Uh Oh: TSA Can Search Laptops

A US Ninth Circuit court ruling this week has asserted that computers are like luggage and are therefore subject to searches at borders and airports. This is a scary revelation for anyone in the computer industry who is practically inseparable from their laptop.

Unlike luggage, a laptop is a vessel for storing sensitive corporate data, personal financial information, and in many cases, just about everything a person has ever done (I, for example, have email archives dating back to 1996).

This is yet another reason to start protecting your data using applications like PGP Whole Disk Encryption (for whom I used to work), or Open Source alternatives like TrueCrypt. However, given that a state court has already ruled that the TSA can’t force you to divulge your passphrase, I have to wonder how long it is before the TSA lobbies for a software equivalent to the ominous TSA travel locks?

SFU Alumni Association Board Nomination

Simon Fraser University LogoAs part of my continuing bid to try and help get things cooking in Vancouver, I’ve decided to run for a position on the Board of Directors for the Simon Fraser University Alumni Association. Thanks go to Aaron Cruikshank for suggesting this wonderful opportunity to give back to my alma mater, and nominating me for a board position.

This is, of course, the part where I do a little begging to help me get elected.

Election of the Board of Directors occurs during the Annual General Meeting, which will be held as part of SFU’s Open House on May 31st, 2008 at the Burnaby Mountain campus. The Open House last from 12:00pm to 4:30pm, giving you an excellent opportunity to catch up on what’s happening with your old school. So come out, enjoy the activities, and, of course, go to the AGM and vote for me. Thanks in advance!