US customs and file-sharing files

vbimport

#1

Well, I’m going to come to the US soon, and I’ve seen all this talks lately about customs looking into your laptop and hd and other electronic media.
I usually carry an external hd with me with tv shows and movies. Here in Spain it’s not illegal to have these on your computer if you don’t intend to sell them, or show them to public, but I’m not sure at all about US laws, and I don’t want to see myself in any trouble because of something like this.
Because I can’t see how they can make a difference between legal/illegal mp3 music, or if you made a backup of your movie collection etc…


#2

AFAIK customs has the right to inspect any physical stuff that you’re carrying, but your data belongs to you. Unless they have a warrant which specifically gives them the right to search your files, then you’re OK.

If in doubt use TrueCrypt (or similar) to encrypt all of your data in a hidden archive which is totally undetectable unless you have the key to open it. In this way an external hard-drive will appear blank to even a forensic level examination.

I’ve been using TrueCrypt for some time now and highly recommend it; it’s free, can be configured to use various state of the art encryption algoriithms, supports file and drive level encryption and can even encrypt your OS drive if you want. It also has a hardly noticeable performance hit.

Slainte

midders


#3

[QUOTE=midders;2494831]AFAIK customs has the right to inspect any physical stuff that you’re carrying, but your data belongs to you. Unless they have a warrant which specifically gives them the right to search your files, then you’re OK.

If in doubt use TrueCrypt (or similar) to encrypt all of your data in a hidden archive which is totally undetectable unless you have the key to open it. In this way an external hard-drive will appear blank to even a forensic level examination.

I’ve been using TrueCrypt for some time now and highly recommend it; it’s free, can be configured to use various state of the art encryption algoriithms, supports file and drive level encryption and can even encrypt your OS drive if you want. It also has a hardly noticeable performance hit.

Slainte

midders[/QUOTE]

thx for the answer.
Wouldn’t it make them suspicious if they found out you are using Truecrypt ( if they can)


#4

There’s a couple of good reasons one would carry a blank hard disk containing what appears to be random garbage.

For someone heading on holiday with one, it could be one they bought it 2nd hand, which they plan using for storing their photos or video footage on, which was secure-wiped by the previous owner.

For someone returning home, it could be one they bought at a garage/car boot sale while abroad, again which was secure-wiped by the previous owner.

So you could easily give an excuse like this if they question why the drive is blank. Just be sure to carry a digital camera with if you say you’ll be using it for storing photos on.

As far as I’m aware of, Turecrypt doesn’t leave a tale-tale sign for whole-disk encryption.


#5

[QUOTE=netlord;2494836]thx for the answer.
Wouldn’t it make them suspicious if they found out you are using Truecrypt ( if they can)[/QUOTE]
One of the security features of TrueCrypt is ‘plausible deniability’; there is no way, even under a forensic examination of the data, that anyone can prove that your hard drive is a TrueCrypt volume and not a securely erased drive.

Alternatively, you can leave some everyday data on the drive and use a hidden volume in the blank space after it.