custom officer

Law threaten Crypto currency owners passing through customs

A new series of liberal democratic law supposed to create a better law n order situation is enriching on the rights of travelers. New Zealand has also joined to implement this law on its border that give custom officer unprecedented investigation powers. They can ask any traveler to disclose their password or inbox or face a $5,000 fine. The news created an alarming situation among many especially Bitcoin owners who have their own reasons to not to give up their password even to the security officers.

It seem genuine practice to keep an eye on everyone entering the jurisdiction of the country.  To prevent criminals and terrorists from gaining entry, usual laws protecting citizens are relaxed at borders. Travelers passing through custom investigations are particularly vulnerable of profiling and potential question answer exercise. But now, laws are become source of privacy intrusion for these travelers despite that most of these don’t present any threat to the state. Custom officers interrogate, inspect laptops, do forensic test on mobile phones and now passwords are being demanded.

It is latest law placed the Antipodean territory. Travelers who refused to give up their passwords is subject to fine up to $5,000 and even then they might not give your laptop or gadget back. The Customs and Excise Act 2018 effectively authorizes “digital strip searches”. The intention may be good but this kind of digital search won’t benefit much as it will only have limited search on the data being stored on the device and not on the cloud accounts.

The number of travelers who faced such digital search is relatively low; only 540 devices were being searched in 2017. The new laws are going to be more sever and will exercise an increase in search and may set a dangerous precedent that could be followed by other countries. Jameson Lopp suggest that as border searching is becoming harsher especially for digital strip, it will more save to protect your data by leaving it at home and downloading it later. News.bitcoin.com has already published an article on how to protect your crypto currency data when travelling abroad.

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