If you're treating the phone as a 'good' as indicated in the quotes on this story, you can inspect my phone as a good. You can look at the phone. You can xray it. You can open up the back cover to ensure it's a real battery inside and not something more sinister. All that would be fine and fall within what the law was intended for.
What the government is actually asking you to do is unlock your digital key to your entire digital identity for them to do with as they wish. Your phone has direct access to all your email accounts, all your personal and work files within the cloud (Dropbox, Box, iCloud, Google Drive, etc), your entire address book, your chat history, all your personal photos, your private PGP you use to sign communications to prove they came from you, etc, etc.
Asking to inspect your phone is fine. Asking to have complete access to your entire digital life, history, and identity is not. If I'm asked for the former, go ahead and inspect it, I put it through the scanner on every flight. If I'm asked for the latter, the answer will be no.
This is vastly different than physical goods inside boxes or briefcases, which all physically pass through the border in an inspectable manner.
As an aside I am not surprised this happened in Canada. I lived in Canada for a few years and then returned to the UK. It's not obvious to people who have not lived in both places, if you only visit you would not see this but Canada carefully cultivates an image of itself abroad and there is a stark difference in how authoritarian Canada is compared to the UK. I still know people who live there and the way the authorities at all levels treat even their own Canadian citizens would not be tolerated in the UK. Often times you cannot talk about this with Canadians as they will defend the way things are done and say the infringements on freedom are for a good reason. The citizenry is generally happily compliant and only outsiders who are used to more freedom notice it.
I think the compliance reasons are why they also put up with government restrictions on business in telecoms, air industry and even the dairy industry, look up the Canadian cheese smuggling arrests made a couple of years ago :-)
Border guards demanding your phone will likely happen in every country soon if not already. They take mine at US border and France.
Telecoms in Canada are just as corrupt as the US where they established monopolies long ago and now squat on spectrums to prevent any new competition. Huawei almost bought their way in to Canada then the Americans panicked and the deal was lost http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/politics/canada-at-risk-from-chines...
Even if allowed access to personal devices, data is slippery enough that it could be stored in almost anything. Here's yet another example of taking away rights in a way that does nothing to deter actual crime. Hopefully the court understands technology enough to make the right call, but I'm not counting on it.
Since I now had time to waste, I asked to see the customs lady's supervisor, and then berated the person who inspected my laptop for not having any idea how to do this sort of search properly. So, I ended up sitting both the customs lady and her supervisor there for another hour or so while I taught them how to use undelete and some basic free forensic tools.
I then handed them a bill for an hour of my time and left to wait for the next plane.
I like to think it took them a while to process just what the hell had happened. Mindless securistas like that need to be humiliated at every turn, or they'll never stop. Society - the segment of society with which they interact - must make it clear that their job is not wanted, not needed, and not welcome.
This was in Montreal in 2009, if anyone cares.
(I do this stuff a little too often, maybe twice a year. This probably makes me an asshole, but it gets the testosterone out in a nonviolent manner, so it's the lesser of two evils ,really).
Counter-trolling only happened when it was obvious that I had already missed it.
>"Officers are trained in examination, investigative and questioning techniques. To divulge our approach may render our techniques ineffective. Officers are trained to look for indicators of deception and use a risk management approach in determining which goods may warrant a closer look"
This statement makes it look like they noticed something about him that prompted the search.
I think we all know how that one turns out.
In Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), Terry was represented by Louis Stokes, who went on to become a luminary in local and national politics. Here's what Stokes said about the case, from http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/nypd-stop-and-frisk-2012... :
> Stokes, chairman of the legal-redress committee of the Cleveland NAACP, believed the arrest was dubious.
> Representing Terry in court, Stokes pressed [arresting officer Martin] McFadden on the stand, where he got him to admit that the men weren’t doing anything other than peering into store windows, and that he’d never busted anyone before for seeming to case a business. “What attracted you to them?” Stokes asked.
> “Well, to tell the truth,” McFadden answered, “I didn’t like them.”
David Miranda was carrying material which he must have known a government would show interest in.
They (unacceptable) stop and search found the data, and it was mostly unencrypted.
- Here's my phone, sir.
- I see it has a password, give me the password.
- Mhhh... OK. It is 1234.
- Oh, I see you have Dropbox app installed. I need the Dropbox password.
- Mhhh... OK. It is 5678.
- Oh I see you have a GPG encrypted file in Dropbox. I will need to decrypt that. Give me the password.
