Thursday, February 7 2008

Laptop scrubbing

When I went to Japan last year, I scrubbed my laptop of non-essential data and encrypted my home directory, to avoid any hassle if it got stolen. It sounds like I should have been more concerned about the boys working Customs.

Or perhaps not, since they just waved me through in both countries, without even a cursory inspection.

It’s obvious that the behavior described in the article can’t be extended to more than a tiny fraction of travelers, but without clear guidelines explaining what they can examine and for how long, I can understand why businesses would be very leery of allowing employees to take laptops across the border. I pity the fool who tries to separate Lucy from a laptop, though…

While a lot of folks are busy crying “police state”, I’m thinking more along the lines of “poorly-trained flunkies with no oversight”. Which is more dangerous, but less scary.