And Appelbaum’s been harassed in the airports, again. I am infuriated at this ongoing treatment of someone who has broken no laws, has no charges filed against him but is nonetheless clearly on a watch list and as a result searched and harassed without due process, much less a warrant. Here’s his tweeted account of what happened January 19, 2011. It sounds like at least the process is streamlining, as they see he’s stopped carrying any sort of electronics to be seized and that he’s prepared for the process. The tweets start here and go as follows:
• I made it home to Seattle and was detained yet again. This time on the Canada side and it was quite strange.
• This CBP encounter was different as nearly everyone involved was quite friendly all of the time. No good cop or bad cop games
• I was detained for around twenty minutes in total this time and very lightly searched. They didn’t want to image my USB disk this time.
• They put me in an interrogation room with a large window. Ironically, it had a view of a computer screen with my file on it.
• This time there was no forensics person waiting – the people questioning me claimed this was just a secondary search for prohibited items.
• I think it’s quite amusing that while they claimed it was merely for fruits and vegetables, they were making calls, searching the net, etc.
• CBP edits and reads your file while simultaneously using Internet Explorer to search the web while you’re detained. That seems cybersecure!
• The Toronto, Canada pre-customs clearance CBP detainment was nicer than Seattle. Everything is still an improvement on my Newark experience.
• I was happy to see that because of pre-clearance, Canada is treated as a domestic flight and so I had no ICE handler at my arrival gate.
• When I requested to see my file, the CBP agent denied my request. He said something like: “People would know someone is looking for them…”
• I pointed out my obvious detention in a CBP interrogation room. He agreed that his reasoning did not apply as they already had me.
• This is political harassment without question.
• The main reason that these detentions are getting shorter is because I have learned how to streamline their searches at great personal cost.
And finally, in something of an understatement:
• I’m looking forward to a time when I’m not on a secret watch, search, harass, detain, interrogate, delay, annoy and stress list.