I thought about highlighting this aside from James Fallows’ article on China’s manufacturing, an article which is worth reading for its own sake:
(I might as well say this in every article I write from overseas: The easier America makes it for talented foreigners to work and study there, the richer, more powerful, and more respected America will be. America’s ability to absorb the world’s talent is the crucial advantage no other culture can match—as long as America doesn’t forfeit this advantage with visa rules written mainly out of fear.)
So while I knew that customs is searching and/or making full copies of information contained in laptop computers entering the country, it’s quite timely that an article I got from my friend Nick let me knew they are also often keeping the laptops for weeks or even months. While much of the press has focused on the business travelers’ need to avoid losing sensitive information, it’s also clear that the effect on individuals is terrible: how many of us have spare laptops to replace the one that’s confiscated (side note: there are four laptops in my household). In my case, my laptop is second only to my family and the cats, and just as with them, I reserve the right to kill to defend it. So please do not take my laptop. It would be terribly inconvenient for a great many people if I was forced to kill the government.