Former Mozilla CTO Harassed at the US Border

This is a pretty awful story of how Andreas Gal, former Mozilla CTO and US citizen, was detained and threatened at the US border. CBP agents demanded that he unlock his phone and computer.

Know your rights when you enter the US. The EFF publishes a handy guide. And if you want to encrypt your computer so that you are unable to unlock it on demand, here’s my guide. Remember not to lie to a customs officer; that’s a crime all by itself.

Posted on April 4, 2019 at 2:10 PM39 Comments


pedro April 4, 2019 2:47 PM

Right-wingers are subject to similar treatment when entering other countries (UK, Australia, Britain…) Some of them are even denied entry, even if they have a valid passport. All of this based on their speech or political activity.

I never hear Gal, or any other Progressive, complaining about those cases. They only care about “intimidation” or “harassment” when it’s one of their own.

I also love the complaint that the searches are not “random.” No, of course they’re not random. Why should they be? Is someone who openly criticizes an immigration policy more, or less likely to aid someone in flouting it? Now… try to use your common sense in answering that, rather than just your outrage.

It reminds me of the complaints about police brutality. When the critics play the confrontation simulations, they die every time. Don’t complain about how someone does their job until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. And you haven’t, Mr. Gal.

Alejandro April 4, 2019 3:16 PM

Buy and take a fresh clean,


, burner phone while traveling. Now you can call for a cab, or the hotel, check back home no problem. Contact list? Download that AFTER you go through customs.

Ditto for a cheap, clean, disposable computer if you need one. Then RDP via VPN back home for your sensitive personal and work stuff you don’t want them to have.

We’re not in Kansas anymore TODO!

Halcyon April 4, 2019 3:17 PM

We discussed this exact situation a few weeks ago between some colleagues where I work. We have an NDA and company laptops etc. We decided that we were basically screwed. Anyhow @pedro, your immediate attempt at politicizing this privacy issue does not help any of your arguments. Just because Gal only complains when it happens to x does not invalidate the fact that this is wrong, skirting the US constitution as this happened in ‘Murica. Also, just because you criticize a policy doesn’t make you more/less likely to break a law or aid in flouting it. You could speak out against the US going to war with X, does that make you personally more or less likely to go to war with the US or X??? And the whole police brutality thing smacks of boot leather. You don’t have to walk a mile or a single thing to use your first amendment, that’s America. You are free to leave at anytime.

tz April 4, 2019 3:24 PM

First, a legal technicality is that you aren’t on US Soil with its Contitutional protections until you’ve cleared customs, and I read that over 20 years ago, before 9/11. That is why they took the alleged terrorists to Guantanamo Bay instead of US Soil. I’ve not infrequently mentioned this but it was usually met with the shrug of those that never get caught up.

Second, there is still a 100 mile from the US Border “Constitution Free Zone” CPB maintains where they can stop and detain and search you, though they tend to do so more near the Mexican border. There is even a literal guestapo like checkpoint on I-8 somewhat east of San Diego on the westbound side. Where is all the objection to that? That isn’t even crossing a border and the lines of cars often stretch the better part of a mile.

Third, though most of the abuses were from Bush and the PATRIOT Act, it was renewed under Obama and this abuse is bipartisan. Obama promised to close GITMO. The left only cares when someone like Trump is in office, and the right only cares when someone like Obama is. Meanwhile the swamp continues to increase tyranny and “it will only be used against the other guy – keep electing us and no worries” seems to be part of the idea.

vas pup April 4, 2019 3:26 PM

You do have a point.

As I see it: the root problem is double standard applied.
LEAs of all flavors, prosecutors and judges should not evaluate merits of the laws, their duty is apply laws uniformly regardless of their personal/political/ideological preferences towards other.

That’s difference between libertarians and liberals or conservatives.
That is why election of prosecutors of any level and judges on State level based on their political affiliation (versus federal – appointment) is not serving cause of justice.

The better way (if election remains) is to run as independent only with loyalty to LAW, not political affiliation.

The best way is to map federal system when prosecutors and judges are not elected at all, but that is just my humble opinion. Who cares?

Ismar April 4, 2019 3:41 PM

I think that this is not just about access to your data.

Once they have access to your device you cannot trust them not have placed all sorts of root-kits malware to track all of your subsequent activities on that device.

This, indeed , might be the real reason for the search.

Sofa April 4, 2019 3:55 PM


Once typo, you have (capitalized to add emphasis:
And if you want to encrypt your computer so that you are unable to unlock it on demand, here’s MU guide.

