Almost everyone carries some from of electronic devices during travels and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will ask travelers to remove their laptops from their bags and subject them through scanners during airport security clearance while traveling from or within the United States.
While entering the U.S., the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will search your laptop and other electronic devices for illegal contents. Here’s an excerpt about the process from Murthy.com:
…the laptop of a traveler (was searched), where CBP staff discovered images of what appeared to be child pornography. The laptop was seized and a warrant was obtained.
The individual was charged with various crimes related to transporting and possessing child pornography.
Individuals crossing U.S. borders need to be aware that their computers, other electronic devices, and documents can be searched by the CBP.
Travelers need to know what is on their computers and consider those contents as an open book to the CBP when traveling.
Electronics – Power On
Certain airports are now checking for electronics devices can be powered on.
So, make sure that all your electronics devices are charged before flying to America.
I know one instance where a friend wasn’t allowed to board the flight, since his batter in the cellphone was dead.
I have seen students ask questions about carrying pirated softwares copies with them when entering the U.S. So by reading correctly what had happened in the laptop search, I strongly suggest that you not take any risk.
Students can get all required software for very cheap prices in their college. Microsoft and other companies have alliance with each university.
I got a licensed student’s copy of Windows for $5 when I was in school.
Microsoft Office for $20 at the Campus Computer Store.
If I were you, I will not try to save $25 and risk my entry in to the U.S.
I know lot of you might be planning to bring an external drive with downloaded movies, songs and software.
Beware that, for some reason you are randomly selected and searched, you can be in lot of trouble.