Forget the change of socks; business travelers may need to pack a change of laptop. 

In mid-July 2008, United States Customs and Border Protection passed the “Policy Regarding Border Search of Information” concerning the search of information contained in documents and electronic devices.  The Policy sets forth the legal and policy guidelines within which officers may search, review, retain and share certain information possessed by individuals crossing the United States border.  The policy applies to anyone entering the country – citizens and noncitizens alike.

What does this mean for international business people?

The policy could force companies to implement new and expensive travel policies to ensure protection, such as providing laptops cleared of sensitive information or going through lengthy and inconvenient data encryption.

The regulation could also affect the number of business people traveling to the U.S. International conferences and conventions may opt against holding events in the country, as attendees may be deterred by a laptop seizure policy.

On the other hand, luggage is regularly searched when traveling.  Perhaps electronic devices are no different than other personal items and should be searchable as a matter of national security.

Is the search and seizure of documents and electronic devices a necessary measure? Or is the policy an erosion of our civil and business liberties?

For more information visit the following article: "The three business tech risks you don't know about."

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