E-book privacy at the borders? Not now—but EFF’s fighting unreasonable searches. ‘Lolita’ fans, beware!

image Earlier we told how Hollywood and other copyright interests want the slightest suspicion of piracy to be the grounds for seizing your e-device. Washington is all to happy to try to oblige via diplomatic initiatives.

But for travelers to the U.S., risks already exist for other reasons, as Ars Technica and Slashdot items make clear. The child-porn battle is one of imagethem.  EFF and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives are fighting back in court against unjustified laptop searches—a concept that almost surely would apply to dedicated e-book readers.

Meanwhile, beware. Someday that e-copy of Lolita might make customs or borders agents flag you as a child-porn perv. Better be sure it’s not pirated, so you can point to a logo from a mainstream publisher.

In other legal news: RIAA says ‘Wanna fight? It’ll cost you,’ in Slashdot.

And elsewhere on the threat front: Charging by the byte to curb Internet traffic, in the New York Times. Could this really go beyond Digital Rights Management to the area of Digital Denial Management—to the benefit of special interests.

4 Comments on E-book privacy at the borders? Not now—but EFF’s fighting unreasonable searches. ‘Lolita’ fans, beware!

  1. Argh. I’m getting really tired of seeing this US-centric view pop up everywhere. Large parts of the world have had traffic limits and traffic charging more or less since day 1, because we’re not in as bandwidth-plentiful a situation as the US has been. Strangely enough, we developed just fine. Making you actually pay for your internet usage is no more anti-competitive than making you pay for your power based on how much power you use.

  2. Many thanks, Nick, but I think Vint Cerf would disagree. The lack of bothersome limits for most people here in the States makes experimentation more common. Sure, light users pay more. But they get to enjoy the fruits of innovation. At any rate many thanks for a different perspective. Most of our readers, right now, as far as I can determine, are outside the States, and I love to hear “I beg to differ” from non-U.S. visitors. So keep speaking up! David

  3. It would have happened sooner or later… ISPs can’t keep promising “unlimited” connections while simultaneously nerfing them behind your back. I for one would actually be happier with a situation where all the cards were on the table and I could pay for what I used – and more importantly, if I went over-quota I could actually pay extra to use more bandwidth instead of just being automatically nerfed until my usage went down.

  4. “Argh. I’m getting really tired of seeing this US-centric view pop up everywhere. Large parts of the world have had traffic limits and traffic charging more or less since day 1, because we’re not in as bandwidth-plentiful a situation as the US has been. Strangely enough, we developed just fine. Making you actually pay for your internet usage is no more anti-competitive than making you pay for your power based on how much power you use.”

    Which is kinda funny, because the refrain in the U.S. is usually “OMG, we’re behind South Korea in bandwidth and broadband penetration.”

    And broadband is also the key to avoiding the border searches. Don’t carry the files locally. I have a server in my basement and securely connect to it when I need to access files, keeping what is recoverable on my laptop to a bare minimum.

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