I won’t be visiting the US in the forseeable future.
For some time I have been concerned about the malfunctioning legal process and other related issues that arose from the so-called “War On Terror“. But the most recent news is that the TSA may just copy all the contents of your laptop or even steal it .
Law enforcement agents can search property if they see evidence of a crime in progress or if they have a search warrant. They can seize property as evidence in a trial, but if the property in question is not illegal then it will be returned afterwards.
The TSA take property from travellers without any reason for doing so and do not return it. This is not law enforcement, it is banditry.
It’s bad enough catching a late train while carrying a laptop and risking a junkie trying to steal it. When bandits have police protection (as the TSA do) then it becomes an unacceptable risk.
The TSA have recently apologised for making people remove iPods and other devices from their luggage . Strangely this has been interpreted by some people to mean that the TSA won’t be stealing data and hardware from travellers. I’m sure that if the TSA was going to stop searching laptop hard drives and confiscating laptops then they would have announced it.
From now on I will avoid entering US territory (even for connecting flights), except in the unlikely event that someone pays me an unreasonably large amount of money such that I am prepared to travel without electronic gear.
I know that some people in the US won’t like this (some people flip out when anything resembling a Boycott is mentioned). I am not Boycotting the US, merely avoiding bandits. If the fear of bandits hurts your business then you need to get a law enforcement system that can deal with the problem.
On a related note, check out the TSA Gangstaz  video, funny.