While “one lonely voice” argued that
“Electronic storage devices function as an extension of our own memory…They are capable of storing our thoughts, ranging from the most whimsical to the most profound.”
The consensus seems to be that
“a computer is just a container and deserves no special protection from searches at the border.”
The implications are quite ominous, according to the EFF:
“Under the government’s reasoning,” the brief said, “border authorities could systematically collect all of the information contained on every laptop computer, BlackBerry and other electronic device carried across our national borders by every traveler, American or foreign.”
The question of whether you can be punished for refusing to reveal a encryption key is far from being settled, yet several lessons are clear:
One is that the border [and your car/person/digital communications] seems be a privacy-free zone. A second is that encryption programs work.