Travelers To New Zealand Now Face $3,000 Fines If They Don't Give Their Device Passwords To Customs Agents

from the Eye-of-Sauron-experience dept

New Zealand's "digital strip searches" of travelers' electronic devices are now backed by law. When we covered this last year, customs officials were already seizing devices and performing invasive searches. But a new twist has been added with the enactment of New Zealand's most recent customs law: compelled password production.

Travelers entering New Zealand who refuse to disclose passwords for their digital devices during forced searches could face prosecution and fines of more than $3,000, a move that border officials said Tuesday made the country the first to impose such penalties.

“We’re not aware of any other country that has legislated for the potential of a penalty to be applied if people do not divulge their passwords,” said Terry Brown, a New Zealand Customs spokesman. Border officials, he said, believe the new fine is an “appropriate remedy” aimed at balancing individuals’ privacy and national security.

There's an interesting juxtaposition in the spokesman's comments, suggesting mandatory password divulgement -- something no other free world country is doing -- is striking the right balance between privacy and national security.

The law applies to incoming visitors and returning citizens. The fine kicks in when password demands are refused, which also likely means the seizure of locked devices indefinitely. Supposedly, unlocked devices are searched for local files only -- with phones put into airplane mode -- but that's still an incredibly invasive search predicated on nothing more than someone's arrival in New Zealand.

Government officials are justifying the compelled password production with bad examples and terrible analogies. The so-called "Privacy Commissioner" tried to equate cellphones and other digital devices potentially containing thousands of personal files and communications with something containing the few belongings someone takes with them while traveling. (via Boing Boing)

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards had some influence over the drafting of the legislation and said he was "pretty comfortable" with where the law stood.

"There's a good balance between ensuring that our borders are protected ... and [that people] are not subject to unreasonable search of their devices."

"You know when you come into the country that you can be asked to open your suitcase and that a Customs officer can look at everything in there."

Socks, underwear... 700 personal photos, a few thousand personal communications… yeah, it's all pretty much the same thing. This is like saying customs can demand your house keys and dig through your belongings simply because you traveled out of New Zealand and returned home.

The inadvertent hilarity comes from the Customs Minister, who is probably even less concerned about personal privacy than the Privacy Commissioner is.

Customs Minister Kris Faafoi said the power to search electronic devices was necessary.

"A lot of the organised crime groups are becoming a lot more sophisticated in the ways they're trying to get things across the border.

"And if we do think they're up to that kind of business, then getting intelligence from smartphones and computers can be useful for a prosecution."

There are plenty of ways to get digital "things" across the border without carrying them on your person in some sort of electronic "suitcase" you know customs officials are going to take from you as soon as you enter the country. This may help catch some dumb criminals, but it's not going to have much of an effect on the "sophisticated" organized crime groups.

What will happen is lots of people not connected to any criminal enterprise will have their devices seized and searched just because. The new fine will discourage visitors from refusing Customs' advances, allowing officials to paw through their digital goods just like they do their clothing. And all the government can offer in response is that the ends justifies the means.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 3:14am

    I wonder if this will hurt tourism any...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      I know NZ is no longer on my bucket list...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ShadowNinja (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      I think all NZ businesses will be hurt by this a lot more.

      If I was a CEO or CTO, I wouldn't want to send any of my employees to NZ and potentially compromise our data. Imagine how much shit you could get into if they access confidential data from one of your clients that you signed an NDA with.

      If they retain records of their findings from your search imagine the shit that could cause if someone hacks into their system and steals the data?

      As for traveling there without a phone or computer, not going to happen. The employees who work for the kinds of businesses that would send them to NZ simply can't work without that stuff.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re:

        > As for traveling there without a phone or computer, not
        > going to happen. The employees who work for the kinds of
        > businesses that would send them to NZ simply can't work
        > without that stuff.

        In such situations, you upload all the relevant data ahead of time to the cloud, then give the employee an empty phone to take with them. When it's searched by Customs, there will be nothing on it, then the employee can download all the data from the cloud when she gets to her hotel in Christchurch.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 3:46am

    Well, I am never gonna visit now

    I was thinking about one day visiting the lord of the rings locations down in NZ... now that is off the list... Good Jorb NZ!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Babura, 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:04am

    Haha

    Thank God I've already visited New Zealand before this happened. Loved it to bits but won't even consider going back until this awful invasion of privacy law goes away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:10am

    "...getting intelligence from smartphones and computers..."

