Friday, September 26, 2008

Now all your thoughts are belong to us.

(09-23) 17:06 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bush administration has overturned a 22-year-old policy and now allows customs agents to seize, read and copy documents from travelers at airports and borders without suspicion of wrongdoing, civil rights lawyers in San Francisco said Tuesday in releasing records obtained in a lawsuit.

The records also indicate that the government gives customs agents unlimited authority to question travelers about their religious beliefs and political opinions, said lawyers from the Asian Law Caucus and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They said they had asked the Department of Homeland Security for details of any policy that would guide or limit such questioning and received no reply.

"We're concerned that people of South Asian or Muslim-looking background are being targeted inappropriately" for questioning and searches, said Asian Law Caucus attorney Shirin Sinnar.

Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the new policies reflect "the realities of the post-9/11 environment."

Nice. We really need to get the Department of Homeland Security some black knee high boots and a flashy arm band. Jesus.

Update: 9/27: Phila of Bouphonia posts over at Echidne's, and has much more to say and says it better'n me.

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