Screening files on the Ukrainian border: personal experience

    Returning a few days ago by train from Simferopol to St. Petersburg, I was faced with the fact that at the border a Ukrainian customs officer became interested in the contents of the netbook. Earlier on Habré I met references to such an inspection, but I did not see a single detailed text, so I decided to write it myself - so that those crossing the border knew in advance what to expect. If in the comments others complement the story with their own experience, it will be generally fine.

    On the way to Crimea, I crossed the Ukrainian border without any problems - I simply filled out the form received from the conductor, gave it half to the customs officer and showed my passport. On the way back he gave the other half and showed his passport, but the customs officer began to ask questions: first he asked about the purpose of the visit, the amount of money transported and the like, and then asked to show the contents of a small hand bag. There was a netbook in it - and the customs officer, upon seeing it, asked if I were taking the forbidden files (“with violence, extremism”). After receiving a negative answer, he said to turn on the netbook. I don’t know for sure if he has the right to demand this under Ukrainian law, but there wasn’t anything particularly personal in the netbook, so he turned it on and Ubuntu woke up from sleep mode. The customs officer asked, “Is this Linux? Ubuntu, huh? ”And then said“ show the screen with all the drives ”, than, to be honest, I’ve been baffled because on Linux the file system is different from Windows, and there is no such screen in the file manager. Then he asked if there was Windows on the netbook, and having received a positive answer, he said to download it. Seeing Windows 7, he asked with interest whether it normally starts on a low-power netbook, tried to open “my computer”, ran into difficulties due to a peculiarly configured Windows (there are no icons on the desktop at all, and the height of the “start” menu has been reduced to the limit) and said to do it for him. There he entered the search box "* .wmv", made sure that the wmv-files on the netbook are only system files, changed to "* .avi" and began to study the long drop-down list of video files: “What is this,“ find crawl “? Ah, here is "S04E01", the series means. Only feature films and series, yes? ”After that, he checked for other video extensions, carefully looking at the file lists, but without launching a single one. Then he asked if there was a flash drive, after which he studied its contents. It seemed to stop him only that the train’s stopping time was limited, and in the end he simply said goodbye and left a few minutes before departure.
    What was he really looking for? Perhaps there are manifestations of extremism, but rather, as Zakhar Mai wrote about a similar situation, he wanted to find porn and get a bribe for turning a blind eye to it. This explains why it was the video files that were of interest, and the general idiocy of what is happening - it’s very stupid to try to resist extremist files getting into the country with the help of their cursory search on laptops when the Internet was already invented.
    What can they do if they find something? I don’t know about extremism. If they find porn, as May noted , in the Criminal Code of Ukraine it is forbidden only to store pornography for the purpose of selling it, that is, you are legally innocent, but there is the possibility of extorting a bribe (“you rest, that for personal use, and not sale, we’ll let the train go to clarifications ”).
    What are the chances of getting into this situation? Most people don’t look into their luggage, that is, put the laptop in the bag at the border - and then if you are not asked to open it, they simply will not know about it, and even from those laptops that they see, only a few check it. In addition, if you are really looking for porn, then women’s laptops are probably much less interested than men’s.
    How to hide video files from customs officers? (I don’t encourage extremism, but let's say you have your own home video in your laptop, and you don’t want to poke around in it.) In the case of Windows-Linux dual boot, you can simply store them in the Linux partition, which is from under Windows not visible; customs officers do not seem to be strong in Linux searches, and if you turn on Windows from sleep mode in front of them, they don’t know at all that you have Linux. If there is only Windows, then resorting to some kind of hellish cryptography is also not necessary: ​​I think that it is enough to temporarily transfer files to a digital / phone / player or give them names similar to system files (the main thing is a non-video extension) and put in the Windows service directory.

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