Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border (washingtonpost.com)

Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border (washingtonpost.com)
Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

'The policies . . . are truly alarming,' said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who is probing the government's border search practices. He said he intends to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches, as well as prohibit profiling on race, religion or national origin.

ebay and paypal sellers, watch out, the IRS is coming !

Essentially, the bill requires Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal, Amazon, Google Checkpoint, and virtually every other "electronic payment system" to track, aggregate, and report information on nearly every electronic transaction to the IRS. They must report:

  • The gross amount of payment card and third-party network transactions and
  • The name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the participating merchant

However, the bill gives these systems more than two years to gear up for these requirements--mandatory reporting won't come into effect until 2011.

Asset Protection BLOG - Mark Nestmann: Housing Bailout Bill: Say Goodbye to Untaxed Internet Transactions