Friday, August 1, 2008

Genealogists Warning: Do Not Take Laptop, Ipod, Cell Phone, or any other electronic recording device abroad

Planning a Genealogy Research Trip to the mother country of your ancestors?

Fair Warning. Do NOT take any electronic gadgets with you, without standing the chance of having them seized at the border upon reentry.

The new rules of border protection allow the security officers at the border to seize all laptops or other devices that "might" have digital files of any type in them, for an undisclosed period of time, to allow technicians a "reasonable" period of time to inspect all the files and look for possible evil.

You do not have to fit any particular ethnicity, group or religion, the officers have the right to seize them for no reason whatsoever. They also will be sharing all of your files with many various other agencies for cross-linking of the data.

Let us know what you think about this and what might be done to be able to share your genealogy research trip findings. Seems possible that it might be better to put all of your research up on a website before your trip, and then while abroad you might want to buy or rent digital devices to use to capture the history of your research trip.

While abroad you could always take digital photos, movies, scanned records, etc., and put them up on a website to be able to access when you get back home.

Let us know what you think.

Read the full story of this problem in the Washington Post newspaper.

(Note: if you tried this earlier the link was bad. Randy Seaver on the excellent "Genea-Musings Blog" pointed this out. Thanks Randy.)

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1 comment:

Jane said...

I hope the risk is smaller than suggested! I would encourage people to take video cameras overseas when researching family history - to film relatives, ancestral towns, buildings, topography, signs and maps, and just to record observations along the way. I would hope that video cameras pose a smaller risk of seizure!