- Mhhh... I can't... It's encrypted with a public key and I don't have the private key on me.
- Ok, boys! Take this guy! He is clearly obstructing.
You could then perform an over the air recovery once safely away from the border.
What I'm saying is: Can X be done until sanity has been restored to Y? It appears that, yes, it can.
The problem I'm having is that I have a ton of widgets and custom settings on my phone (Android). If I were to wipe my phone before crossing a border, it would take quite a while to get it set up the way I like on the other side.
I am just using stock android though. I wonder if there is a way to achieve what I want with a rooted phone.
This is horrible and ridiculous.
I have no doubt at all that they routinely search through people's phones, laptops, tablets, and similar. And if you watch those Passport Patrol style shows where they film in immigration/customs, you can see it is common on there too.
In the scenario you seem to be proposing, some random border agents are not only privy to top-secret NSA projects, but also have access to the data collected by said top-secret projects, and not only that, but they know everybody who's going to drive across the border on a given day, and not only that, but they pre-screen all of those people's data to see who's planning to marry for a green card so that they can manually screen the people's devices and then pretend it was random search.
Basically, these people are not the NSA, so assuming that they have the capabilities of the NSA seems a bit far-fetched.
They don't even need to know that it's a tip-off: a computer could just spit out "selected for random phone search" and maybe "suspected immigration fraud" when that person reaches border control. The border agent needn't know how or why the selection was made, nor have access to any top-secret data. Just follow instructions.
With automated screening using access to a database of everybody's communications, I'm sure you could easily predict more than 80% of the people who cross country borders within 24-hours. For flights, that would be close to 100% accurate. With satnav, you'd probably catch a good portion of the rest who drive across.
If every government agency were dipping into the NSA's cookie jar of secrets so liberally, we'd most likely have known about all these not-so-secret programs years before Snowden ever worked there.
It's not impossible, but it's sufficiently implausible that you'd be crazy to bet on it.
I fly internationally on business and the Canadian border officials are the worst I've run across.
I'm serious. Any time you hear those terms and the discussion is not about speed limits in a school zone, red flags should be going up in your mind.
It's not about how many people they catch - even if they had a 100% success rate at nabbing every abuser that crossed the border, it's about civil liberties.
As for why they want to search for pedophiles at airports: the reason is presumably because there is a serious problem of child sex tourism in certain countries (Thailand for example).
You could use the same argument about guns or drugs -- why search people who they suspect are carrying guns or drugs? The reasoning is presumably that stopping these at the border prevents them from coming into the country.
To be honest I don't have a problem with being searched at airports. IMO the small inconvenience is outweighed by the benefit of putting the occasional pedophile in jail, preventing diseases from fruit/meat entering our country, and criminals bringing machine guns into the country, etc. I guess from the downvotes and comments that a lot of HN posters have a different opinion.
By the way, the real cap'n crunch would be ashamed of the attitude you have expressed, as I'm sure you know.
In Canada it isn't legal to arbitrarily search people even at the border. Reasonable cause is necessary:
There is both plenty of incentive and no consequences for conducting unlawful searches.
Do you have any references for that?
From what I can see on programmes like Border Security, they do catch a lot of people this way, and they do always have reasonable grounds for the search.
Also, how does that law allow random searches at airports (which are presumably legal)? Is there another law which permits those?
I can't stand those shows, I have to change the channel, they literally make me angry. Thinking that there are people out there who actually fall for it makes it worse.
If HN sold gold stars I'd buy you one.
Sadly, the propaganda is effective and enough people agree with cpncrunch: Being treated without dignity, like a prisoner, is totally worth it if maybe it catches a few evil boogeymen.
Random searches are not legal in Canada. Border guards take advantage of the fact that nobody wants to look guilty by refusing to be searched. They exploit the public's ignorance of the law and use intimidation.
I don't think this would allow them to search your phone. However that may be permitted if they have reasonable suspicion.
When a Canadian enters Canada it's acceptable for the government to say, "Show me all of your apples." It can even say, "Give me the bill of sale for those apples." That's inspecting goods.
It's not acceptable for the government to say, "Show me all of your text messages, emails, pictures, and personal journals." That's a warrantless search.
It is illegal, and it should remain illegal regardless of what good deeds a government bureaucrat might be able to do with that information.
If the government wants to conduct a search like that, it needs to accuse you of a specific crime and set out the reasons why it believes getting those items will prove it. Any just government must assign different people who act at arms length from each other to make the request and to decide if the request is justified. (eg. Police, Prosecutor, and Judge) This is necessary in order to prevent any individual human agent acting with the power of the government from abusing that power.
