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DHS Report Says Leave Laptops At Home

DHS Report Says Leave Laptops At Home
DHS Report Says Leave Laptops At Home 

By Thomas Claburn
September 15, 2008

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security appears to be of two minds 
about the security of information on portable devices.

On the one hand, it defends border searches of laptops as necessary to 
limit the movements of terrorists, to deter child pornography, and to 
enforce U.S. laws.

"One of our most important enforcement tools in this regard is our 
ability to search information contained in electronic devices, including 
laptops and other digital devices, for violations of U.S. law, including 
potential threats," said Jayson Ahern, deputy commissioner, U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection, in an online post in June.

On the other hand, it has warned business and government travelers not 
to carry laptops or other electronic devices when traveling abroad, as a 
way to prevent "unauthorized access and theft of data by criminal and 
foreign government elements."

In a document titled "Foreign Travel Threat Assessment: Electronic 
Communications Vulnerabilities," published June 10 by the DHS's critical 
infrastructure threat analysis division and recently posted to 
Wikileaks, DHS urges business leaders and U.S. officials to "leave 
[electronic devices] at home" when traveling.


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