumented illegal alien to assure repeated border crossings.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-21 13:19:28.040988+00 by: meuon

Re: Feldmar story.

The issue: Feldmar's publications on the 'net might have been cause for further investigations, but to deny someone after they admit to some drug use > 20 years in the past is ludicrous. Cripes, we've elected Presidents who.. well, ok, so he says he did not inhale. Yeah, right.

The real problem, bored zealots as border guards with no tolerance for anything.