It Is Law That I Have To Tell CBSA Agents My Cellphone & Laptop Password?
First of all, I want to say that I got out of secondary inspection with no problem because I didn't break any law and I declare everything I bought right to the exact $ amount. However, I wouldn't be able to walk out of there if I didn't give up my cellphone and laptop password.
I asked for the legislation for the case regarding people having to give up their cellphone password. They provided me a pamphlet that says they can search my phone and laptop. It was a generic pamphlet saying what to expect at the border. So I asked for the case ruling from a judge. They said "why are you so difficult. Ok you want to play games. We are open 24 hours. You can stay here as long as you want" I said "I just have some questions". They said "I don't have time for your questions. If you don't give me your password now we will arrest you and put you in a cell". They said they will arrest me for hindering an investigation. Not knowing what to do, I gave them my password. I did not and never do anything illegal. I just enjoy my rights and my privacy. I think nowadays a cellphone contains a lot of private materials, which I don't think anyone want other people to just read about them. I also read online that we have the basic right to remain silent. Apparently not at the border.
I filed a complaint because the border agent said inappropriate things to me and the bad attitude. A superintendent got back to me. She provided me a link to the case law regarding people's right at the border. Link here: http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcpc/doc/20 ... cpc16.html
It seems like people don't have much rights at the border. Apparently, at the border, the agents don't need any ground to search your stuff, unlike when you encounter a cop. And according to the case, it's at border agent's discretion whether they want to strip search you. They could even perform body cavity search at their discretion. I was advised not to bring cellphone and laptop crossing the border if I don't want them to be searched. Any thoughts? Is it a myth debunked that we actually have to provide cellphone & laptop password to border agents?