Canadian Border Services have now taken to charging people who lock their cellphones and refuse to provide the password in order to facilitate a search.
Alain Philippon, 38, of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., refused to divulge his cellphone password to Canada Border Services Agency during a customs search Monday night at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.Slashdot is on the case, oddly filing the story under "YRO - Your Rights Online". Seeing as how this is explicitly about your offline rights, that's an odd place to stick the tale.
Philippon had arrived in Halifax on a flight from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. He's been charged under section 153.1 (b) of the Customs Act for hindering or preventing border officers from performing their role under the act.
According to the CBSA, the minimum fine for the offence is $1,000, with a maximum fine of $25,000 and the possibility of a year in jail.
/. commenter CaptainDork has a novel suggestion to solve the problem:
... smart devices should have two (2) pass codes.
One of the pass codes allows the owner in.
The other pass code BRICKS the goddam phone. That's the one we give the authorities.
Possibly related: A Saskwatchewan judge has ruled that far from the border a cellphone can be searched by police (though this one didn't have a password protecting it.