I flew from overseas back to the USA and all my electronic equipment was seized by Homeland Security, including my laptop computer, external hard drives, flash drives, etc.
After more than a month I have finally gotten my stuff back. I have 2 questions:
Is it known whether Homeland Security has ever planted spyware, viruses, tracking devices, etc. on seized computers?
What should I look for, what steps should I take to sanitize my stuff, what would you do?
EDIT: I can't reformat, burn hard drive, etc. as some have suggested because very important work is on the laptop, i.e. software I've been working on for over a year.
Yes, I had backups of all my data. Unfortunately, the backups were all with me, and they seized all of those too (2 external hard drives, 3 usb flash drives). So merely utilizing backups isn't an option.
Also, someone said people can't help me without breaking laws. I am unaware of any laws which state it is illegal to remove spyware/malware/viruses, or that it is illegal to remove anything the government put on your computer.
EDIT: I guess I could rephrase the question as "how would you go about getting source code you had written (text files) off the computer safely, 'safely' meaning scanning text files to detect anything unusual, and then transmitting or somehow putting them on another computer?"