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Visas and border crossings forum

Laptop Searching at Customs

Posted by swebb92101 on 3/3/2012 at 17:05

I've read that you cannot enter Thailand with pornography. Is there any chance they will actually search your laptop or cellphone for all images, videos, links, etc? Of course I have porn on my laptop and none of it is illegal by US standards. Does that mean I need to delete everything prior to arrival/ Thanks so much for any help.

#1 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by neosho on 3/3/2012 at 18:19

So far I've never had a problem with a laptop search here. I have had to boot everything up going back into the US once. I guess I fit the profile. Older, single male traveling in SE Asia. They were mainly searching for kiddie porn though. Can't tell you what to do as I don't have to worry about it anyway.

#2 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by busylizzy on 3/3/2012 at 18:38

If in doubt take it off your laptop before you go. Thai's may have different standards in the US, and why take the chance of having an unnecessary headache on arrival?

Having said that, I've never had my laptop checked anywhere - in US, NZ, or Asia. But as a female, maybe I don't fit the profile either!

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by sayadian on 3/3/2012 at 19:01

The only place they routinely check out the contents of your laptop that I can think of is Saudi Arabia but I doubt anyone is thinking of a tourist trip there.I have brought stuff through Thailand that might be considered under the 'Lese Majeste' laws but I've never been stopped

#4 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557

Posted by swebb92101 on 3/3/2012 at 20:54

Thank you all for the feedback. It sounds like I have nothing to worry about. I'll be traveling around the world and I would hate to delete stuff that will come in handy (haha!) throughout my year long journey.

#5 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by UsTwo on 3/3/2012 at 22:05

Many years ago, in the days of apartheid, I worked on a mining job with a few Seth Efricans. One in particular was expletive obnoxious, and caused no end of trouble. Finally, the manager told him to wake up to himself, or he would send him packing back home, and would take out a subscription to the Kings' Cross Whisper, to be delivered to his home address. He promptly shut up, and behaved himself.

Do you have any fun-loving friends who might have a word to the authorities?

#6 UsTwo has been a member since 22/4/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 71

Posted by swebb92101 on 3/3/2012 at 22:23

I don't quite follow, but no I don't have any friends that would have a word with the authorities. I'm a law abiding citizen and mean to ill will toward anyone and just want to follow the laws of the countries I visit and show the up-most respect.

#7 swebb92101 has been a member since 3/3/2012. Location: United States. Posts: 9

Posted by tyler on 4/3/2012 at 06:48

I have never had a laptop searched and have been to SEA multiple times. Like a previous post - I have also had to boot it up but never had it searched. If you do delete what you have I don't think you'll have a problem replacing it in Thailand!
WTF are you talking about?

#8 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by MADMAC on 4/3/2012 at 09:07

Please tell me you were on crack before you posted.

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chrisasia2012 on 4/3/2012 at 12:57

Ha ha, funny! The only solution I can think of if you really can't go without your "x-files" is to hide them in a Truecrypt container (, it's free software.

Make sure to create an normal and a hidden container that has a different password, so even if the authorities search your laptop and make you open the file you can enter the password of the normal container that could contain harmless files. You could plausibly deny the existence of the hidden one. Got it?

That's the nerdy totally secure I'm-Taking-My-Porn-To-Asia style. Have fun! :-)

#10 chrisasia2012 has been a member since 4/3/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by MADMAC on 5/3/2012 at 02:03

Although taking porn to SEA is like taking sand to the beach.

#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

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