Friendly bloggers Gizmodo are reporting that customs agents now have the power to inspect the data on your laptops. The decision was made based upon a circuit court ruling relating to this 2004 case:
Stuart Romm boarded a plane in Las Vegas on February 1, 2004. When he got off the plane in British Columbia, Canada’s Border Services Agency stopped Romm for questioning. After learning that Romm had a criminal background, Agent Keith Brown searched his laptop and discovered child porn sites in Romm’s Internet history list. Canada then bundled Romm back onto a plane to Seattle, where US Customs agents had a chance to question him further.
Now, we’re all for customs agents nabbing Lav Vegas kiddie porn vagrants, how will this ruling affect all our upstanding citizen/Road Warrior friends in BlackBerry Cool Land? We know that many of you don’t carry laptops on your travels, simply because you have everything you need on your BlackBerry, so will this ruling extend to them as well? Will over-eager customs agents soon be going through your personal and corporate email? We’ll keep a close eye on this one.