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New Laws in NZ Give Rise To Invasion Of Privacy

Travellers face 'digital strip-searches' of their phones and laptops or face a $5,000 fine under new laws in New Zealand

As indicated by new custom rules that became effective on Monday, travellers who decline to surrender their passwords, codes, encryption keys and other data empowering access to electronic devices could be fined up to $5,000 in New Zealand.

The new rules are the consequences of the updated Customs and Excise Act 2018 law, which was brought into effect on Monday, set out new rules for officers who direct the  'Digital strip-searches' and determines that access to personal technology must be given over also.

The Civil rights advocates are particularly outraged at the sudden change, saying that it was a grave breach of security and did little to protect the boarders.

Customs Spokesperson Terry Brown when approached with respect to the matter said that while it might appear to be obtrusive, the new law gives a 'delicate balance' between somebody's rights and the law. As it is a document by-record search on the travellers’ phone, they aren't going into 'the cloud' and just analysing the phone while it's on flight mode.

Mr Brown added further that officers would just request that somebody give their own passwords in the event that they trust they have a reason to presume a wrongdoing.

Then again, Thomas Beagle the Council for Civil Liberties spokesperson, says -

 “The law is an unjustified invasion of privacy because customs don't have to provide a reason for the search. They don't have to tell you what the cause of that suspicion is, there's no way to challenge it. Any 'serious criminal' wouldn't store incriminating information on their digital devices - they would rather store it online, where customs can't access.”

All things considered, in a news release, the New Zealand Customs Service said the law would help outskirt consistence and bolster the national economy. It guaranteed the public that it would "rarely notice much difference at the border, with existing provisions reconfirmed or clarified."

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