February 24, 2011
Touching Your Junk

Read this whole interview. These searches aren’t limited to journalists, independent or otherwise. The government can and does inspect pretty much anybody’s hard drive and flash card for any reason it wants or for no good reason at all.

Independent journalist Brandon Jourdan recently returned from Haiti after being on assignment documenting the rebuilding of schools in the earthquake-devastated country. However, when he returned to the United States, he was immediately detained after deboarding the plane by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He was questioned about his travels and had all of his documents, computer, phone and camera flash drives searched and copied. This is the seventh time Jourdan says he has been subjected to lengthy searches in five years, and has been told by officials that he is “on a list.”

Jourdan joins us in our studio. Catherine Crump, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, says that Jourdan is not the only one facing such treatment by the Obama administration. Crump says many journalists and lawyers who often work abroad have also experienced similar interrogations — and the ACLU believes the First and Fourth Amendments must be honored within U.S. airports…

“And ‘These are orders from Washington.’ And they copied my hard drive. They copied my laptop. They copied every single one of my compact flash cards that I use for my camera, which is absurd to me, because I was documenting people building schools and a country devastated by an earthquake…


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 24, 2011 05:13 PM
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But why does this kid feel safer with a MIG-15 dogging him?

Posted by: John Shannon on February 24, 2011 5:39 PM

Because he's an idiot?

Posted by: SocioPat on February 24, 2011 6:01 PM

It's not absurd because Jordan was "documenting people building schools" but because the United States Constitution prohibits this type of seizure. It's unfortunate that he can't describe the problem accurately.

It doesn't matter where he has been or what story he has been covering. It is unconstitutional to seize property without a warrant, period.

Posted by: karen marie on February 25, 2011 12:27 PM
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