Another TSA Abuse of Privacy
November 20, 2010 5 Comments
Thank you all so much for the support I’ve received over the last few days! It’s been incredible, and I really hope I’m able to help us all with this suit.
I’d like to point out one more abuse of privacy involving the TSA as well as US Customs, which I’ve read stories of several times before, including this one today:
In brief summary, the US maintains lists of people whom it would like to search, but ordinarily has no right to and is unable to get a warrant to do so. It then waits for these people to take an international flight and detains them, searching them there because the law allows for additional rights to search at the border. However, these searches are not to find dangerous items that may bring down a plane, but rather are targeted at the contents of laptops and cell phones. That’s right — the US has the “right” to read all your e-mails, look at your pictures with your wife, and copy down every text message that you’ve ever sent.
Luckily, we don’t need a lawsuit to protect ourselves against this type of intrusion, but even simpler: the proper use of encryption. Encryption is technology that allows you to password-protect your data in a way that makes it unreadable without the password. Crime TV shows generally portray the government as being able to crack encryption, but if done right, your data cannot be read even by the techs at government crime labs.
One piece of software that does it right is both free and particularly user friendly, called TrueCrypt. All one needs to do is install and complete the process to encrypt the “system drive.” Thereafter, all of your “My Documents” folder, browsing history and favorites, e-mail that has been temporarily saved (“cached”) to your computer, and more will be protected from even the most sophisticated prying eyes.
I’ve instructed the support team at my software & networking company, FourTen Technologies, Inc., to assist anyone who needs technical support for installing TrueCrypt at no charge by e-mail. If the help on TrueCrypt’s Web site isn’t enough to get you going, just e-mail support [at] fourtentech.com for assistance (provided as we have availability and without warranty — but free ).