Just governments do not search everyone because some of them might be guilty. Just governments don't say, "Show me your apples. OK, that's fine. Now give me your passwords because you might be a pedophile and I need to make sure I can't find any evidence that you are." Just governments don't say, "Show me your journals, emails, and pictures, then and then we'll see if we can charge you with a crime."
I wouldn't give up living under a just and fair government even if that meant we could catch all of the criminals... which of course we couldn't.
I agree with your other points.
That's what happened in this case. Customs demanded irrelevant information in order to go fishing, the returning Canadian declined, as is his right to do, and is being punished for it.
Take a look at the Nexus program. It asks travelers to waive their rights voluntary in exchange for being permitted to avoid being coerced into waiving them at each crossing. If more people were aware of the rules and pushed back there would be no need for such programs.
This is one of the main points of having civil liberties.
Wrote a comment recently which incidentally and obliquely implied in passing that people are in control of their own body weight, a proposition which I believe within some limited contexts.
It went up to +15 overnight when the Europeans were awake. Then right back down to +5 when the Americans woke up. Got some kind of nasty comments back, too. I'm surprised that it makes so much difference.
Oh, yeah, it sort of is, isn't it.
Sorry. Here, have a maple doughnut.
If the alternative to invasive surveillance is terrorists flying planes into our buildings and killing thousands of innocent people, then a little extra hassle at the airport is a small price to pay.
That's how most people think. Finding the incorrect implicit assumptions made by these arguments is left as an exercise to the reader.
Easily countered with "So what's your email account and password?".
(I love watching the logical contortions that come out next "Well I didn't mean _I've_ got nothing to hide! Or I didn't mean I don't have the right to hide it from _you_ Or or or... Think of the _chiiiiiildren!!! You're probably a terrorist!")
But this affects your own people even those people, that have enough money to fly out of your massive country and not some messy and suspective underclass.
We heard cries about how bad things were on the other side of the Iron Curtain, while we led a witch-hunt on our own people.
When the commies spied on themselves people for The Greater Good, it was evil; but when we spy on ourselves for Freedom and Advertising, it is different.
Honestly, if you have enough money to not be part of some messy and suspective underclass, why would you give a shit? If you actually cared, you have enough money to subvert a dragnet or the consequences that might arise from it.
You can live in the Manhattan/SF superclass bubble or any other bubble around the world. You'll be spied on just as much here as anywhere. At home, you probably know someone in intelligence who can give you some good insider info, though.
They don't fight for democracy elsewhere. They fight for dominion and economic subjugation of those people.
They fight for the right to buy up all their mining and oil rights, set up Walmarts and McDonalds, subject them to Hollywood movies and American music, and convince them they need to buy iPhones and iPads for every person in their household...
> The Americas, or America, also known as the New World, are the combined continental landmasses of North America and South America …
I love how strong you all feel about this. Just relax.
I am from Deutschland, but most people on the world call it either by a too general term Germania - and nobody in Denmark, Austria or the Netherlands is offended - or the too specific term Allemannia - and nobody in Switzerland is offended. In English you even use your own names for German cities (Cologne, Munich etc.) and the people there do not give a crap.
I will admit that if you are from the 17th century, your confusion is reasonable, but I question how you found HN.
More importantly, at least 95% of the English-speaking world disagrees with you, and that's the real test of language and definitions.
I'm curious - in what way is Germany not an appropriate name? My understanding is that it's a translation of Deutschland, and considered an exact synonym. I'll admit that hundreds of years ago Germany or Germania meant something different from modern-day Deutschland, but I fail to see how that's relevant.
I indeed said "American" and at least cited some sort of source instead of claiming that you are "95%" wrong, but lets keep it with this. I mentioned the German-story anecdotally. Nobody really cares. Names are just words, you can just relax, when its clear, what the word was intended to say.
I promise to add a "North" the next time and hope, that I will not get chased by angry Mexicans.
False statements, evasion of duties
153. No person shall
(b) to avoid compliance with this Act or the regulations,
(i) destroy, alter, mutilate, secrete or dispose of records or books of account,
(ii) make, or participate in, assent to or acquiesce in the making of, false or deceptive entries in records or books of account, or
(iii) omit, or participate in, assent to or acquiesce in the omission of, a material particular from records or books of account;
I'm not a lawyer, but I would be pretty dismayed if a court agrees that this covers withholding a password.