I think you mean:
And if you want to encrypt your computer so that you are unable to unlock it on demand, here’s MY guide.

  • Sofa

Chris April 4, 2019 4:31 PM


I would suggest you read the EFF guides referenced in the post. It seems unlikely that the searches are random (which could be a 14th amendment issue), but whether they are random or not is not the issue. Even if the searches were completely random, there are 1st, 4th, and 5th amendment issues that are raised by searches of US citizens’ property.

I’m not going to touch the claim that “right-wingers are subject to similar treatment” with a 10 foot pole. Your claims of the behavior of foreign countries has no bearing on the treatment of US citizens in America. All citizens are protected by the constitution regardless of whether or not you judge them as sufficiently outraged about the behavior of other nations.


There is no such thing as a constitution-free zone. You are legally protected by the constitution if you are inside the US, if you are in China, if you are imprisoned in a CIA black site, if you are in international waters, the bottom of the ocean, or out in space. If you are a non-citizen under the jurisdiction of the US you are also protected by the Constitution, although you may not have all the same rights and the limits of those rights are a subject of debate. For example, non-citizens (legal and illegal residents, or even just tourists) have the freedom to practice religion within our borders, but they do not have the right to vote. This jurisdiction extends to the internet. For example, someone in Europe posting lawful protected speech to a forum hosted within the US cannot have their posts deleted by the government.

The “100-mile zone” you are referring to grants the CBP some additional powers related to searches but does not suspend the Constitution. Here’s an ACLU pamphlet on it:

1&1~=Umm April 4, 2019 5:57 PM

@Bruces Schneier:

Did you mean to refer to ‘the coefficient of friction’ with “mu”?

If you did that’s a good but subtle pun 😉

1&1~=Umm April 4, 2019 6:41 PM


“Some of them are even denied entry, even if they have a valid passport.”

You appear not to understand what a passport is, which invalidates your argument.

A passport is a limited life identity document usually issued by the country you have the right under UN charter to be a resident of.

It only gives you a right of entry into the country which issued the passport. It does not in any way give you the right of entry into another country unless there is a treaty in place that has no acceptions in it (if there is one out there somewher I’m not aware of it).

So a country or state has the perfectly reasonable right to exclude people that it feels are comming to create trouble or commit crime. In exactly the same way as a property owner who is hosting a party can refuse entry to those they feel will create trouble or commit criminal acts.

Further trying to make out it is politically biased is not rarely a starter as clear reasons for exclusion are usually given.

One thing many people in the US do not realise is most places do not have a ‘right of free speech’ thus espousing certain ways of life or extreamist / terrorist view can and these days is most likely a criminal act.

So would you rather extreamists be denied entey to a country, or that they should be allowed in, then commit the crime they have every intention of committing, and end up getting locked up in that country for a couple of decades or more?

I think most on thinking about it would concur that keeping them out of a country where they intend to commit a crime under the pretence of a non existant ‘right of free speech’ is the least costly and least harmfull way of dealing with the issue.

But I suspect that it will not be long before the ‘Right of Free Speech’ will be gone in the US. After all much of what is called ‘fake news’ which many are trying to ban is actually ‘Free Speech’. The fact that it is a person who is neither a US citizen nor are they in the US when saying it, thus actually it’s outside of US jurisdiction is not going to stop people in the US trying to impose their will around the world on what they see as the justifying principles of,

1, Might is right.
2, All paths lead to Rome.

That is as the Internet is currently configured to work through US teritory simply by history. Thus many people mistakenly believe ‘the US owns the Internet’. The fact is it does not and the action of force majeure by the US is actually causing the Internet to become more and more ‘balkanized’. We can see that both China and Russia are steadily shutting the US out of their national networks and other non super power countries are doing likewise. All in response to unacceptable behaviour by the US at all levels.

Human Rights April 5, 2019 12:47 AM

So do we have Human Rights? Or Citizen Rights?

Think carefully about the ramifications of your answer:

1) If we have “Citizen Rights” then humans inherently have no rights at all. Humans are slaves. Being a “citizen” buys/earns yourself a little bit of reprieve under certain circumstances, but inherently all people are slaves and owned by their governments, regardless of whether their government is considered “lenient” or “oppressive”…

2) On the other hand, if we have “Human Rights” then all humans inherently have rights just by nature of being human. It does not matter if they are citizens or foreigners, all are humans. Humans are inherently not slaves, but free… People’s rights can be usurped by “oppressive” governments, or they can be recognized by “freedom”-loving governments. Governments don’t “grant” freedom or rights.

