“Travellers who refuse to hand over their phone or laptop passwords to Customs officials can now be slapped with a $5000 fine,” Craig McCulloch reports for Radio New Zealand. “The Customs and Excise Act 2018 – which comes into effect today – sets guidelines around how Customs can carry out ‘digital strip-searches.'”

“Previously, Customs could stop anyone at the border and demand to see their electronic devices. However, the law did not specify that people had to also provide a password,” McCulloch reports. “The updated law makes clear that travellers must provide access – whether that be a password, pin-code or fingerprint – but officials would need to have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.”

“If people refused to comply, they could be fined up to $5000 and their device would be seized and forensically searched,” McCulloch reports. “Council for Civil Liberties spokesperson Thomas Beagle said the law was an unjustified invasion of privacy. ‘Nowadays we’ve got everything on our phones; we’ve got all our personal life, all our doctors’ records, our emails, absolutely everything on it, and customs can take that and keep it.’ The new requirement for reasonable suspicion did not rein in the law at all, Mr Beagle said. ‘They don’t have to tell you what the cause of that suspicion is, there’s no way to challenge it.’ …Privacy Commissioner John Edwards had some influence over the drafting of the legislation and said he was ‘pretty comfortable’ with where the law stood.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Privacy Commissioner.” (smirk)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, now, there’s a wonderful invasion of privacy. We’ve got a lot of bloody idiots making myopic laws on this rock, that’s for damn sure.

U.S. Customs can search phones but not data stored solely in the cloud – July 14, 2017
U.S. Immigration spent record amount on phone hacking tech just after President Trump’s travel ban – April 13, 2017
American citizens: U.S. border agents can search your iPhone – March 14, 2017
How to get past customs without surrendering your digital privacy – February 17, 2017