If you've been following what's been going on in the world of technology, politics, and international travel over the last few years you'll know that, if you want to enter the US, border patrol agents are allowed to search your laptop, mobile phone, or MP3 player without limitation and without telling you why. Meanwhile, if you want to enter the UK and you have some encrypted stuff on your hard drive, the UK government can demand that you hand over your encryption keys or face jail time.
In light of all this, both CNET and the EFF have come up with ways in which you can keep your data both safe and private when crossing the border. Before reading that, though, check out Computerworld's Jaikumar Vijayan's article on Five Things to Know About U.S. Border Laptop Searches.
Then read these:
- For a quick overview of how to secure your data, read CNET's Chris Soghoian's article Keep Your Data Safe at the Border.
- For a much more in-depth discussion, read CNET's Declan McCullagh's Security Guide to Customs-Proofing Your Laptop.
- And, for a more legal perspective, read EFF's Jennifer Granick's article on Protecting Yourself From Suspicionless Searches While Travelling.
Most important of all: be careful. Your really don't want to suffer Maher Arar's fate.