Shopping Discussion

It Is Law That I Have To Tell CBSA Agents My Cellphone & Laptop Password?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 21st, 2017 9:47 am
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Member
Apr 1, 2013
398 posts
60 upvotes
BC
If you a single male, return from Thailand, or near by region, you have a good chance being searched for something related to minor.
No electronic device is safe (except BB). There are software that dump entire content of your phone, HD, your browse history, your Amazon review. In other words, you are fully exposed.

https://medium.freecodecamp.com/ill-nev ... .b09b4wdfb
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2007
722 posts
39 upvotes
barny0055 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2017 10:38 pm
The CBSA uses the Customs Act to justify searching digital devices such as phones, laptops and phones. The act states that all goods are subject to search. When this act was conceived goods were luggage and bags that contained minimal amounts of personal information.

Fast forward to now when we carry volumes of personal information the question of privacy becomes more prevalent. Unlike luggage keys which customs has copies of personal devices are locked with complex codes. The truth is in many cases if they cannot convince you to open them access can be quite difficult.

The CBSA uses their interpretation of the act to justify the intrusion of privacy. The facts have never been challenged to the Supreme Court. Until someone says stop and challenges this the there will be this double standard and the CBSA will continue to do what they want.

Police on the other hand are required to provide cause to allow such personal search. Out west the police went to court to require an accused sex abuser to open their phone when it came to light the only proof was contained on the phone. There is no law requiring you to provide that access.
Yeah, I don't think the original authors of the Act ever foresaw or intended it be used to get access to the kind of information the CBSA is gathering now. And it sets up the situation that if the police can't search you legally because they lack cause then they can contact CBSA and have them do it next time you cross. Given that and just the scope of info they can get from a person the potential for abuse is huge.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 13, 2010
4510 posts
332 upvotes
Scarborough
people need to avoid taking their smartphones with them if they don't want CBSA browing their phones/data/info.
Just take a shitty phone if necessary.
Can't spend few days without device ? Well then, get ready for searches!
Deal Addict
Aug 29, 2012
3544 posts
763 upvotes
The issue with that is that it is important to carry a smartphone when you visit another country, as it is often your only lifeline to contact someone if you are in trouble, or to avoid getting lost.

Learning how to properly wipe a fully encrypted device is a better option.
As we all know, the Greater Toronto Area is the center of the universe!
Deal Addict
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Nov 24, 2012
4532 posts
1099 upvotes
Space
Exact reason why I have a travel phone and tablet. I wipe them before crossing from and to any border crossing. While I'm not a criminal, I value my privacy.
Deal Addict
Aug 29, 2012
3544 posts
763 upvotes
Solsearchin1 wrote:
Apr 16th, 2017 12:47 am
Exact reason why I have a travel phone and tablet. I wipe them before crossing from and to any border crossing. While I'm not a criminal, I value my privacy.
This is what everyone should be doing. I am doing the same now.
As we all know, the Greater Toronto Area is the center of the universe!
Newbie
Dec 6, 2012
42 posts
10 upvotes
NORTH YORK
Most people compare police officers with border agents. At the border, anything ( including yourself) you bring can be see searched and held for inspection. They don't need probable cause. The agents have lots of discretion. If you don't provide them your password, they can hold it for days until they find a tech person to unlock it. Then they give you a call to pick it up. Do you want to go through that? They can even deny you entry based on mere suspicion if it is not your country. People need to be educated. Your rights are very limited at the border.
Sr. Member
Apr 21, 2009
805 posts
246 upvotes
Toronto
Buy a $20 "dumb phone" like a Nokia off Craigslist/Kijiji.

Take that with you as your phone when you cross the border.

Problem solved.
I'm pretty sure we can all live without the perks of a Smart phone for a few hours to avoid situations like this.

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Deal Fanatic
Jan 7, 2002
9545 posts
2749 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
BengaliPrince wrote:
Apr 21st, 2017 8:14 am
Problem solved.
I'm pretty sure we can all live without the perks of a Smart phone for a few hours to avoid situations like this.
Not really. Or at least not very practical.

Most people who "can all live without the perks of a Smart phone for a few hours to avoid situations like this" can also live without a "dumb" phone for a few hours.

However more importantly...

Even those who are travelling out of country only for a few hours may rely on a smartphone for functions like GPS, camera, etc.

But also consider that some of us travel out of country for a lot more than just a few hours. And some may do so on a regular basis. We need our smartphone (or tablet or notebook, etc.) for all sorts of reasons, both personal and business. It's hardly practical to have a separate "sanitized" smartphone (or tablet or notebook, etc.) just for travelling. This is not only a cost issue but also a time issue to do the "sanitization" and keep it up-to-date.
veni, vidi, Visa

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