I microblogged about this the other day (here: http://thepete.com/…e-us-bord/ ) but thought I should go into a bit more detail than 140 characters allows.



Back on August 1, 2008, Democracy Now reported (here: http://www.democracynow.org/…/headlines ) that the Washington Post reported that: "federal border agents are now allowed to take and search a traveler’s laptop computer, cellphone or other electronic device without any suspicion of wrongdoing."



The DN anchor added later that: "The policy covers any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form, as well as all papers and other written documentation."



So, this is the free country we live in. Even Americans can have their thumb drives, their iPods, laptops, and even hand-written notebooks searched by border guards. This is absolutely absurd.



As an American citizen, the only thing I should ever have to show at the US border is my passport unless a legal search warrant is shown to me.



What's really disturbing about this is how it might relate to the slippery slope argument.



Is this just the beginning? Are we going to see STATE border guards soon that can stop you to make sure you're not carrying any child porn or terrorism plans on your iPhone? Or worse yet, will we see police officers given the legal ability to search our thumb drives, our wallets, and our laptops without cause?



It's these little examples of bits of our freedoms being chipped away that bother me. After all, if they were to simply yank all of our freedoms away in one fell (and obvious) swoop, we'd rebel instantly. But this tap-tap-tapping at the bedrock of our freedoms reminds me of the old frog-in-the-boiling-water story.



You know, drop a frog in boiling water and he leaps to safety. Drop him in non-boiling water and slowly heat it up and he's frog soup.



Let's not be frog soup, yeah?
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