13 January 2011

appelbaum, it's spelled appelbaum

[click image]


I betcha I gotta go back and fix that.
• It's very frustrating that I have to put so much consideration into talking about the kind of harassment that I am subjected to in airports.

• I was detained, searched, and CPB did attempt to question me about the nature of my vacation upon landing in Seattle.

• The CPB specifically wanted laptops and cell phones and were visibly unhappy when they discovered nothing of the sort.

• I did however have a few USB thumb drives with a copy of the Bill of Rights encoded into the block device. They were unable to copy it.

• The forensic specialist (who was friendly) explained that EnCase and FTK, with a write-blocker inline were unable to see the Bill of Rights.

• I requested access my lawyer and was again denied. They stated I was I wasn't under arrest and so I was not able to contact my lawyer.

• The CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) agent was waiting for me at the exit gate. Remember when it was our family and loved ones?

• When I handed over my customs declaration form, the female agent was initially friendly. After pulling my record, she had a sour face.

• She attempted to trick me by putting words into my mouth. She marked my card with a large box with the number 1 inside, sent me on my way.

• While waiting for my baggage, I noticed the CBP agent watching me and of course after my bag arrived, I was "randomly" selected for search.

• Only US customs has random number generator worse than a mid-2007 Debian random number generator. Random? Hardly.

• During the search, I made it quite clear that I had no laptop and no cell phone. Only USB drives with the Bill of Rights.

• The CBP agent stated that I had posted on Twitter before my flight and that slip ended the debate about their random selection process.

• The CBP agents in Seattle were nicer than ones in Newark. None of them implied I would be raped in prison for the rest of my life this time.

• The CBP agent asked if the ACLU was really waiting. I confirmed the ACLU was waiting and they again denied me contact with legal help.

• All in all, the detainment was around thirty minutes long. They all seemed quite distressed that I had no computer and no phone.

• They were quite surprised to learn that Iceland had computers and that I didn't have to bring my own.

• There were of course the same lies and threats that I received last time. They even complemented me on work done regarding China and Iran.

• I think there's a major disconnect required to do that job and to also complement me on what they consider to be work against police states.

• While it's true that Communist China has never treated me as badly as CBP, I know this isn't true for everyone who travels to China.

• All in all, if you're going to be detained, searched, and harassed at the border in an extra-legal manner, I guess it's Seattle over Newark.

• It took a great deal of thought before I posted about my experience because it honestly appears to make things worse for me in the future.

• Even if it makes things worse for me, I refuse to be silent about state sponsored systematic detainment, searching, and harassment.

• In case it is not abundantly clear: I have not been arrested, nor charged with any crime, nor indicted in any way. Land of the free? Hardly.

• I'm only counting from the time that we opened my luggage until it was closed. The airport was basically empty when I left.

• It's funny that the forensics guy uses EnCase. As it, like CBP, apparently couldn't find a copy of the Bill of Rights I dd'ed into the disk.

• The forensics guy apparently enjoyed the photo with my homeboy Knuth and he was really quite kind. The forensics guy in Newark? Not so much.

• The CBP agent asked me for data - was I bringing data into the country? Where was all my data from the trip? Names, numbers, receipts, etc.

• The mental environment that this creates for traveling is intense. Nothing is assured, nothing is secure, and nothing provides escape.

• I resisted the temptation to give them a disk filled with /dev/random because I knew that reading them the Bill of Rights was enough hassle.

• I'm flying to Toronto, Canada for work on Sunday and back through Seattle again a few days later. Should be a joy to meet these guys again.

• All of this impacts my ability to work and takes a serious emotional toll on me. It's absolutely unacceptable.

• What happens if I take a device they can't image? They take it. What about the stuff they give back? Back doored? Who knows?

• Does it void a warranty if your government inserts a backdoor into your computer or phone? It certainly voids the trust I have in all of it.

• I dread US Customs more than I dreaded walking across the border from Turkey to Iraq in 2005. That's something worth noting.

• I will probably never feel safe about traveling internationally with a computer or phones again.

• None the less, safe or not, I won't stop working on Tor. Nor will I cease traveling. I will adapt and I will win. A hard road worth taking.

love, 99


  1. Amazing and sad

  2. Also inspirational... I hope....


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