The question is "Can I be forced to unlock my own phone? Under what circumstances? Under what circumstances can I be charged for refusing to do so?"
If you haven't already guessed, I use a complex swipe pattern, one that uses all nine points and cannot be determined from reading the grease streaks, at least not easily. I know this because I moved to the current pattern after my daughter unlocked my phone by reading the grease streak. I changed the pattern and handed it back. It even used the previous pattern. She took one luck, uttered an obscenity, and handed back the phone.
Can I be compelled to describe how to perform the swipe? To describe the pattern? To guide the agent? Interesting questions....
Yes, yes and yes.
Until there is legal precedent, if they want into your phone and you don't provide them access, you'll be in trouble. Any "cleverness" regarding a security code will likely make it worse.
More operating systems should be doing this, including desktop ones. Windows makes multiple accounts too obvious.
I personally don't care what invisible, made-up lines you were born within or without. Do you?
Considering the amount of rights you posses correlate directly to what invisible lines you're currently in, I think just about everybody cares, actually. Until nation states actually go away, they are very much important.
Personally, I don't want to be "ruled" by anybody and I don't really believe in "law". However, I don't assume possible to believe that people actually would be kind to each other and live in utopia: it is very likely that there will be somebody who will want to make use of other's unprotectedness, so the society will have to regulate it somehow. But the real problem is there is a lot of tasks to be done by the members of the society "together" (like building roads and stuff), and the most active/authoritative people in this society are practically the government, so there will be governments. And who has power, can abuse it. Therefore, it doesn't matter how much I dislike current governments: it is as it is, no use to talk about that.
However, it is relatively fair to want "not to be touched as long as you don't touch others". So I don't really care how those, who are "the government" will solve questions like who controls some territory: as long as there's no war between these countries and I'm not doing anything that was allowed in the first country, but not in the second one (like carrying a gun on the street) I'd like to never notice I actually "left country". Somehow it is possible in Europe (to certain degree: to the less degree that I can wish for, by the way, but nevertheless), but not between USA and Canada, who aren't fighting with each other, AFAIK.
Also, it is trendy to justify everything with some "dangerous aggressive nation out there, being terrorist menace for us". But as it happens, things usually have some reason to happen. And "aggressive nations" aren't that aggressive unless you abuse them somehow: say, by invading their country or at least drawing (without any real purpose: just because you can) obviously offensive pictures on public resources about people they love and respect.
And what do you mean by 'rule of law'? Do the decisions of tribal elders count? That doesn't suggest consistency, which is the spirit of the term.
This is completely untrue. States as we recognize them in the modern sense have only existed since the 17th Century in Europe, and much later in other parts of the world. Before this time, political organizations consisted of kingdoms, principalities, city-states, tribes, and various other small groupings of people.
Well, I said 'nations', in response to the parent saying 'nations'. I didn't say 'states'. If you are going to be pedantic, then be pedantic correctly.
Before this time, political organizations consisted of kingdoms, principalities, city-states, tribes, and various other small groupings of people.
I guess places like Egypt, the Roman Empire, and Ming were all 'small groupings of people'?
That somehow 'Rome', that stretched from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, was merely a 'city state'? Even after the capital was moved to a different city half a continent away? That despite having a complicated system of senators, emperors, provincial governors (or that they even had the concept of 'provinces'!) and so forth, that there was no 'political organisation'?
In the context of the conversation, the OP's 'nations and borders', there's nothing wrong with what I said - 'nations' and 'borders' have been around for as long as we have records.
In other words, maybe national politics needs to be refactored into smaller units to be more tractable and maintainable.
Not to mention that industrial-scale slavery existed in quite a few places well before the modern era. "Returning to" the ways of the past is very much not guaranteed to reduce our oppression.
Agreed, but the tail of that particular dinosaur is going to do some horrific damage as it thrashes around in the tarpit. Nation-states are becoming more powerful at the same time they're becoming less useful and less necessary.
From now on, I'm backing it up and wiping it before I get to the border. Just on principle.
"So your company writes software for Americans?"
"So an American company bought your company?"
"So your company is now owned by Americans? Why didn't they write the software here?"
"If it's now American, why can't the training be provided by Americans?"
I was pretty sure he was going to ask why the fuck I wasn't time travelling in order to ensure everything was done by Americans.
All this after enduring repeated announcements for military personnel to come and enjoy the FREEDOM LOUNGE in Denver or Detroit, whatever shithole it was that I was travelling through.
