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The Forum > General Discussion > No right to privacy if you visit NZ

No right to privacy if you visit NZ

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New Zealand's Customs and Excise Act 2018 went into effect today. That means travelers who refuse to give their phone or laptop password to customs officials will be fined NZ$5000. In addition, their devices will be confiscated and forensically searched.

Customs Minister Kris Faafoi said these digital strip searches are necessary because "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."

But Thomas Beagle of Council for Civil Liberties pointed out that organized criminals are smart enough not to keep incriminating files on their devices.

Customs spokesperson Terry Brown] said the law struck the "delicate balance" between a person's right to privacy and Customs' law enforcement responsibilities.

"I personally have an e-device and it maintains all my records - banking data, et cetera, et cetera - so we understand the importance and significance of it."

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."
Posted by Philip S, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 1:09:07 PM
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Sorry personal freedom will never be as important to me as stopping terrorism and drug or other crime.
IF they did not do it and a terrorist act followed?
Posted by Belly, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 2:16:59 PM
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The 2016 Act is almost the same:
207 Data in electronic devices that are subject to control of Customs
(1)

This section applies to any electronic deviceó
(a)
that is subject to the control of Customs; or
(b)
that a Customs officer has reasonable cause to suspect is subject to the control of Customs.
(2)

Data in the device may be searched in accordance with the following powers:
Powers if threshold met

(a)
the power to make an initial search if a Customs officer has reasonable cause to suspect tható
(i)
a person in possession of the device has been, is, or is about to be involved in the commission of relevant offending:
(ii)
an importer or exporter of a device (other than a person to whom subparagraph (i) applies) has been, is, or is about to be involved in the commission of relevant offending:
(iii)
an unaccompanied device has been, is, or is about to be used in the commission of relevant offending and the importer or exporter cannot be reasonably identified or located:
(b)
the power to make a full search if a Customs officer has reasonable cause to believe that evidential material relating to relevant offending is in the device:
(c)
the power to require a user of the device to provide access information and other information or assistance to access the device:
Powers with no threshold

(d)
including power to require a user of the storage instrument to provide access information to allow a person to access the instrument):
(e)
the power to make a full search of unaccompanied electronic storage media that is an optical disc imported other than for personal use for the purpose of determining whether it contains any pirated copy within the meaning of Part 7 of the Copyright Act 1994.
-
It's like the US fire-wall where they asked guys in overcoats and beards "are you a Communist?" , "yes" and the poor sods were frog-marched to Guantanamo , no no that's commie land. Alcatraz.
Posted by nicknamenick, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 2:48:03 PM
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Pos difference is the $5000 fine and they confiscate items.

Belly, It is not about stopping terrorism and drugs, they might catch a few of the low level player of drugs.

If they really wanted to stop terrorism and the drug bosses they can do it far easier, follow the money that,s right the banks are the key.
Posted by Philip S, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 6:01:56 PM
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Police seem keen to carry out computers to their cars in various home searches. " Oi mate that's got all our bike maintenance repairs and garden herb purchases".
Posted by nicknamenick, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 6:07:35 PM
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Dangerous ground, the erosion of civil liberties, all in the name of stopping the bad guys.

//Sorry personal freedom will never be as important to me as stopping terrorism and drug or other crime.
If they did not do it and a terrorist act followed?//

Hi Belly, such an open ended statement can put us into very dangerous territory indeed. Arrest without charge, shoot on site, they are all covered by that statement. Governments, even those of the moderate persuasion see it as necessary to obtain for themselves the maximum powers possible within reason, to as they believe, protect society. The removal of civil liberties is done incrementally, a little here, a little there. Generally seen by most as being all rather innocent. Some would argue; if your got nothing to hide, why worry, after all its only aimed at the bad guys. What we often forget is, powers given to the moderate government of today, carry over to the government of tomorrow, and how will that government use and extend those powers, no one can tell.
Posted by Paul1405, Tuesday, 2 October 2018 7:08:34 PM
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