    If only that worked...oh, the OTHER meaning of "intelligence." Yeah, probl'y not that either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:14am

    All your privacy are belong to us, my preciousssssssss.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:28am

      Re:

      Anything criminal, why would I have it on my phone unless I'm really dumb when it can just be in the cloud, my own personal cloud. Politicians are just dumb and clueless.

      Jail time and a fine, no thanks, I won't be visiting that country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:16am

    Pretty ballsy of the country who let Kim Dotcom hide out for 9 years to implement this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:20am

    "A lot of the organised crime groups are becoming a lot more sophisticated in the ways they're trying to get things across the border."

    I really want to see them unlock a phone and drugs, weapons, human trafficking victims pop out of it.

    " and [that people] are not subject to unreasonable search of their devices."

    Please hand me your phone & give me the password.
    We need to make sure the nation is still secure and you haven't been co-opted by special interests, and we'll TOTES keep everything we copy out of your phone safe so we can troll it for a very long time.

    "And if we do think they're up to that kind of business, then getting intelligence from smartphones and computers can be useful for a prosecution."

    Why bother with courts or rules, we'll just play our hunches and take all their data & see if we can charge them. Why bother investigating when we can just copy everyones data as they arrive??

    Fscking morons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:25am

    3 things

    First: is access limited to 'you can watch' or does it also allow 'make a copy of'?

    If it's just the first alternative, I don't see the point because they can either glance at the device content (and never find anything) or go through it with a comb and spend hours upon hours to go over the gigabytes of data per device. So I'm fearing the second option: copy the contents. In which case the logical follow-up quection is: "what happens to the copy?" Is it analysed? By whom? For what purpose? Is it stored? Where? How long? How can I be sure my password(s) and the copy of the data is protected from further distribution?...

    Second: does that law also include access to:
    - tablets?
    - laptops?
    - external hard disks?
    - usb sticks?
    - memory cards (like the one in your camera)?
    - smartcards (like my company badge that contains biometric and other data about me)?
    - (writeable) CD/DVD?

    If not, I'm pretty sure the workaround for 'terrorists' and 'organised crime' is going to be pretty simple: backup the device to one of the above and wipe it to factory settings for border crossing. Then restore once you get through customs...

    Third: what about access to encrypted data inside the device?

    Does it mean I have to decrypt every last byte of data on the device? If not, then again, I don't see the point. If yes, there can be a whole list of passwords I need to provide for each and every password-protected app/file.
    Who will protect that list? What guarantees do I have my passwords are not disclosed to third parties (intended or unintended)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:42am

      Re: 3 things

      Not to mention the Hollywood and music industry lawyers standing at the end of the line who serve you papers for the copyright infringement lawsuit they launch against every person who allows their precious IP to be copied. It's even willful, so triple damages... cha CHING! ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:56am

      Re: 3 things

      Second: does that law also include access to: [memory cards etc.] If not, I'm pretty sure the workaround for 'terrorists' and 'organised crime' is going to be pretty simple: backup the device to one of the above and wipe it to factory settings for border crossing.

      That's already the workaround—except you don't carry the data across the border, you bring it over the internet once you're in. Corporations and paranoid individuals are already doing that. It'll work until the authorities decide to make you fill customs forms and provide keys when "importing" packets.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:13am

      Re: 3 things

      How will the government handle sensitive data is a good question.
      Wasn't there a case recently where someone from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or Lockheed cross a border and had his devices seized because he had brown skin? Yet the device was owned by the company, had company secrets, and was encrypted. Yet he got into trouble (maybe even arrested) because he refused to unencrypt data on his *company-issued* computer.
      So then how how "border security" collide with national security when dealing with employees of government contractors?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 4 Oct 2018 @ 1:58pm

        A bit more inventiveness here!

        How will the government handle sensitive data is a good question.

        They'll put it on a region-coded DVD so that it will not play in New Zealand. Really, nerd harder.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:33am

    Lead by example

    I propose that all those who whould like to vote in favor of this bill give up their smartphones and passwords first and allow them to be copied and scrutinized. See if they don't mind.

    Then, if no problems arise* they can vote again to pass the bill for the rest of us.

