Revealed: DHS Strategy to Seize Digital Information at Border
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Newly disclosed documents address the case of computer programmer David House who had several electronic devices seized by border control following his involvement with Bradley Manning.
The documents were released after a long ongoing court battle that House initiated against the U.S. government with help from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The documents reveal a troubling amount of surveillance and planning to ensure that House’s personal effects and information would be seized without judicial approval and without being charged with any criminal activity.
In a classic case of guilt by association, David House wound up on a government watch list after befriending Manning and later starting the Bradley Manning Support Network following Manning’s arrest.
His file noted that the government was on the lookout for a second batch of classified documents Manning had reportedly shared with the group WikiLeaks but hadn’t made public yet. Border agents were told that House was “wanted for questioning” regarding the “leak of classified material.” They were given explicit instructions: If House attempted to cross the U.S. border, “secure digital media,” and “ID all companions.”