Electronic Devices

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Electronic Devices

1. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1110 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

As from 1st October 2018, New Zealand Customs Officers have the right to demand that anybody passing through customs into New Zealand must give the customs officer access to their digital device including passwords. There's an NZD5 000 fine for failing to comply and apparently the laws are similar in both Australia and Canada (CND 50 000 fine there or five years in prison!).

It's in section 228 here .

Has anyone here had any experience of the enactment of this law or similar laws elsewhere on their travels?

2. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 801 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Interesting. The last time we went through Canada I got the most invasive pat-down I've ever had anyplace from the rudest official I've ever met anyplace. I can take almost anything and I was nearly in tears and shaking when she got through with me. I did not set off any alarms going through the security device. At that point I swore I would never go to or through Canada again and have kept my vow. It's a beautiful country but nothing would make me go through that again . . . and now they can require my passwords. No thank you.

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 454 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I'd like to say that I understand why they'd want to look into peoples laptops, but I can't.
Anything on a laptop can be transferred to a thumb drive that often doesn't look like a thumb drive (they make them look like all kinds of things now) and they probably wouldn't check it in the bottom of a suitcase anyway. Or could be sent through to a separate email, deleted off a laptop, and then downloaded again once you've arrived at your destination.
So it's not really an affective way to stop any electronic data being moved across a border.
I guess if it stops one particularly dumb deviant or terrorist then it could have some justification, but I doubt it will.

PS I'm not particularly computer savvy, so if I know this then almost everyone else with a computer already knows it.

4. Posted by Stefmuts (Budding Member 125 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I don't think it's about electronic data being moved across a border, It's more like checking for strange messages and checking social media for alarming stuff or a equivilant of a 'how to build a bomb' app
If you are seriously a suspect of something criminal or terrorist they already have options to turn your laptop inside out to find things you even thought you got rid off, even without password

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1255 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Stefmuts, an article I read on it said it's not the social media they want to look at and they check the device on flight mode so there is no chance of roaming charges.

6. Posted by Stefmuts (Budding Member 125 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Stefmuts, an article I read on it said it's not the social media they want to look at and they check the device on flight mode so there is no chance of roaming charges.

Well, thats how the news here tried to sell it though

7. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1110 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Interesting - I thought it would be to check social media too. Andrew's right about most things stored can be transferred to a portable storage device. But we're planning on going to the odd country that bans travellers who have been to some countries (Israel, Somalia, Syria etc) so the social media thing might come into play. As for coming back to NZ - I'm not sure I like what they're doing but there's no way around it for me. Fortunately, as a citizen here, they very rarely do a full check and, so far, I've nothing to hide (honestly!). Beausoleil's experience in Canada would be enough to put anyone off - I've not had anything like that yet.

8. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1255 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

Here we go, found it. It says they can access data stored locally only.
https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/10/new-zealand-pay-fine-risk-privacy/

9. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 607 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

When they were throwing around the idea for this piece of security theatre in Australia the focus was because of pressure from the entertainment industry for the government to do more about piracy which is a pretty ludicrous excuse when you think all of us are travelling with copyright material, whether it is ebooks in our kindles or the music we brought to listen to on the plane

I doubt it would have anything to do with social media since that stuff would be online and there is already software to flag social media posts. The effectiveness of this legislation for actual security puporses would come down to how computer literate the border security is. I wonder how many would be able to differentiate between code for a hacking virus or code an app developer is writing.

10. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1110 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Here we go, found it. It says they can access data stored locally only.
https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/10/new-zealand-pay-fine-risk-privacy/

Thanks Andy. So it appears it's not really a problem for regular travellers; only those who have something to hide. There are a few countries around who deny visa waivers to travellers who have been to particular countries (the US for visitors who have also been to Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Iran and a few others, Malaysia and a few others for visitors who have also been to Israel) but it doesn't look like this sort of thing is designed to root them out.

But nobody here's been subject to an electronic device search yet?