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Tell Congress: it's time to rein in travel abuses by the Department of Homeland Secur

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From the Desk of Caroline Fredrickson

Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

Traveling shouldn't mean checking your rights when you're

checking your luggage:

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=d1HVx5YpSQjI5oAzJyFI4w..

*************************************************

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Planning a vacation? Thinking about traveling outside the country?

If you travel outside the United States, you can kiss your right to

privacy, and perhaps your laptop, digital camera and cell phone,

goodbye.

With no suspicion and no explanation, the U.S. government can seize

your laptop, cell phone, or PDA as you enter the United States and

download all your private information -- including your personal and

business documents, emails, phone calls, and web history. The

Department of Homeland Security confirms that this is the official

policy.

Tell Congress: it's time to rein in travel abuses by the

Department of Homeland Security.

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=KuwLW1JIDYYTs0wLHj3aRQ..

What happens if you refuse to let the agents download your personal

photos? Or if you have encrypted your private information? Then Border

Patrol -- which is now an agency of the Department of Homeland

Security -- can simply copy your entire hard drive or even take your

device and hang on to it indefinitely.

Unfortunately, seizing laptops and cameras at the border isn't

the only travel security measure that infringes on our civil

liberties.

Just last month, the U.S. government's "terrorist watch list"

surpassed one million names and is growing by over twenty-thousand

names per month. The watch list includes the names of prominent

people, like Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), plus hundreds of thousands of

ordinary Americans -- many of them with common names like Robert

Johnson and James Robinson. Your name might be on the list, but

there's no way to know for sure until you are delayed -- or even

detained for hours in a back room. If you discover your name is on the

list, it's nearly impossible to get off. It actually took an Act of

Congress to get Nelson Mandela off the list. No joke. An Act of

Congress.

These abuses have something in common: They make all of us into

suspects, with no rule of law and no accountability.

Tell Congress: it's time to rein in travel abuses by the

Department of Homeland Security.

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=se4V4JbZosWmTxuDAk_BmQ..

It's hard to know what surveillance-state bureaucrats will come

up with next. For instance, many airports are using scanners that are

so invasive that they are like a virtual strip search! See-through

body scanning machines are capable of showing an image of a

passenger's naked body. Security measures like this are extremely

intrusive -- and should only be used when there is good cause to

suspect that an individual is a security risk.

And recently, the TSA expressed interest in having every traveler wear

an "electro-muscular disruption" bracelet that airline personnel or

marshals could use to shock passengers into submission. Unless

something is done, this plan may not be as far-fetched as one would

think.

Tell Congress: it's time to rein in travel abuses by the

Department of Homeland Security.

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=fS4KKpshMTvJlNng-OLUMw..

Traveling shouldn't mean checking your rights when you're

checking your luggage. It's time for some sanity when it comes

to security. Please, speak out now.

Caroline Fredrickson, Director

ACLU Washington Legislative Office

P.S. Many Americans don't know about these travel abuses. Please

forward this email on to anyone you know who travels and ask them to

take action, too.

© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004


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                                               Look at the flowers

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