    *= if none of the affected politicians complains or gets outed or has secrets disclosed to the internet...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:50am

      Re: Lead by example

      Strangely enough that never seems to happen with laws like this, and the very ones pushing for eliminating privacy for everyone else get very touchy when it comes to their privacy, almost as though the 'ends justify the means' only applies when it comes to other people.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re: Lead by example

        ".. very touchy when it comes to their privacy, almost as though the 'ends justify the means' only applies when it comes to other people"

        It may be, in part, due to the fact that the wealthy tend to look down their noses at the less fortunate as if their wealth some how makes them better and therefore they do not even have to try and be civil. In groups, these folk tend to compete with each other in their disgusting display of arrogance and hypocrisy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 4 Oct 2018 @ 5:50am

    "Striking a balance"

    It's interesting how mandatory penalty-laden access to all of your private assets is "aimed at balancing individuals’ privacy and national security." It's pretty hard to figure out where the balancing bit is supposed to be. It's like arguing an invasive body search is striking a balance between national security and individuals' physical integrity because the border agents are wearing gloves while poking around the victims' intestines.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:45am

      Re: "Striking a balance"

      They're looking at it like this: if you want your privacy, it'll "only" cost you $3K. That's a small price to pay for privacy, right? ;)

      I imagine that everyone who refuses is also placed on a list of people to follow around covertly as they're clearly up to no good.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:57am

        Re: Re: "Striking a balance"

        That's a small price to pay for privacy, right? ;)

        For some people, it is, which is a bit of an injustice itself. Kind of like how (in the USA) one doesn't have to deal with the TSA when flying on a private jet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 5:54am

    Great News for Terrorists !!!

    Attention Terrorists! Good news!

    New Zealand welcomes you! While customs is busy searching grandma's and the teenager's phones, you can avoid having your digital devices strip searched for a mere $3,000.00. A small price to pay. For everything else there's mastercard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:01am

    semi visible handwriting on the wall

    First comes the tech, then comes the control.
    Revelation 13:16-18

    God is good, technology (like money) is neutral, man has free will, satan is evil, ...and here we are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:29am

      Re: semi visible handwriting on the wall

      Didn't God directly kill far more people than Satan ever did?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:15am

        Re: Re: semi visible handwriting on the wall

        On about the same scale of the sun being slightly warmer than a match, or a hurricane being a wee bit more destructive than someone blowing through a straw, yes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re: semi visible handwriting on the wall

        satan doesn't kill people, or else he'd kill me for hating him; he tempts humans to kill ourselves and each other

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: semi visible handwriting on the wall

          "satan doesn't kill people, or else he'd kill me for hating him; he tempts humans to kill ourselves and each other"

          Why did the GOP sell their souls to satan?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:36am

        Re: Re: semi visible handwriting on the wall

        Every human death in history, yes. Each and every one is "God's will", if you believe in such things.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re: semi visible handwriting on the wall

        No, but Satan would like you to think he did.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    4TMB, 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:10am

    Bad NZ government

    ... this kinda stuff happens with loosely restrained government, even in enlightened 1st World democratic nations.

    New Zealand has an oddball government with a fragmented constitution and a weak semblance of Bill of Rights.
    Official Head of State of New Zealand is Queen Elizabeth II.
    There's a Bill of Rights Act (legislation), but its provisions may be legally over-ridden at the whim of the NZ legislature or courts.

    NZ Bill of Rights Act guarantees everyone:
    "The right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence, or otherwise" (Section 21)


    U.S. has a much stricter 4th Amendment, but our 4th is just as easily ignored as that NZ "Right".
    There's no firm reason why our TSA could not start tomorrow... demanding device-passwords from all airport travelers. American courts have declared (de facto) that U.S. airports are '4th Amendment-Free) zones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:26am

    How will this hurt business travel?

    It's not just the personally stuff. My laptop uses full disk encryption, so they will want that password? And potentially see all the info I have under NDA? Trade secret? HIPPA? PCI?And potentially make a copy of it?

    No, NZ travel will now require burner phones like drug dealers use. Oh wait...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:42am

      Re: How will this hurt business travel?

      If everybody starts burning phones, there will be phone burning levies to offset the loss of entertainment value to the law enforcement industry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lebron Paul 2020, 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:44am

    Weeeeeelp, mail your phone to yourself when traveling abroad

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:46am

    '... you know what, let's NOT go to New Zealand.'

