Prepare, Sustain, Thrive and Survive Simply

Do you Feel Safer in the Security Perimeter?

If you get stopped by the border patrol in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando, Charleston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, or Spokane, would you be beside yourself if an agent seized your cell phone, laptop, or any digital storage devices you are carrying, without being able to explain why they are taking them? You’ve got rights in this country, don’t you?

Do you Have Rights in the Exclusion Zone?

Not really. Those cities are within the 100-mile border security perimeter, where the US Constitution and Fourth Amendment are hazy. Knowing how much people love their electronic devices, this seems like something everyone in any urban, suburban, and rural area within the security area would like to know about. Has your mainstream media provided you with information about this Fourth Amendment exclusion zone?

Guess What. It’s Not Just Obama’s Fault

This isn’t just an Obama thing. It was instituted during George Bush’s watch in 2008, when the Department of Homeland Security declared that border agents can search and seize personal electronic devices because they are an extension of the luggage they are already allowed to search. Since then, more than 6,500 people have had their electronic devices searched in the Constitution-free zone, according to DHS data obtained from a Freedom of Information request by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The policy has since been reviewed by an “in-house” DHS civil rights “watchdog” and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The watchdog, which supposedly exists for the purpose of “promoting respect for civil rights and civil liberties,” upheld the DHS’s claim that going by the Constitution would actually be harmful to the public.

The watchdog said border security agents don’t have to be able to explain why they taking your stufff.

“…we have been presented with some noteworthy CBP (Customs and Border Protection) and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) success stories based on hard-to-articulate intuitions or hunches based on officer experience and judgment. Under a reasonable suspicion requirement, officers might hesitate to search an individual’s device without the presence of articulable factors capable of being formally defended, despite having an intuition or hunch based on experience that justified a search.”

Well that may be the case, but suppose the rest of the peoples’ intuition says they’re working for tyrants who are undermining what America is all about? Does that count? The American Civil Liberties Union, which has been on the case for several years, had this to say:

“There should be a reasonable, articulate reason why the search of our electronic devices could lead to evidence of a crime,” Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a low threshold.” The organization publicized records it obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request related to the searches.

Here is an article useful to anybody who wants to study the issue more closely. It contains links to spreadsheets of records on electronic media examination, siezure, and other data related to Department of Homeland Security activities within the 100-mile perimeter border security area.

See what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said this year regarding your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures in the 100-mile border security perimeter. Then ask yourself what other rights might be curtailed in The Zone and what it means to your prepping and survival plans.

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