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Anyone have their laptop searched/taken when returning?

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Anyone have their laptop searched/taken when returning?

Postby newlifeinphilippines » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:56 am

This is for people returning from philippines or thailand. 3 times ive returned to u.s and asked a lot of questions. 1st time alot, 2nd time was a breeze guy didn't ask much, 3rd guy almost searched my computer and asked so many questions and actually went to his supervisor and was on verge of searching my laptop. i have a lot of sensitive work stuff on my laptop, passwords and files, that is borderline grey legal and other stuff and even if i delete it the could foresnically retrive it if they took it from me. I dread coming back to the united states I hope they dont search my laptop. i think me showing my pictures of my girlfriend and him telling his supervisor may have kept me from getting it searched, i dont know if thats what he told the supervisor but im guessing that might have been it. the supervisor came over and asked if i had anything illegal on my computer.
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Postby Hero » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:05 am

Ladislav also says that U.S. Customs is getting really bad, especially for travelers coming back from the Philippines. I don't plan on bringing back a laptop, smartphone, or even a digital camera. Not because I have something to hide, but it will make the inspection at the US border take forever.
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Postby Winston » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:33 am

Put most of your stuff in an external portable hard drive and then put it in a place that's hard to find.

There is a way to encrypt all your files, but it's a pain. I forget the name of it. The program is free though.
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Postby newlifeinphilippines » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:26 pm

Winston wrote:Put most of your stuff in an external portable hard drive and then put it in a place that's hard to find.

There is a way to encrypt all your files, but it's a pain. I forget the name of it. The program is free though.


thank goodness they never seized my computer i the past cause i had passwods, work (grey legal not porn related) AND tons of hardcore porn with my bargirl girlfriend. now in the future i will only save the porn to the internet privately not keep it on the computer till i get home. and ill delete all other work related stuff too.


I decided to download some "secure delete" files after realizing tehy can retrieve them even after deletion. im securely deleting files as i speak. its taking days to do. i dont want the chance of them copying my information and trying to tediously check my files so im gonna get all my files securely deleted before i go home to the u.s that. alot of the files they can easil retrieve that i had thought were deleted.

i looke dinto encryption but it slows down computer and my computer is already "older" the one i use for traveling and also it seems complicated for me to set up and learn. also i heard you have to be plausible deniability about the volumes but im not sure how well that would work in real life cause i really don't understand the concept.
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Postby newlifeinphilippines » Wed May 07, 2014 10:11 am

so i guess no one that read this thread has had it? If you have describe the experience and what they did.
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Postby Falcon » Wed May 07, 2014 2:47 pm

What's your age and physical build? They're often looking for the stereotypical "old white guy pedophile" look. If they mentally slot you into that category, then they might want to search your laptop.

If you try looking more professional and serious at immigration, they might let you through more easily next time. Having been through immigration dozens of times myself, I can assure you that these officials really do profile people.
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Postby jtest28 » Wed May 07, 2014 3:29 pm

They asked me at every chance, even just passing through the Korean airport if I had a computer. In fact, all airports did. But I sailed right through and even had a digital camera and camcorder. LOL They really only seemed to be concerned about a computer though. And yeah, you can encrypt the entire hard drive but be careful it isn't showing its encrypted. Because that will make them crazy if they see some encrypted shit. Theres a program from Germany I use that encrypts an entire hard drive and can also be used on an external hard drive and when the drive is looked at, will look blank, as in freshly bought. Its called Drive Pack Plus. You can also use it for your regular hard drive but keep in mind when the computer is turned on, the first thing that pops up, even before windows loads is a screen asking for the password. Theres still certain ways of using it where you can encrypt just a partition of a hard drive and say its blank. Theres actually no way of proving its encrypted. You just encrypt a hidden spot of the hard drive with one password and encrypt the rest with another password, and when asked for your password, you give them the one thats to the regular part of the hard drive, that of course contains no sensitive material, meanwhile the hidden sector just looks blank and no one can tell if its really blank or is encrypted!

And no, I don't specialize in transporting porn. LOL In fact, if i travel again and have a computer with me next time, I am traveling with a freshly formatted hard drive and a fresh install of Windows, with nothing else. That way if they want to search through the computer, it will be very easy for them and fast for me to get through.
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Postby jtest28 » Wed May 07, 2014 3:56 pm

Forgot to ad, also Best Crypt does the same thing but uses "containers". These containers can be sized to fit on a DVD for easy backup also. and its cheaper than Drive Crypt Plus. You make an encrypted container with one password, and store just some stupid bullshit on there that you don't mind people seeing. But the container will have a "blank" section in it that is encrypted with your real password. That way if they look through your computer and see the Best Crypt program on there and get alarmed, you just simply give them the password so they can open the container. You just don't give them the password to the hidden part of the container that has all your sensitive shit on there. Theres no way of telling if the hidden part is encrypted or just simply not used up yet, they would need the password to tell this.
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Postby Jester » Wed May 07, 2014 5:09 pm

Hero wrote:Ladislav also says that U.S. Customs is getting really bad, especially for travelers coming back from the Philippines. I don't plan on bringing back a laptop, smartphone, or even a digital camera. Not because I have something to hide, but it will make the inspection at the US border take forever.


Left my laptops in Mexico when I went back to the US for Christmas.

But didnt think of smartphone and camera.

Thanks.

Will leave those behind next time too.
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Postby Jester » Wed May 07, 2014 5:20 pm

jtest28 wrote:
They asked me at every chance, even just passing through the Korean airport if I had a computer. In fact, all airports did. But I sailed right through and even had a digital camera and camcorder. LOL They really only seemed to be concerned about a computer though.



ALL airports? I thought this shit was just US, Britain, New Zealand, Australia...?????

WHOA.

What countries specifically are we talking about here?
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Postby jtest28 » Wed May 07, 2014 5:26 pm

Flew from Dallas To Soul Korea and was asked for laptop at the Dallas airport. In Soul Korea I wasn't even in the section that leaves the airport, just the transferring flights section and I again got asked if i had a laptop. Then when I got to Cebu and was going through customs, I was again asked if I had a laptop. On the way back home, I think i was just asked in Korea and actually NOT asked in Dallas.
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Postby jtest28 » Wed May 07, 2014 5:30 pm

Also note, my carry on luggage looks exactly like a laptop case. LOL maybe thats part of the reason there. :)
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Postby xiongmao » Wed May 07, 2014 7:12 pm

They do profile people - when I came back from 10 months in Asia a little door opened and a sniffer dog came out!

Good job I have no interest in drugs.

My dad got searched recently - the lesson learnt there was don't have a shabby looking rucksack.

And it's a good idea to encrypt your stuff just in case your laptop gets stolen!
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Postby Falcon » Thu May 08, 2014 12:46 am

xiongmao wrote:They do profile people - when I came back from 10 months in Asia a little door opened and a sniffer dog came out!

Good job I have no interest in drugs.

My dad got searched recently - the lesson learnt there was don't have a shabby looking rucksack.

And it's a good idea to encrypt your stuff just in case your laptop gets stolen!


Well you've got a British office worker look (much better) and not the typical Aussie hippie backpacker look that's so cliche in Thailand (not so good)!
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Postby Hero » Thu May 08, 2014 1:21 am

When I come back from a foreign country, they sometimes ask "Who were you visiting over there?" Should I just say "nobody" or actually give the names of all the girls I visited? It's really none of their business.
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