I'm from the Philippines and will be emigrating to US soon, specifically Hawaii. I'll be selling my PC locally, but I wanted to bring my hard drives with me since they have my important files, and games that are worth TBs. It'll be more economic to simply bring these drives rather than re-downloading them all again (Steam).
After reading a lot of articles online, they say that customs has the right to inspect the contents of the hard drive and/or copy a full backup of it for further inspection. Though I'm fine with it, it's a bit uncomfortable that they can just take my private data and be on with it, for the sake of security. Encrypting my hard drive may be worse, since they'll ask me what are the contents of it, and detain me for further 'investigation', based on online news and such.
So all I'd like to ask - is it okay for me to bring 2 (two) 3.5 inch Internal HDDs with me on the flight, on my hand luggage and still retain my privacy? Is it safe to encrypt my files, or simply zip sensitive files instead?
If this will just get me in trouble, can I use a courier service and safely deliver the hard drives? I'm not sure if it's safe to do this, since I believe hard drives can be sensitive to shock.