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Should US Guards Be Able To Search Cell Phones At The Canadian Border?

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Most travellers are prepared to have their cars searched when they cross the Canadian border into the United States; however, not everyone believes that US border guards should have the right to search cell phones.

Now, Canadians are being advised that guards may search their phones and demand their passwords to do so. Furthermore, they may do this without a specific reason. This means that a guard may search your phone under absolutely any circumstances.

Of course, some people are rightfully worried about these new regulations. For one, people store a vast amount of information on their smartphones. And, a great deal of this information is highly personal, such as private photos and images.

While people are allowed to be present during the screening, they are unable to look at the screen. So, this means that they won’t know if a guard is just staring at sensitive photos, or reading private emails.

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Search Cell Phones

While there are justifiable reasons for obtaining access to a personal device, some feel that random checks take government authority too far.

“The number of times border agents who inspected phones spiked by 60 per cent in 2017. Phones were checked more than 30,000 times as travellers crossed the border,” states immigration.ca.

“If access to the phone is refused, officers can confiscate it for up to five days provided they document the incident. The phone can be kept beyond five days provided approval is granted.”

Canadian border guards do check smartphones, but they require a reason to do so, and can’t target people at random. As such, they feel like less of an interrogation.

Do you think that US border security has the right to search through your cell phone? If so, do you think that they should only be permitted access with a specific reason? 

Sound off in the comments below!


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