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SPAM: Airport to Scan for Illegal Downloads on iPods and Laptops? 12

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

According to the Daily Telegraph, iPods, mobile phones and laptops could be examined by airport customs officials for illegal downloads under strict new counterfeiting measures being considered by G8 governments this week, as part of an agreement aimed at stamping out piracy. There are fears that individuals who have illegally downloaded songs or video clips for personal use could also be caught out. The proposal coincides with plans by the European Parliament for ISPs to be held liable for users downloading illegal content - in "extreme cases" disconnecting people who do so.

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Airport to Scan for Illegal Downloads on iPods and Laptops?

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  • If I was traveling internationally, which I don't, and if I needed a laptop, I would not keep the drive in the machine, I would leave it at home. Not only because there is nothing to see then, they can't plant evidence on you. Any of my files I needed at the travel-to place I would recreate by buying a replacement drive at the new place, then transferring the encrypted files over the net. You'll need to commit to memory your passphrase obviously and not screw that up. On return, destroy the drive before get

    • by ces (119879)

      You wouldn't even need to go quite that far. A flash drive or usb drive would probably be enough. For that matter just mail/fedex it to your destination and back home. Sure the mail can be searched but the volume is far too great to do more than a small sample.

      For that matter customs just doesn't have the manpower to search every mobile phone, laptop, or ipod coming into the country.

      Remember these are government customs flunkies we're talking about, generally not the sharpest pencils in the box when it come

      • ..that doesn't stop sheer malice or work / bust quotas and the omnipresent "just following orders" routine. I've already in the past been the recipient of flaking, malfeasance of duty, lying to a judge that could have garnered me some serious time, blue suited mean and pathological drunks and so on. And that doesn't include the violations of human and civil rights I have seen them do not only under orders but because they were sadist punks and were actually laughing about the violence they could "legally" d

    • Governments and police-ing agencies will always be two or more steps behind the loopholes. There will inevitablely be new laws passed to fill these loop holes. As I've said in the past a few times, the world is headed towards a "total surveilance" society. If they could, they would try to read your brain before getting onto an airplane, and that subject has been brought up on the front page of Slashdot before as well (AI computer systems looking at facial expressions, etc). I can't afford to travel so I gue

      • An important addendum to "[new] Laws are generally reactionary and thus usually ineffective, but that is the point."

        As in any War, the civilians (the innocent) will inevitably be harmed the most. And so it is here, the professional criminals will have the connections and know-how to evade the system (most of the time), while the innocent get their laptops confiscated (for months or for ever? ... in the US at least), get their privacy violated, miss business meetings, get their Disney World vacation spoiled

        • by zogger (617870)

          The best you can do is stay out of their way and try to seek out those few people who appear to really want to make an honest difference in government and support them. That's about it. I don't think any big changes are possible without millions of little changes that people take on an individual basis. Imagine if the flying public had just said "no" to all the bogus flying restrictions?

  • In the Netherlands it is perfectly legal to download "illegal" content, but not to upload it. It falls under a copy for personal use, whether you have the original or not.

    So my computer has some "illegal" data on it. According to a recent consumer program on Dutch TV since the actual downloading takes place in the Netherlands where it is legal to download the rest of the EU can't do anything about it.
    The problem is that they will try to enforce it even when the illegal act took place in a country where
    • by ces (119879)

      Another problem is that I can make copies for my personal use in most European companies, I'm not going to bring my collection of movies and music when I travel I want to bring my music. How can they proof that I downloaded it?

      As much as the RIAA and MPAA wishes it wasn't true this is also the case in the US.

  • I imagine this will be a LOT harder to enforce and prove. Most people do not tote their CD collection with them or their collection of install CDs/DVDs for their computers. So, how would they decide what's illegal? No physical media in hand at that exact moment is automatically assumed to be piracy? Regardless of country/jurisdiction, whatever courts are involved would get VERY weary of dealing with that one.

    • Why? Courts exist only to propagate their own existence, not justice. Same as cops. They exist to make a paycheck, not to actually stop crime, and therefore destroy their excuse for existing.

      Courts will never get tired of taking money from people, that's the reason they exist and why judges drive Mercedes and BMW while the losers who think courts provide justice drive Fiat and Trabant.

      Someday humanity may awaken, unfortunately I think its a 10% chance or less :)

    • So, how would they decide what's illegal?

      It's all just a matter of judgment. If it looks like an unauthorized copy of a movie then it probably is. How it is dealt with I can't remember... a fine? or delete the suspect material? I do remember reading about this in one of the more respected Canadian news sites. Sorry couldn't find an obvious link to what I am referring to and time is never on my side for doing extensive searches.

  • just leave all the gadgets at home and limit my travel to backwater "third world" countries. The weather usually better in these parts anyway. Don't need to waste money on fancy heavy clothing. And with a screwdriver and hammer in hand, it's easy money. I was hoping that this was limited to the US, but Europe is going crazy too, evidently. Next will be the piss test you'll have to take when you return. Too bad there's insufficient outrage to get people to vote these loons out of office, much less just shoot

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