I don't blame you Cheryl. Even people traveling with me wait to see what happens when I approach any official in the airport. As one who lives to test, my traveling companions are always in for an entertaining and informative experience. Like the time I tried to fly out of Las Vegas on an expired Kanuk passport... ah, that's for another day.
Flown with children - no. Driven, yes. With no parents in the car.
US Customs agent asked them where they were going.
"To the airport to pick up Mom!"
"OK, go ahead" he said. Didn't have to show the letter, or their birth certificates (children are not required to have passports. Oh to be a child again...).
Unless the border agent is a new parent, children don't factor into the questioning. Decades of USA-Kanukistan border crossing experience, for myself and with others, sometimes from other countries, has taught me what each side wants...
- Americans only want to know whose job you're planning on taking away.
- Kanuks don't give a damn who you are, as long as they can get some tax money out of you. While they call it duty or tariff, it's tax.
FWIW I haven't flown with a laptop since 2006. I rent from a terrific company, Rentech Solutions
. (I get nothing for recommending them.)
And I use your method, a USB key -- on my key chain, in my pocket, in my carry-on, and a couple in my checked bag. In my experience they're not observant enough to notice that I'm carrying them. Were I prudent, I'd mail one ahead to where I was staying. And mail it back with the data I'd generated and acquired when I left.
If you encrypt your USB, the idiots can steal it, altho they can't use it. Nor are you required to hand over the decryption key. Say you forgot. Check Point has a product that's ideal for this, which I've written about. The IT admin can set the decryption key, and tell you upon arrival. You can't give up what you don't know.
My opinion of the Thousands Standing Around, They Steal Always, is known on this board. Like the article and anyone who knows anything about security says, their rules are stupid and arbitrary.
As Gary North wrote (did you check out that article?
) the only way to defeat stupid bureaucrats is to use their rules against them. So if my new duties require me to travel to Fortress Amerika, I might start bringing a laptop with me and gumming up the process. As a patriot, it's my duty to stop the tyranny in a non-violent manner.