    The new fine will discourage visitors from refusing Customs' advances, allowing officials to paw through their digital goods just like they do their clothing.

    Or, you know, discourage visitors from going to the country at all. If I knew that someone could paw through my personal data on a whim, backed by a $3,000 fine for refusal I think I'd pick another vacation spot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 6:58am

    What if there is no password to give them?

    In addition, what if there is no information on the phone for them to steal?

    Even worse .. what if you have no phone?

    It is very suspicious that you do not have a phone and even more suspicious if your phone lacks all your personal information for anyone to steal under duress.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:18am

    Curiosity demands to know

    Other than child porn, has anyone, anywhere ever found any actually incriminating evidence on a cell phone? Or do they just use what they find to concoct conspiracy theories, legitimate or not? Aren't these types of searches more about control and intimidation than actual intelligence gathering?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:27am

      Re: Curiosity demands to know

      It is most likely the Thought Police attempting to enforce their unwritten laws.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:32am

      Re: Curiosity demands to know

      Given the sheer number of devices searched it's all but a given that they'd eventually stumble across someone stupid enough to leave incriminating evidence on the phone, so yeah, I'm sure it has happened.

      As for the motives, it's probably a mix of 'grab it ALL!' fixation, fishing expeditions, and likely a little intimidation/indoctrination as you noted, with more than a little 'Our stuff is exempt, so why would we care?' to explain the indifference towards the massive damage to privacy such actions cause.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:38am

      Re: Curiosity demands to know

      All those private nude selfies and dick pics are traded among airport security staff like trading cards. Everyone wants to be the best supplier of cock shots to their coworkers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:46pm

      Re: Curiosity demands to know

      Police in the UK have caught people this way - dumb criminals, terrorist sympathizers, not people who actually could execute a bombing against a complex target. And by the way, 'other than child porn' is not very comforting when there've been so many cases of governments declaring, say, somewhat sexual manga imagery to be child porn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul Brody, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:29am

    So, how do they actually collect this $3,000 fine?

    So if you refuse, and they fine you $3,000, how do they collect it? Are they going to put travelers in jail or hold you hostage until you pay up? It seems to me if you're not a local, the worst they can do is just deport you.

    I'm curious if anyone has refused so far.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:15am

      Re: So, how do they actually collect this $3,000 fine?

      Hmmm, because technically you not yet within the country

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 1:17pm

      Re: So, how do they actually collect this $3,000 fine?

      I suppose if you had an outstanding fine, it might prevent you from getting another visa in the future?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:59am

    Of course

    Hey all. This makes total sense. Especially with how large cell phones are. A terrorist may hide an assualt rifle or an RPG inside. If customes can't take a peak inside we could all be doomed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:01am

    this is fun

    so just break the system
    -have a random stranger set the 4 digit passcode (no peeking) on your phone right before you take off for NZ just for lolz
    -like someone else said: mail your phone to NZ before you get there
    -backup phone, factory reset, then go to NZ, (reinstall the data when you get out of the airport, or after leaving NZ
    -email (zip files) your data to a NZ (or should that be NaZi)government employee that you know before going to NZ and make them an accomplice just for the lolz

    ...I could go on and on...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Shufflepants, 4 Oct 2018 @ 1:19pm

      Re: this is fun

      Add to your list:
      Bring an entire bag full of phones. All of which do not have their batteries charged and require like 5 different kinds of chargers among them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rangda (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:07am

    The Perfect Balance

    Clearly New Zealand should just execute everyone that attempts to enter the country. After all, anyone entering could be a nefarious criminal, so if you just kill everyone then zero criminals will enter the country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 8:54am

    and had the USA CBP not started this crap, no one else would have probably bothered! about time something good came out of the USA instead of everything possible to criminalise everything ordinary people do. i'll bet a dollar to a dime that the rich, the famous and the powerful wont have to go through any of this and any US citizen that is exposed to the treatment will complain and the USA will put in serious objections, only to make sure that any NZ citizen is treated in just the same way! a planet where free movement is removed and the people are no more than slaves to the rich is just round the corner and the Internet is helping that to be achieved as us ordinary folks are being restricted from using it more and more and surveillance is increasing at an even faster rate!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 9:08am

    Hooray we're all criminals now!

