Frisk your laptop, sir?

March 15, 2002

Belarus has tightened its controls on the export of information so that anyone wishing to take a laptop computer out of the country has to deliver it to customs for checking 24 hours before departure.

The rule was introduced without warning. The first Belarusian academic to be caught by it was on his way to a conference in Germany and had to leave his laptop behind.

Academics planning international conferences have not found out whether the regulation will apply to foreign visitors. One Minsk academic wryly suggested that a foreigner might try turning up at the airport with a laptop loaded with an esoteric mathematical dissertation.

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