Once you decide which system you’d rather live under, try to change your thoughts and speech to that way of thinking. For example, if you wish to live under slavery, speak of governments “granting” rights… But if you wish to live under freedom, speak of governments “recognizing” rights, in the same situation.

Of course, whatever you think, if you live under a so-called “oppressive” government, you may want to keep your thoughts to yourself and not say anything, if you know what’s good for you. You also shouldn’t be here reading this! Danger! Danger!

Alyer Babtu April 5, 2019 1:21 AM

@Human Rights

Rights are secondary and follow on responsibilities. In order to fulfill responsibilities, rights are recognized. “Inherent rights” are also like this, as the case where the responsibilities flow from human nature. To clarify rights requires clarifying responsibilities. Human rights and citizen rights are intertwined because they both flow from the responsibilities inherent in human nature, citizen rights because to be human is to be social. So there is no opposition in principle.

A lot of things are claimed as rights basically because someone wants certain social changes, but the corresponding responsibilities are not delineated, leading to unresolvable argument.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons April 5, 2019 1:34 AM

This was/is predictable eventuality given the myriad of devices we’ve embraced as part of our security (really insecurity) culture. Once lists were legitimated; we have terrorist, potential terrorist, activist, and other lists for various purposes. The number of data sets that now define our relationship with scads of entities and groups, the definition(s) being created basically because one can or wants, not because one needs–will have consequences.

In affect, we have a LIST-based caste system, and what list(s) you are on infer specific costs/benefits. I was repulsed when the global traveler program was instituted, it confers a superior status to individuals based primarily on monetary transfer. When you can buy your way onto a government list, an individual can be assigned to an “inferior” list using similar instruments and methods irrespective of cause/merit.

The level of accountability and transparency in these “list” caste systems and their maintenance is troubling, much has been discussed in this regard and we may still have choices to make before we have inexorably closed the door on the future. The level of push back and an absence of a restatement of what the future looks like has failed to materialize. Not to be the Debbie Downer here, but, unless Clive can convince me otherwise–I’ll let my statement stand.

Bruce has thus far convinced me, and he doesn’t know it, what we share in the near and not to distant future is a dystopian nightmare that leaves us all in place we thought we’d not find ourselves. China has lead the way, the irony is we developed the basis for it…check out the WeChat scoring system and see if there is a trans-union between the WeChat and Experian sets.

The only backstop I can see is based on the fragility of the systems that we’ve embraced to manage ourselves and others in this new found collective…checking my score right now. Probably lost a hundred social credits just on this site today.

George April 5, 2019 3:29 AM

@Human Rights,

This is an interesting phenomenon. We’ve long evolved from a “might makes right” mentality but we aren’t far from it. What changes is Might is now exercised with ample justification. Thus, the issue of Human Rights became a self ful-filling mind trap, as we coerce our own versions/interpretations of human rights onto others.

AlanS April 5, 2019 7:05 AM


“Second, there is still a 100 mile from the US Border “Constitution Free Zone” CPB maintains where they can stop and detain and search you, though they tend to do so more near the Mexican border….Where is all the objection to that?”

To answer your question:

There are lots of people pissed-off about this in the northeast. Go on YouTube and you can watch endless news reports and dash cam videos of confrontations between Border Patrol and citizens in Maine and NH.

Boston Globe coverage from last year: Increased checkpoints away from borders alarm advocates.

The ACLU’s offices in New Hampshire and Maine have challenged the Border Patrol’s immigration checks on highways and at bus stops. The group filed a lawsuit in New Hampshire last year after a checkpoint in Woodstock resulted in the arrest of several people on drug charges. Last month, a judge agreed and ruled in favor of the ACLU, saying the stops violated both state and federal constitutions.

Maine Public Radio: U.S. Border Patrol Checks on Buses Increasing Across Maine

Also worth noting that about two-thirds of US Citizens live within 100 miles of the border.

Denton Scratch April 5, 2019 7:49 AM

Hey, just avoid entering the USA.

I mean, shouldn’t this dude know better than to carry confidential data across a US border? He’s an expert in that shit.

I lived in Richmond, VA for one year; I made one friend while I was there, and he was from Ohio, not VA. When I left, I nearly got arrested at the airport; the border dude asked why I was leaving, and I said I didn’t like it there. He was simply livid. If I ever try to re-enter, I think there’s a good chance I’ll be interrogated as a terrrist.

