Department of Homeland Security Search and Seizure Policy–A Threat to Anthropologists?

2 thoughts on “Department of Homeland Security Search and Seizure Policy–A Threat to Anthropologists?”

  1. There are many reasons that your data should not be stored locally, even when you are not crossing national borders: security, privacy, IRB type prescriptions, possible hardware failure, etc.

    This story suggests a further reason that we should all be very conscientious about remote back up of our documents and data.

  2. Perhaps – if you are taking good care of information gathered from people you care about – information should be properly secured from any prying eyes.

    It’s not the fault of ‘customs officials’ that you feel you are ‘placed’ in a ‘difficult and potentially unethical position’ – you’ve allowed yourself to be placed in a position which you feel uncomfortable about.

    Presumably, other than the irritation caused to your publication plans, were you to accidentally lose your field notes (with, perhaps, information identifying your informants) you wouldn’t be quite so concerned.

    I’m not going to prescribe just how you’d protect information from real / perceived misuse – but there are technological and very mundane approaches that would work.

    I do kind of think, too, that there is a large degree of paranoia and consipracy-thinking here where all customs officials are part of some massive and co-ordinated intelligence-gathering activity …


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