06-08-15 11:53 PM
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  1. Smitty13's Avatar
    With this whole issue becomes a mute point if you put a password on your cell phone, as you have the right to remain silent which includes not answering any questions, even if they ask you for your password!!

    Posted via CB10
    Unfortunately, that is not correct. While you certainly do have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself in Canada, you would be charged with obstruction of justice if you failed to hand over a password to unlock the phone if an officer wished to search it.

    From the article I originally linked everyone to:

    The majority also found that whether someone has protected their phone with a password doesn't carry much weight in assessing that person's expectation of privacy.
    (Source: Cellphone searches upon arrest allowed by Canada's top court - Politics - CBC News)

    It works both ways in that merely because a person does not password protect their phone it does not equate to them abandoning their right to privacy, conversely, a password protected phone does not equate to impenetrable privacy under this new law.

    The wording of this law is horribly ambiguous at best. I have yet to talk to two people in the legal community (as well as my riding's MP) that have given me the same, cohesive answer as to the limits of this law. I have however, been told by more than one individual in the law community, you may be legally compelled to hand over your password upon arrest if they wish to search your phone or risk being charged with obstruction of justice.
    01-19-15 05:45 PM
  2. stevec66's Avatar
    That I was not aware of, but saying that if I was a criminal and my phone contained something that would incriminate me big time, I would rather take a slap on the wrist for obstruction of a peace official than hand over something that may put me away for a few years.

    Besides, unless you have been caught doing something wrong the average person would not be approach by a police officer asking for their cell phone so it can be searched. With my bad memory and being under pressure I may forget my password or give out the wrong password several times only to watch the BlackBerry unit self wipe.

    Posted via CB10
    01-20-15 10:17 AM
  3. Smitty13's Avatar
    That I was not aware of, but saying that if I was a criminal and my phone contained something that would incriminate me big time, I would rather take a slap on the wrist for obstruction of a peace official than hand over something that may put me away for a few years.

    Besides, unless you have been caught doing something wrong the average person would not be approach by a police officer asking for their cell phone so it can be searched. With my bad memory and being under pressure I may forget my password or give out the wrong password several times only to watch the BlackBerry unit self wipe.

    Posted via CB10
    I think on the whole, we agree. I am not a lawyer and do not have much in the way of legal training on this, so I am unsure how severe an obstruction of justice charge could be or if they could get legally creative and stack some other charges on you in the meantime. Lord knows they probably could if they wished.

    The only problem is, there is no recourse in this law for the person that is arrested. I just cannot help but think of someone younger who is playing their music just a bit too loudly then is arrested for being a common nuisance. Even if this charge is later dropped, police officers can search that person's phone in the meantime regardless of the eventual outcome of that charge.

    There is that 'safeguard' (if you wish to call it that) of needing to be arrested first before this law has any sort of effect on you, but I know personally of many cases where people have been arrested on very small summary type charges that were later dropped. I shudder to think the invasions of privacy this will allow for against people like that.
    01-20-15 10:45 AM
  4. stevec66's Avatar
    From my perspective being an ex police officer in the UK for many years, 10 on the drug/vice squad before the days of cell phones it was good leg work that got you the conviction. Today, with all the technology we have at our disposal yes the cell phone is a great tool for police & criminal alike and I can see where police would like to peak into someone's cell phone but it does not make it write.

    I can see this law bring revisited by the Supreme Court, because some dumb *** cop, will stop someone for a traffic stop and decide to search their cell phone , and a lower court will throw out the charge etc. This things have a way of working themselves out.

    Posted via CB10
    01-20-15 12:13 PM
  5. Smitty13's Avatar
    From my perspective being an ex police officer in the UK for many years, 10 on the drug/vice squad before the days of cell phones it was good leg work that got you the conviction. Today, with all the technology we have at our disposal yes the cell phone is a great tool for police & criminal alike and I can see where police would like to peak into someone's cell phone but it does not make it write.

    I can see this law bring revisited by the Supreme Court, because some dumb *** cop, will stop someone for a traffic stop and decide to search their cell phone , and a lower court will throw out the charge etc. This things have a way of working themselves out.

    Posted via CB10
    Very true. All it takes is just one indiscretion by some law enforcement official that jeopardizes an investigation and you will see this revisited. I understand both sides of the coin here but my major beef with this law resides in the ambiguous wording of it; then again, what laws are extremely explicit as we wish them to be? That is where the lawyers and courts come in.