I’ll never go back. There’s some cool stuff in the USA; I particularly liked San Francisco. But “white flight” and “bad neighbourhoods” (i.e. black neighbourhoods), guns, death penalties, gitmo etc; no thanks – I’ll stay right here.

Malgond April 5, 2019 8:15 AM

@tz: “guestapo checkpoints” (I love the expression BTW) near Mexico etc. are not a new thing.

I had visited the USA (AZ & CA) a few years before the events of 9/11/2001 and we got stopped while driving back from a trip to a nature reservation near Mexican border. Seeing all white males in the car the officer was very polite, he only asked us if we were American citizens and hearing a “no” answer had not even bothered to check our papers. Even though, checkpoint is a checkpoint, a limitation on peoples’ freedom of travel. As far as I read in the news, it’s going down and down from where it was in the previous century.

It’s your business, fellow Americans, to figure that out. For now, my travel budget is going to be spent elsewhere.

metaschima April 5, 2019 8:28 AM

What you really need is a fully plausibly deniable system. I have created such a system using basic open source encryption tools. I haven’t released it, but the basic concept involves the fact that you cannot differentiate random data from encrypted data. It also relies on both strong crytography and steganography. Basically, you hide an encrypted volume within an area of randomly generated data, with the ability to mount the volume and work on it as a normal drive, but once closed it cannot be detected and can pass as random data where random data could be expected. Other software has such capability but the real trick is hiding the volume, that’s the critical part. I won’t say any more about the system because it’s quite powerful and I don’t think it’s ready for general use.

Clive Robinson April 5, 2019 8:49 AM

@ Bruce, All,

This may well be worse than is being reported in the US MSM.

In the past the UK Guardian newspaper has uncovered things known to the US MSM but very deliberatly not reported by them. Such as the Chicago PD’s illegal ‘detention camp’.

Well The Guardian have just published this,

Make of it what you will, however I smell the tracks of US national security adviser, John Bolton (for it was he who by deliberatly withholding information from the US President scuppered the US trade deal with China). Mr Bolton appears has his grubby hands in all sorts of places they most certainly should not be, much to the detriment of the US on the world stage, but also to US citizens world wide.

Phaete April 5, 2019 8:54 AM


If your laptop autostarts a VPN to your home network, would you be required to supply that password under US law?

(prompt at startup, home drive (My Stuff drives in Windows) redirected to mapped network drive within VPN.)

V April 5, 2019 9:55 AM

Border patrol wants it both ways:
1) You’re not in the country until you pass through customs
2) We have authority here

John Doe April 5, 2019 10:12 AM

The USA, to my deep regret, since the NSA revelations been a country where I no longer go. Amercians as people are truly amazing and I could not love them more, but the Government is a risk I do not wish to undertake.

This has been reinforced by the excessive power granted to the border police, and the lack of checks and balances, which permits to them the capacity to be abusive and who, naturally enough, being human, are sometimes abusive, and also by the violence and militarization of the police.

I post now my views in these matter quite cautiously, and I use Tor. I tend to censor my views in public spaces, as I’m aware even writing this tends to give away my identity, by an analysis of my writing style. I’m careful even in Signal, as messages safe now may one day be decrypted in the future.

I am wholly unimportant, but if the entire Internet is passing through the NSA, it is easy enough to automate parsing, to guess identity based on a whole range of factors, and build up profiles. If I can think to do it, and I know how to do it (as a computer scientist), then the NSA can do it. Given their budget, why would they not be doing it? it is staggering to imagine, but no more so that that which is already known.

AlanS April 5, 2019 10:44 AM

@John Doe

I think I worry even more about what the private surveillance corporations, like Google and Facebook, are up to. They are subject to fewer legal restraints. Of course there’s something of a symbiotic relationship between government and such.

Iggy April 5, 2019 12:11 PM

@Pedro, mostly agree. And, I keep in mind that we haven’t heard CBP’s side of the story, just Gal’s. Anytime I can’t hear at least both sides of the story, I take the one side I can hear with a grain of salt.

@AlanS, agree. We tend to forget that surveillance has been monetized and we are the livestock. Corporations can profile us as they wish and sell it without giving us a cut. And worse? All the government has to do is produce a warrant. So Amazon’s and Facebook’s data banks are at the mercy of a motivated corrupt government official.