From my view as a non-American? Farcical.
"Don't talk to Police"
The other guy does not have your interests in mind. He knows the rules better than you, and knows which rules you probably don't know and what he will get away with when bending the rules. He's probably not specifically out to get _you_, but he's definitely being measured on his "performance" by whoever pays him, and that means he's highly motivated to "get" enough people, whether or not it's deserved. Anything you say is less likely to convince him of your innocence than it is likely to give him more ammunition to use against you.
Make both of your lives easier - firstly don't do anything wrong, secondly answer any questions he has with the briefest possible truthful and polite/respectful answer. You'll get waved through, and he'll move on to the next talkative and/or disrespectful person and give them a hard time. (For those of us who aren't US citizens, remember it _is_ a privilege to be permitted to visit, a privilege the possibly minimum-wage customs/immigration/border people on the ground have the authority to revoke.)
This is a libelous accusation. The US Government doesn't pay its employees minimum wage. Those border police make more than engineers and programmers on average.
I told them a bunch of stories about my past (committing fraud, working for the Secret Service, etc) and they ate it up. They joked around with me the whole time and were very nice about not letting me in.
Of course I knew there was no downside to opening up because I figured out pretty quickly I wasn't going to be let in. I'd be much less open with a TSA agent who wanted to search my phone.
(Preferrably one you can actually live in?)
The shrinking life space makes me contemplate suicide.
I'm hoping Elon gets us to Mars and we get to leave the B-Ark behind on this once-nice rock that we're busy destroying for ourselves...
I can no longer assess my own security in this world. What if the country I reside in decides to go after my kind of minority?
Not meaning Canada specifically, but one twist in a law and you're nailed. You have no rights when it comes to digital.
(I guess that sill gives your statement an 80% correct rating, making qualifier "in general" allow it to still be valid...)
The problem is not in suppressing impulses, but in finding a way to live a satisfactory life. Which is becoming harder and harder. Rationally, why continue living if you feel under water most of time?
What you're saying isn't untrue, but I haven't found a particular solution to any of it.
Where I come from (Europe), you aren't required by law to help police (or border officials). If they come with a warrant to search your house and your door is closed, you aren't allowed to obstruct them by barricading your door but you are not required to help them by opening your door either (be prepared to pay for your new door though). Is that different in Canada?
I would say that at least 70-80% of these stories leave out very important details and contexts - to mold what happened to fit whatever narrative the spinners subscribe to.
For example -
The person could have been importing a large amount of goods with him that exceeded the value he stated.
Once questioned about the disparity, he might have made statements about having the transactions documented in his phone.
The boarder agents would then have asked to see those transactions. Or even said, "could you just turn on your phone, move the screen towards us, and show us (or just email it to us so we can print out and attach the record to your declaration)".
I've looked into pretty much every major story, and once you get passed the superficial reporting, and into the actual details, it becomes depressingly clear that the media (at all levels and all sides) are just political (or ideological) organizations that filter, mold, and in a lot of cases make up, everything they put out.
One good thing about this story is that electronic device searches on Canadian borders are somewhat in the legal grey zone and this will force the courts to clarify the rules. And... allow public to voice their approval or disapproval of this ongoing practice.
Leave the phone off or turn it off before you get to the airport Security line then when you turn it on the app auto-starts which makes the phone slowly boot.
Then when the phone does finally boot it shows a fake screen showing "Installing update 1 of 44" and make it so it never ends.
My password is my index finger I should change it to my middle finger, my password is written down and really complex I'd never be able to remember it without seeing it.
See you in a decade when this all shakes out.
For those unaware, here in Canada they've started playing catch-up ever since the snowden leaks, and they've been doing it with the same strategy (wait for any kind of terrorist attack and manipulate the people)
Even if you "have nothing to hide", this is worrying. Who knows what has been changed on your device?
"This doctrine is not actually an exception to the Fourth Amendment, but rather to the Amendment's requirement for a warrant or probable cause. Balanced against the sovereign's interests at the border are the Fourth Amendment rights of entrants. Not only is the expectation of privacy less at the border than in the interior,the Fourth Amendment balance between the interests of the Government and the privacy right of the individual is also struck much more favorably to the Government at the border.This balance at international borders means that routine searches are "reasonable" there, and therefore do not violate the Fourth Amendment's proscription against "unreasonable searches and seizures"
Begging the question, wouldn't you say? The only reason there is less expectation of privacy at the border is because of government policies, like this one, whose constitutionality is open to question.
Yes I would!