Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting Your Data Safely Across the Border


Since the terrorist attack on the 9/11, the United States has sacrificed some freedoms and liberties in exchange for tighter security in an attempt to prevent future attacks. The ACLU has joined with other groups in filing a legal challenge to one such security measure that infringes on personal liberty--the practice of searching laptops without cause at border crossings. However, there are also other ways you can get your data across the border without having it accessed by the prying eyes of Big Brother.

Benjamin Franklin is given credit for saying “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” and many of the security measures that have been implemented in the wake of 9/11 violate this basic tenet. But, for some organizations that fall under HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, or other regulations, safeguarding data is not just a principle of personal freedom, but also a compliance mandate.

Check It: If you are traveling by air, you can get your laptop past the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) checkpoint and possibly CBP (Customs and Border Protection) agents by checking it with your luggage. Odds are fair that you wouldn't really use it on the flight anyway. Unless you're flying first class (and how many businesses still allow for expensing first class travel?), there is simply no room to work with a laptop. Whatever minor productivity might result is most likely not worth the effort and frustration. Read more here.