As we saw with the FISA warrants obtained by Comey, they are frighteningly easy to get from FISA judges who apparently are just rubber stamps.

me April 5, 2019 12:15 PM

Am I the only one who finds it bizarre that if an ex-CTO of Firefox gets detained it becomes a large issue, and if a random dude gets detained then it’s not a news material? Why being an ex-CTO should entitle anyone to a better treatment?

Chris April 5, 2019 3:58 PM


No problem, and hopefully I didn’t come off as antagonistic there, that’s not really what I was going for. There’s just a lot of people in the media and online referring to the border zone as a constitution free zone. The constitution applies anywhere, everywhere, and at all times. I think it’s important that people don’t forget this because I think it devalues the power of the document.

As evidence that it’s not a Constitution free zone, I’d give the example that CBP can’t, for example, force everyone to go to church on Sunday if they’re in the border zone. It would be unconstitutional. It might be a silly example, but clearly the constitution still applies within the border zone.

Also CBP was granted the authority to do what they’re doing by the Supreme Court, and not just once, but in multiple cases. I don’t necessarily agree with that or think that it’s right, but some people in the Supreme Court felt it was constitutional.

tfb April 5, 2019 4:31 PM


I don’t understand how the whole John Bolton thing works. On the one hand, obviously, if you have done nothing wrong, then you can’t possibly object to border guards forcing you to unlock your laotop / give them access to your social media accounts &c &c; on the other hand he goes all red in the face because the ICC are investigating American forces’ actions in Afghanistan. But, I mean, surely, if they’ve done nothing wrong he can’t possibly mind the ICC wasting their time investigating them? He can’t possibly be implying that they did do bad things, can he?

Clive Robinson April 5, 2019 5:37 PM

@ Name.Withheld…,

Not to be the Debbie Downer here, but, unless Clive can convince me otherwise–I’ll let my statement stand.

You are right to make the statment, the only Westerners with any spirt currently appear to be the French yellow jackets. As for the rest of us apathetic might be a good epitaph.

But why? If you were to ask people they would appear angry, they would certainly sound resentful, but then almost as though a stage hypnotist had clicked their fingers they revert to a passive acceptance.

So yes,

The level of push back and an absence of a restatement of what the future looks like has failed to materialize.

The spirt is gone, all we argue about is effectively without substance. The latest from the UK being politicos rumbling about how they are going to make US Tech Billionaires ‘personaly liable’ for the nonsence etc of fake news or any other thing that can be used to demonize. But as we know the UK politicos are not even as well armed as toothless and clawless, so the odds of that happening are well somewhere close to one end of the scale. Without the backing of the EU which has both teeth and claws and is happy to rip away with the GDPR and potentialy more stringent legislation under way the UK will have less bite than the flea on the flea of the mouse’s back.

We moan, we gripe, we whine, but we do nothing except look at our phones to take direction from online personae that in reality are no more than a few simple algorithms turning some demented blowhard ramblings into torrents of re-tweets and the like.

Technology is wonderful, technology is great, as for those who use it well… What was once said of religious beliefs has become true for technology. That is it has truely become “The opiate of the masses” and from there onwards, well somethings unfortunately are getting a litle to real. It won’t belong before “A Halfpenny of your finest” from natures pharmacopia via a grim shop doorway becomes the answer to all lifes problems yet again. Unfortunately that won’t be mentioned in the annual messages from our politicos about how good we are having it…

SpaceLifeForm April 5, 2019 6:11 PM

I miss the Hollerith Era, when you could travel through customs, with a 1600 foot 9-track tape reel, and they would respect your request not to X-ray it.

Clive Robinson April 5, 2019 7:01 PM

@ tfb,

if you have done nothing wrong, then you can’t possibly object to border guards forcing you to unlock your laotop / give them access to your social media accounts

Your premise is totally wrong, I can give you lots of reasons why as a private and law abiding citizen I would very strenuously and legaly deny such people access to data on my devices.

And I don’t just mean those of attorney-client privilege, priest-parishioner privilege or journalist-source privilege. Outside of the US to gain a patent on an idea it in effect “has to be a secret”. If more than five people know it then the patent application can be rejected. Likewise any company with publically traded shares is required to keep whole heaps of information extreamly confidential as Elon Musk discovered at 20million cost. Then there are all sorts of other corporate or commercial deals that fall under similar legislation. Then you get down to Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and contracts of employment. All put a “legal liability” in the form of a “duty of care” not to disclose on individuals. The only people with the authority to overturn such legal liabilities are certain levels of judges and in some cases warants issued by judges are not sufficient no matter what the holder of the document might claim.

