#borders #borders




The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can demand that a phone or laptop be unlocked for virtually any reason, and agents can then root through our photos, emails, and call history.


1 The Public Safety Minister even refused to write rules spelling out how and when agents can invade our privacy with these warrantless digital strip searches.

We’ve launched a campaign to pressure Parliament to stop these searches

For way too long, the CBSA has been searching the contents of travelers' phones and laptops at will, without needing a court order or even any kind of reasonable suspicion. And if a traveler refuses to unlock a device, they could face fines, their device being seized, or even arrest.

This gross invasion of privacy is so outrageous that the BC Civil Liberties Association has published a guide on protecting sensitive information while traveling, saying that the CBSA's rights to search our devices right now are 'wide open.'

Last year, MPs called on Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale to publish an outline detailing the conditions under which a border agent may demand a device be searched, but Goodale refused to comply. Parliament hasn't acted since—and we need laws in place to govern how these searches happen.


OpenMedia is working on posting billboards at the border with information about how to lodge a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC). We're also pressuring Parliament to act to update old privacy laws for the digital age.

Yours in the fight for our privacy rights,


Victoria, and the whole team at OpenMedia


[1] Can Canadian border agents search your phone or laptop? A new guide explains: CTV News 
[2] Feds reject call for explicit instructions on border searches of smartphones, computers: Global News 
[3] Protect our digital privacy at the border: OpenMedia

[4] Can Canadian border agents search your phone or laptop? A new guide explains: CTV News
[5] Border guards have 'wide open' rights to search your smartphone, B.C. civil liberties group warns: CBC


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