I do not agree with this. I am one the IT people for my company and we have people travel in and out of the county on occasion and with one of the company laptops a lot of the time. I do not want some TSA agent to start looking at our private emails that could be on the computer or any company documents. Let alone anything else that could be on the computer. also I do not want them looking at my personal laptop that mine and they don't have to right in my mind to look without a warrent.
Encryption's fine, but if you've ever been tagged by one of these people at a border... you'd be held for many hours and questioned by several people about why you were hiding things. There's a presumption of guilt when dealing with customs.
It can make you wonder why you'd really want to return to the US.
It says they only searched through the folders on the desktop... the only thing I usually keep on the desktop are Recycle Bin and a folder for installation files.
I will say that searching a computer really shouldn't be enough of a concern to search them. It's not like there's such a thing as a digital gun or a soundthatwillkillpeople.mp3. The child pornography thing is one of the few things to be worried about, especially since that might be done online just as easily.
I agree with cojak. Laptops are mostly carried by business people and they therefore will almost certainly contain sensitive data in the form of intellectual property. I do agree with a physical search of a laptop thorugh an x-ray machine for explosives etc. or a fake laptop being used to smuggle something onboard a plane etc. Something else worth considering, what is legal in one country is not necessarily legal in another and thus the most inocent file in one place might be all sorts of trouble in another. Where will it end..? Got a police record and soon you wont be be permitted entry to buildings where someone has made an arbitrary decision that you are undesirable after having used face recognition software. Seen the movie Minority Report.? How far away do you think we are from that sort of technology. It's pretty much already here, just not deployed everywhere but in the next lifetime there's every chance it will be. Scary thought considering all the errors bureacracy already make with something as simple as our credit ratings.
That looks like evil but what if I have a locked lead suitcase they want to inspect? Can I say "it contain private data from my business to prevent them from inspecting it? Even if it contains drug or explosives in reality? Sure, people may have access to internet while travelling so they could use vpn to connect to their office, or use a private server to ensure no confidential data is on the laptop. Don't forget that officers and the justice in general have no ideas about how to deal with technology. Anyway, this guy is a pedophile, he only deserve to be shot.