Aug 31, 2006:
Sudanese security forces have begun temporarily seizing laptop computers entering the country to check information stored on them as part of new security measures.
A state security source said on Wednesday the procedure was introduced because pornographic films and photographs were entering Sudan. "We return the laptops after one day," he said.
UN officials, aid agency workers, businessmen and journalists who regularly visit Sudan worry, however, that the security of sensitive and confidential information such as medical, legal and financial records could be at risk.
"They could download email systems, passwords, even get into people's bank accounts," said one source in Khartoum's aid community, who declined to be named for fear of retribution.
Other innocent material could also be construed to be subversive, like maps or photos, the source added.
Seizing laptops to stop porn entering a country doesn't make sense. The material the Sudanese government say it is concerned about doesn't need to be carried into Sudan. It can be transmitted over the Internet. Avoid taking modern gadgets to Sudan, I guess. Sudan doesn't do its image of being in the dark ages much good when it makes such backward moves. Why aren't Sudanese officials focusing on munitions entering the country and crime?