Americans usually feel quite confident that their private papers, computer files and letters are safe from intrusive government interference. The thought of having a customs agent at an airport take your travel journal and hold it indefinitely for copying, seems creepy to most of us. Isn’t that kind of action reserved for totalitarian states? Now, however, thanks to the vigilance of civil rights law firms we are learning that new U.S. policy allows such search and seizure even when there is no reason to suspect a traveler has commited any crime or is a threat to the country. In the turmoil of today’s world when bad economic news and turbulent political campaigns have been the focus of attention for most news seekers, it is disturbing to hear that our government is expanding its powers to snoop without even telling us. We have to be grateful to journalists and lawyers who keep an eye on our privacy rights and protect us when we are too busy to take care of ourselves.
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