This is correct: it is re-stating your poor analogy.
To openly use a vehicle for it’s end purpose (getting you from point “A” to “B” on a public conveyance where your existence is not subject to privacy), while interacting with others in public (other drivers), it must be taxed and registered (acknowledgement through the state), and part of that process includes proof of legal ownership.
Your laptop may or may not be used openly (e.g. in the privacy of your own home), nor on a public conveyance (your internet service provider is a private corporation’s asset, and you have an expectation of privacy), to communicate (not a taxable event), on a message board (another private corporation’s asset).
Bottom line, is that you are applying a faulty analogy to completely separate expectations of privacy.
After watching the video. . . again, there’s a lot missing from the reporting. Something just doesn’t add up, specifically which Kansas law was ‘violated.’ I’m not saying it’s a good law, or a bad law, but I do think whatever “law” (but I suspect it’s more of a policy) is obviously being too-narrowly applied by some myopically-bureaucratic process. Does anyone know what “law” is being used?
I am gonna go out on a limb here and fault the purchaser for not doing his homework on what he could/should have imported across state lines. I had to do similar ‘homework’ when I wanted to take some of my collectible firearms to my folk’s state for some plinking with Pop. Some of those firearms (legally purchased, Class III) would have been immediately impounded had I been stopped by police. I’m glad I didn’t take them home to NJ.
I also gotta wonder if this whole ‘taking’ thing would be considered a civil forfeiture action on contraband.
Poor dude may be out $50k at the expense of a $1k lawyer consult.