I am currently Out of the Country and wondering if anyone has had any issues with US Customs and MP3 files on their computer and or External HDD.
The last few times I enter the US, Customs Officers actually searche my laptop and external drives for illegal software or files. Luckilly I had nothing because I left it in the other country. I am now moving back to the U.S.S.A. and will be bring my MP3 HDD back with me.
Just a Lil Background on What The CBP AKA US Customs can do:
- They infact do have the right to search anything they want, Luggage, your body, Cameras, Digital Music Devices, Laptops, HDDs anyhing they want.
- Even though you are a US citizen you have no rights under the 4th or 5th amendments, because technically you are not in the United States until you clear Customs and Passport Check points.
- The U.S. Customs use a software named ENCASE, I will image your HDD(Which is total;y legal as well) then search for any illegal)software,pornography or Copyrighted material. The software can even view files you have deleted(Not Wiped). Websites you visited, Cookies, Emails and virtually anything you have done on you PC that has not already been overwritten or Wiped.
- They can seize your equipment and not have to give you a reason, They only have to say they are going do a detailed inspection.
- They have always had these powers but since the Patriot Act they are even broader and far reaching.
- If you Encrypt a Drive or File they consider that as you have omething to Hide and will try to make you give up the passwords
- They can take as long as they want to anylize your equipment, some people have wauted up to 1 year to get their laptops back.
So, with all that said has or does anyone know if bringing a large (100,000+) collection of MP3s back into the country is illegal. I have no File sharing software and just before I leave I plan to DOD Wipe all drives except my MP3 Drive and reinstall all the software fresh.
As far as I know having MP3 files is not illegal, sharing them is! I do have the origional media CD's and Albums at my home(Not all But Most).
Thanks in Advance for any help on this topic,