Steve, would it be appropriate for me to forward this to my 1st year
students? We just had to make the point that digital communication
leaves an electronic bread crumb trail, or "fingerprints" and that they
need to bear that in mind...
From: UVM Blogging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steve
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 8:22 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: U.S. Customs now reads your blog entries?
U.S. Customs now reads your blog entries?
November 29, 2005 7:40 PM PST
An Iranian trying to enter the U.S. says border guards barred him from
entering because his blog said he was based in New York.
Hossein Derakhshan, who writes a blog on Hoder.com, said in a post last
week that he's "homeless" because he was prevented from re- entering the
country. Derakhshan says he was born in Tehran and then moved to
Toronto, Canada in December 2000.
The United States, of course, requires a visa for foreign citizens who
want to live here permanently.
So when the border guards found a Newsweek magazine labeled with his
name and a New York City address, coupled with the I-live-in-the-Big-
Apple contents of his blog, they were suspicious and denied him entry
for six months, Derakhshan says.
Reading blog entries while at the border may be new, but border guards
have enjoyed Internet access for a while. (When I was traveling to
Ottawa to speak at an academic conference, the guards verified my claim
by checking the university's Web site.)
In addition, border guards have been known to investigate the contents
of a computer.
One report this year from a U.S.-based marijuana activist says U.S.
border guards looked through her digital camera snapshots and likely
browsed through her laptop's contents.
Kenneth Cukier, now a London-based correspondent for The Economist
magazine, once reported similar first-hand experiences, and a 1998
article in the New York Times describes how British customs scan laptops
for sexual material.
Posted by Declan McCullagh