After yesterday, who really expects anyone in the US Government to act as if electronic privacy merits protection? The Government and Your Laptop
The Department of Homeland Security is routinely searching laptops at airports when Americans re-enter the United States from abroad. The government then pores over or copies the laptop’s contents — including financial records, medical data and e-mail messages. These out-of-control searches trample the privacy rights of Americans, and Congress should rein them in.
[...] Congress should pass a law that allows the government to look at data on laptops and other portable electronic devices only when it has a reasonable suspicion about the specific person being searched — something the law does not currently require. To copy data or seize devices, the government should be required to show probable cause, an even higher standard.
Congress should force the government to spell out the rules governing its searches and report on how many it conducts. The law should also require the government to destroy data that does not lead to criminal charges.
At this point, the only hope is the Judicial branch, it appears. And we know what’s been going on there for the past couple of decades. Orwell would be mightily shocked that his predictive abilities were so good, and that his warnings have been so completely ignored.