    I am watching with a curious eye all of the new laws that are coming along between the western countries and am starting to feel a bit nervous. What with this law today, what tomorrow? I am sure as a person who lived in (was born in?) the UK you are familiar with Cameron's latest move to make encrypted programs illegal without a proper government backdoor.

    We are in some very pivotal times technologically speaking. I digress though, as part of the tech community, let's just try and stay as informed as possible.
    01-20-15 01:36 PM
  6. stevec66's Avatar
    I am never happy when government starts snooping around people's conversations they have either by email or on phones or one on one, yes I am familiar with Camerons hope that the government will have access to people s private emails and conversations via backdoor access

    I don't agree with him and I am never sure how much real information is gathered by this method, with recent activies we saw in France are people willing to give up their freedoms for safety. I for one say NO but there again I believe in free speech, and leave it at that before I get myself into trouble, and upset a million people.

    Posted via CB10
    01-20-15 02:45 PM
  7. BB_Junky's Avatar
    Canadian Man Charged with Obstructing Border Officials by Refusing to Give Smartphone Password - Techvibes.com

    This man was arrested and charged for failing to give up his password to border agents.
    03-05-15 08:25 PM
  8. ArcPlug's Avatar
    Canadian Man Charged with Obstructing Border Officials by Refusing to Give Smartphone Password - Techvibes.com

    This man was arrested and charged for failing to give up his password to border agents.
    Border agents seemingly do whatever they want and are above the law. Anything goes when national security is concerned.

    Posted via CB10
    03-05-15 10:24 PM
  9. BCITMike's Avatar
    Canadian Man Charged with Obstructing Border Officials by Refusing to Give Smartphone Password - Techvibes.com

    This man was arrested and charged for failing to give up his password to border agents.
    He should win. The supreme court ruling mentioned that if there is reasonable reason why it should be searched, they can as long as they keep good records. I can't see how returning to Canada would warrant that. You can search the phone (goods), you cannot search the contents of said goods. Was he under suspicion for something?

    I hope he wins.
    03-05-15 10:44 PM
  10. Smitty13's Avatar
    He should win. The supreme court ruling mentioned that if there is reasonable reason why it should be searched, they can as long as they keep good records. I can't see how returning to Canada would warrant that. You can search the phone (goods), you cannot search the contents of said goods. Was he under suspicion for something?

    I hope he wins.
    As someone who not only follows privacy issues like these very closely but also travels internationally a lot, I will be watching this outcome very closely.

    This case is going to set a very large precedent that will set in motion future searches by the CBSA. I am very conflicted on what I believe the outcome will be and here is why:

    (Source article I am basing my opinion on: Quebec resident Alain Philippon to fight charge for not giving up phone password at airport - Nova Scotia - CBC News)

    Why I think this citizen may win:

    As you have pointed out BCITMike, not even the CBSA has given any sort of reason as to why this man was "randomly selected". All that was offered up was a scripted response explaining that CBSA agents are given training to detect "deception" by travelers. At best, this reason may prompt an overhaul of electronic searching procedures, at worst, I do believe this may only give CBSA reason to come up with more scripted responses to explain their searches.

    Why I think this citizen may lose:

    From the CBC article I linked you all to above, Rob Currie, director of the Law and Technology Institute at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, explained that "Under the Customs Act, customs officers are allowed to inspect things that you have, that you're bringing into the country [...] The term used in the act is 'goods,' but that certainly extends to your cellphone, to your tablet, to your computer, pretty much anything you have."

    The cynical side of me looks at this situation similar to what ArcPlug said above. All bets are off when it comes to border security and laws surrounding it. Outside of basic fundamental rights violations, it has become apparent over the years that many of the laws (domestically speaking) we have come to enjoy do not apply to CBSA searches. The litmus test for what constitutes "reasonable search/seizure" becomes quite low when at the border, unfortunately.

    It is really appalling what the CBSA can do in the name of "national security", but they have been given quite the blank cheque over the years to do it.

    All this being said, I will be watching very closely to see how this plays out and what type of precedent becomes set from it.
    03-06-15 11:01 AM
  11. oldsoul123's Avatar
    Well, anyone can try to search my BlackBerry, but good luck getting into it any time soon. With a 16 digit alphanumeric password and picture password working on my Z10, they had better want whatever's on there pretty bad!

    PaulJ
    06-08-15 11:53 PM
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