    Backup device. Factory Reset. Load 'empty' Apple ID or Google Account or Microsoft Account. Cross border. Give password to empty phone. Change password upon immediately exiting customs. Continue to destination. Reset and restore or continue to use dummy account until you return home. Repeat when you cross the border again.

    Use something obnoxious, like KIMDOTCOMISAWESOME or NOPASSWORD as your actual password.

    When you get home, call your cellular provider, advise that the Home or Power button no longer works (assuming no damage and under warranty) and they will send you a warranty replacement. Now you have a new Device ID/MEID!

    Also, carry spare dead SIM and use that instead so they don't have your SIM number and leave your memory card at home.

    After it's all said and done all they will have is an old MEID number, useless account information and the wrong SIM number.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      "Hooray we're all criminals now!"

      No, only the vast majority of people as the 0.1% are not subjected to the same level of "law enforcement" that every one is. Sorta has been that way all along in that you were and still are guilty until proven innocent by very expensive mouth pieces.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 9:22am

    If it's no big deal, why do you have to threaten people with delays, fines, confiscation and jail time to obtain compliance?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:37am

    I expect to see the fine drastically increased in a year to make up for the "lost" dollars from tourists that didn't go to the country (because that's the smart thing to do, right?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 10:45am

    Privacy vs Security

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Sorry, just "balancing" this table. What were you saying about National Security and the farce of inspecting information at the border?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 1:44pm

    NEXT on the agenda..

    is the common sense idea that we should monitor ALL DATA on cellphones, because someone can send DATA...the same thing they want from those entering the country..

    AS IF, you need the WHOLE PHONE, to carry info across the border..

    OH! I forgot something...Just use the internet..send everything.. Oops. LETS monitor the net also..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 1:54pm

    Australia to follow in 3... 2....

    Of course, you could make your password a long sentence that says something offensive about that government or the border patrol officers....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 4 Oct 2018 @ 2:07pm

      Re: Australia to follow in 3... 2....

      I have a hard time coming up with something that says something more offensive about that government than that law does.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 4 Oct 2018 @ 2:10pm

    Phone

    Just have a friend carry your phone for you if you have something on it you don't want the gov to see. Take different flights and you arrive first. Sure, they'll impound the phone and you'll probably lose it, but your data will be safely locked up and your friend can't be forced to provide a password that he doesn't know for a device that doesn't belong to him.

    As far as I know, there's no law against possessing an electronic device to which you do not have access.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 2:52pm

      Re: Phone

      Except all the times you're asked "Did anyone give you anything to carry on this flight?". Might not be illegal but it can get you a nice long stay in a detention room.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zem, 4 Oct 2018 @ 2:35pm

    It's just an excuse

    It's just an excuse, they are really looking for clues on the one ring.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 3:20pm

    Legal Arse Covering

    reading the specifics of the act, it covers access to data, copying isnt specified so presumably yes, it really just feels like Customs are covering themselves if they do have to do a search of a digital device... I dont think they will be going to the level that US customs appears to go to, I mean given a few seconds the process each person if everyones devices are being checked then the human logistics of managing this will be an expensive (for customs) nightmare...

    Also instead of flattening your device (most typically smartphone) just buy a cheap burner once you are in country, if your clean device leaves your line of sight unlocked do you know enough once you get it back to check nothing extra was installed quietly?

    And for real tinfoil hattery, if I was a SIGINT gathering agency I would buy a couple of kiosks in major international airports and sell cheap 'improved' phones to disembarking passengers ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 4 Oct 2018 @ 4:36pm

    Could just tell people not to come there

    Is there like some kind of contest going on where every country in the world tries their darndest to be a shittier place to visit that the rest?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2018 @ 7:00pm

    Just mail your laptop to yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2018 @ 2:06am

    Just wipe your device before you enter New Zealand, problem solved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jamie, 29 Oct 2018 @ 4:26pm

    Reasonable suspicion required

    This article is missing an important piece of information, which sets the NZ policy apart from things like TSA policies.

    Your device can only be search if customs authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the device contains evidence of a crime. You're not at risk of getting your device searched "just because", as happens with the TSA.

    As such, this isn't going to be an issue for most travellers. You're only generally at risk if you're doing something dodgy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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