Who will watch the watchmen? The USA is in desperate need for some people in power that support the ideas of Jefferson et. al. Taking your laptop into the US? by Bruce Schneier (a leading authority on computer security matters).
Lastly, don’t forget your phone and PDA. Customs agents can search those too: emails, your phone book, your calendar. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do here except delete things.
This is so sad. The continued erosion of liberty is amazing. I think we need to wonder now how much longer we can expect the right to openly criticize bad government policy. It used to be the USA government looked down on “soviet block” spying on those visiting the country. That the leaders of the USA have so abandoned liberty is very sad.
20 years from now when the consequences of such anti-liberty behavior results in the much more rapid emergence of other countries that respect the rights of visitors we can wish we didn’t follow this bad path. People can gnash their teeth and wonder why the USA threw away its central role in international trade, science, engineering… This continued path of stupid behavior is condemning the USA to a poorer future.
So far my worry has been the failure of the USA government to take sensible proactive steps. Increasingly however, my worry is growing from that to include growing concern at very damaging policies that serve to isolate the USA from those leaders of the future that of course will shun those that strip their liberties as a condition of dealing with the USA (some will continue to put up with the ludicrous demands as long as their is money to be made but I bet they will be anxious to find more willing partners as soon as they can).
Other countries are willing to play the role the USA has as the host of centers of excellence that draw those economic, science and engineering leaders of the future. Those countries that host these centers benefit greatly.
If only they can develop the technology to download your thoughts then Orwell’s thought police can become reality.
Related: Freedom Increasingly at Risk – Tired of Incompetent Government Harassment – Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership – SWAT Raids Systemic Failure – Science, Engineering and the Future of the American Economy