By: Steve Dellar | 10-04-2018 | News
Photo credit: Jimbophotoart |

Welcome To New Zealand - Please Hand Us Your Smartphone And Password

New Zealand seems to have taken over the installment of progressive legislation from Europe ever since nationalist parties have begun winning elections on the ‘old continent’ and liberals were not too keen anymore to rub nationalists the wrong way.

Whereas Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia were at the forefront of installing laws to protect all views on life in the first decade of the century, this decade clearly belongs to Oceania.

From installing legislation which will make it nearly impossible to obtain cigarettes to protecting national buyers of real estate, New Zealand in particular shows the rest of the world what is to come (although Australia is mostly not too far behind).

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Travellers heading over to New Zealand can now be fined more than $4000 if they refuse to hand over their smartphone passwords upon arrival. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#7News</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; 7News Yahoo7 (@Y7News) <a href="">October 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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This last one might be hard to comprehend though: in order to protect its citizens from any harm, New Zealand tourists will as from this week be ordered to hand over their tablets, smartphones or computers upon arrival, together with their passwords of course so that customs officers can check whether anything on your devices is ‘threatening’.

Any refusal to do so could mean you face a $4,000 fine. As a result, outraged travelers say on social media they will avoid New Zealand altogether as from now.

The Customs and Excise Act 2018 allows customs officials to demand passwords, PINs and encryption keys to unlock devices for “digital strip searches”.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="de" dir="ltr"><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Neuseeland</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Reisen</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Traumziel</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Auswandern</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Geschäftsreise</a> … ?! Seit kurzem mit “kleiner” Einschränkung: Sicherheitsdienste dürfen am Flughafen bei Androhung von $ 3.300 Strafe <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Laptop</a>, <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tablet</a>, <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Smartphone</a> und <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Passwörter</a> einfo…<a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AKE Friedrich Haas (@fchaas) <a href="">October 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Any traveler refusing to hand over the passwords could face (beside the hefty fine) having their device confiscated as well as prosecution.

New Zealand customs spokesman Terry Brown admitted that: “we’re not aware of any other country that has legislated for the potential of a penalty to be applied if people do not divulge their passwords.”

“It is a file-by-file (search) on your phone. We’re not going into ‘the Cloud’. We’ll examine your phone while it’s on flight mode.”

Tourist offices and travel agents admit that they believe the new rule will be met with some anxiety by visitors. In response, the New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties said the legislation could be interpreted as a “grave invasion of personal privacy of both the person who owns the device and the people they have communicated with”.

“Modern smartphones contain a large amount of highly sensitive private information including emails, letters, medical records, personal photos, and very personal photos,”

“The reality of this law is that it gives Customs the power to take and force the unlock of people’s smartphones without justification or appeal — and this is exactly what Customs has always wanted.”


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4 Comment/s
Rage No. 38635 2018-10-04 : 07:36

I can see to a point how they "think" this will help stop criminals, but the reality is that criminals are one step ahead. All they need is a new phone or sim card and when they reach their destination, they can just import all the crap they had. That's common knowledge. There was a guy made a you tube video on it. People may have nothing to hide, but will still prefer as do all normal people, to have their lives kept as private as possible in this day and age .

So the reality is, all this will do is piss people off and put people off visiting what is a very beautiful country. What idiots make these decisions?

Anonymous No. 38647 2018-10-04 : 13:47

For a country that derives a lot of its income from tourism, this is insanity. As usual, when the tourist trade “unexpectedly” dries up, the confused leftist politicians will raise taxes and spend millions on ad campaigns to lure tourists who will never come.

Anonymous No. 38650 2018-10-04 : 13:49

With the new mommie at the helm, why am I not surprised at this law. Crazy idiots.

Anonymous No. 38667 2018-10-04 : 15:45

Hrmm it does not seem to hard to mail your phone if you had ill intentions or like the previous commenter said just secret away a sim card or even a micro SD card with the terrible files that might destroy NZ. WTF!!!!!

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