U.S. Border Agents Can Seize Canadians' Phones If They Don't Give Up Their Password

They don't even need a warrant.
Senior Editor
U.S. Border Agents Can Seize Canadians' Phones If They Don't Give Up Their Password

Tensions continue to rise between Canada and the United States, two countries that share the world's longest border.

Once considered among the closest of allies, the neighbours have quickly become bitter rivals as hostile American leadership spurns the tenets of international cooperation.  

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Canada and the United States have also adopted diverging policy in recent months. As Canada legalizes recreational marijuana, for example, the U.S. continues to inflict harsh punishments for the possession of the drug.

The relaxation of drug laws, coupled with general contempt, continues to complicate Canadian passage into the United States. News broke last week that U.S. border agents could deny entry to Canadians who have ever used marijuana.

And now, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, has confirmed that the norotiously belligerent U.S. border protection agency has broad power to search and even to confiscate Canadians' cellphones without a warrant.

The new rules effectively suspend Canadians' rights at the border. Agents can demand your cellphone password without probable cause. Refusal to obey can lead to a charge of obstruction and a $500 fine. Agents will also confiscate the cellphone for up to five days. Confiscation for more than five days requires an appeal to a director.

With the new marijuana laws, Canadian's can expect U.S. border agent searches to become even more invasive. Conflict at the border is sure to escalate.

Stay tuned.

Source 1 | Source 2

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.
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