Bitcoin Travelers Subject to Digital Search Laws in New Zealand from Customs Border Surveillance


Draconian Digital Search Laws Threaten Crypto Investors Passing Through New Zealand Customs

If you ever used an airport, you know that your rights to privacy are basically forfeited as you enter. Since the last decade, in special, the laws for air traveling security are getting very tough and they are increasingly intruding more and more in the privacy of the users. Now, New Zealand has approved a law that can harm crypto investors and it looks like things are on the verge of getting even worse.

Travelers passing by the customs of New Zealand have one more concern now as the national security of the country decided that people in the Antipodean territory will have to give their passwords for the officers in case they are asked to.

The law is valid for electric devices and it is in the Customs and Excise Act 2018, which authorizes so-called “digital strip searches”. If you refuse to give them access to your device, you can receive a fine of $5,000 USD.

While some caveats were introduced not to scare people like the fact that the search allegedly will be limited to data stored on a device and not on cloud accounts, this is certainly a cause for concern, especially for crypto holders and investors.

Concerned Crypto Holders Vow To Do Something

At the moment, the number of digital devices that were forcibly used via the revelation of a password is still fairly low, as only 540 devices were searched in 2017. However, some people are afraid that this might inspire some other countries like Australia, Canada, the UK and the US to do the same.

Known as the “Five Eyes Nations”, this quintet has multilateral intelligence agreements meaning that a country like the United States could use New Zealand’s law as a conduit for sweeping up intelligence on a target. Therefore, the ramifications of this law can be very big.

Jameson Loop complained that the laws were even more draconian today and that you should protect your data by leaving it at home, while other investors like Andreas Antonopoulos have affirmed that they will never go back to New Zealand with this new law and that “this kind of orwellian bullshit is unacceptable”.

However, it does not look like crypto users will be able to do a lot beside not visiting NZ or leave their devices at home.

Laws for customs are getting worse everyday, but not a lot of people are so concerned about airport security that they will ask the government to change the law, so they will probably just continue.

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