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Re: Peter Swire: No, You Can't Search My Laptop
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 08:12:45 -0700

From: Matthew Tarpy [tarpy () tarpify com]
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 10:08 AM
To: David Farber; ip
Subject: RE: [IP] Re:     Peter Swire: No, You Can't Search My Laptop

Hi Dave (for IP if you find interesting)--

I have a more fundamental question...let's assume that agents have a
right to trawl through your digital assets when you enter the country:
how do you prove that which is on your laptop/iPod/USB key is actually
yours and of legal provenance?

I have almost 5000 songs in my iTunes/iPod, and they're either from the
iTunes store (yes, I know, I have a bad habit) or from physical CDs I've
ripped. On my laptop are many work-related documents provided to me by
clients that would be considered trade secrets. So how do I prove to
whatever agent is "reviewing" my digital life that everything I've got
is on the up-and-up? Beyond that how do I balance my responsibility to
my clients to not disclose their information (by which I'm legally bound
by all sorts of non-disclosure agreements) versus not wanting to spend
the next week in the lovely lock-up at LAX?

When you're in the little interrogation room with the armed agents you
definitely have precious little power, and not a whole lot of ways to
prove your side of the story? (*) How do I _prove_ that all those songs
are legal, or that the documents that I have from my clients detailing
everything from financial information to product design details are
legitimately given to me.


* - I unfortunately, speak from experience; back once when I was in
college, I went to Ecuador for a friend's wedding. Our return flight
stopped over in Cali, where we had a long (6+ish hour) layover. I
decided to enter the country and walk around the city for a bit...BIG
mistake, I must have screamed drug mule because I got to know some
Border and Customs agents very, very, very well upon my entering the
country in Houston. And let me tell you, they design the experience to
be as intimidating as possible.

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