UK border cops can seize and retain all your data without suspicion or charge

Tim Hardy: "UK border police have the power to seize all your personal data without reasonable suspicion and keep it effectively forever even if you are not charged with or suspected of a crime."

How would you feel if the police stopped you on a whim, took your phone, your laptop, your digital camera, your MP3 player, your USB sticks and your memory cards then copied everything on them?

How would you feel if they told you they were going to keep all your photographs, your documents, your address book, your financial data, your browsing history, your emails, your chat logs, your electronic diary, your music and recordings and anything else they liked for at least six years - indeed maybe they’d keep them until you reached the age of a hundred in case they might prove useful one day?

How would you feel if they then demanded all of your passwords and threatened you with years in jail if you refused to hand them over?

Welcome to Britain.

These are the rights granted to the police at the border controls of this country.

Within the UK, police officers are authorized to seize phones and download information only after making an arrest. The border control officers have no such limitations.

Seizing personal data without reasonable suspicion (Thanks, Tim!)

(Image: Hard Drive 016, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from jon_a_ross's photostream)