But there are also other things such as personal journals or heven appraisals of employees etc. Then personal medical information. They don’t have a need to know legaly or otherwise, so my view is they don’t get to know.

As you will appreciate such a view point although legally correct and valid is upseting to certain types who will then find every excuse to escalate their view point untill they are told cease and desist, by a competent legal authority.

So rather than get into a pissing contest with someone who could just shoot you and claim in their defence you made a threatening move, it’s way easier not to yake such information with you at any time. If you do then have it encrypted by a trusted third party who passes the key in some other channel than a human boarder crossing.

Whilst it will stop the persuasion side of “Rubber hose cryptanalysis”, it won’t stop the physical effects of a punative “ball breaking” subjected by one who has limited scope of thinking. A person who metaphoricaly speaking might only have a hammer in their toolkit, so puts screws in with it, as they can not visualize that there may be more efficient ways and means…

With regards,

He can’t possibly be implying that they did do bad things, can he?

No, he knows full well some of the troops did what is being claimed.. worse he also knows full well they troopes will be called upon again to do much the same thing again…

Clive Robinson April 6, 2019 9:54 AM

@ tfb,

Sorry having read your posting again you were “channelling John Bolton” (I hope it was not to painful 😉

Well it’s difficult to tell how John Bolton thinks or who does his thinking for him.

It is unclear who he owes any allegiance to other than himself, but on thing is clear he has no allegiance to the current US President or much of the rest of the administration.

It’s difficult to tell if it’s the US IC entities / Five-Eyes, various members of the Military Industrial Complex, or one of the three familes fighting for control of the GOP, or who ever it is funding them to cross purposes.

I would guess he’s bridge building to get finances etc to have his own run at politics and the top job. What is clear is that as a subordinate he most definitely can not be trusted and will quite happily either stab his superiors in the back or set them up to fail to his advantage.

Either ways his view point with regards the US citizen is decidedly dangerous, he clearly would be more than happy to go down the police state road with Orwellian style propaganda to distract whilst doing the old “bomb them back to the stone ages” and stuffing corpses out of sight. All just to show that his idea of what the US should be is exceptional and his writ should prevail above all others by what ever means.

What is also clear is he fully expects and is planning for a change of administration made under a new leader, and he fully intends to profit by it.

They only question realy is will any one get wise and sack him out of politics and the IC.

Any way again sorry for misunderstanding your comment regards the old “if you have done nothing wrong” issue.

Any way time to finish breakfast and get on with a few things effectively being in a different time zone can play havoc with your body clock…

TRX April 7, 2019 8:50 PM

There’s another method that’s simpler and free: stay off “social media”, and don’t put anything on consequence on portable devices.

I realize that to many people their smartphone is like air, and their laptop might be their only computer… but if you’re doing that, you’re already so exposed that worrying about TSA is silly.

Malgond April 8, 2019 11:32 AM

@TRX: Staying off social media is not enough. You would need to stay out of all social interactions completely, i.e. live in a proverbial cave.

Your friends&relatives plus any entities you interact with will happily surrender information about all their interactions with you to Big Data Tycoons – consciously or otherwise. Do you send emails? G. has most of them, in the mailboxes of your correspondents. Do you allow yourself to be photographed? Your image will be uploaded along with all metadata including spatial and temporal coordinates, and often tagged with your name and connected with other people in the photo; even if coordinates would be missing sometimes, the background would be often revealing. Do you order items over the Web, over phone, by postal mail, by a personal visit to a warehouse and ordering a delivery to your home? Do you have (or had) any written contract with some service provider of any kind? Your shipping address etc. plus your billed items would be made available to anyone willing to pay a small fraction of a penny for it. Do you browse the Web? You’ll need to be extremely careful and meticulous not to leave any data about you. Do you see a doctor sometimes? In many countries your medical data would be processed in compulsory digital systems for anyone to steal and misuse – or at least in systems of particular medical institutions. Over here, our family’s dentist and my wife’s gyn (both private practitioners we pay in cash) are the only ones who still keep paper records only… (or it seems so), all others (especially those on national health service contracts) happily peck at some keyboard while listening to patient’s complaints.

VinnyG April 14, 2019 7:57 AM

@ Ayer Babtu re: rights subordinate to responsibilities – your assertion is ludicrously false. Is there a responsibility that you require me to fulfill before you authorize my natural right to defend myself against a physical attack? If so, what is it, specifically?

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