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Canada Privacy Government Your Rights Online Politics

CBSA Reveals Some Laptop Search Info, But Not Much 151

Posted by kdawson
from the nothing-to-declare dept.
gmcmullen writes "The Canada Border Service Agency took its time getting documents on its policy for border searches of laptops to the BC Civil Liberties Association in response to an Access to Information request the BCCLA filed in October 2009. When the reply did come through, there wasn't much there. The documents were heavily redacted and whole sections of the Access to Information request were ignored, including requests for information on the number of laptops searched and policies for copying data from electronic devices. We did learn that the CBSA knows that 500 megabytes is roughly equivalent to 'a pickup truck full of books,' and use Windows-only software called ICWhatUC to scan for images. Documents also revealed that the CBSA understands that most 'Japanese Anime' is not child pornography, and that your family photos (even with kids in the tub) aren't child pornography either. We've made the documents we did receive available online so you can see for yourself."
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CBSA Reveals Some Laptop Search Info, But Not Much

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  • by wrook (134116) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @04:21AM (#32095620) Homepage

    Actually, not that I want it to be, but why is this not child pornography? I'm not really familiar with the law, but just because you are the child's parent and not distributing the pictures widely, does it really mean that you can take nude pictures with impunity? At what point does it become child pornography? Also, does it stop with your own children? What if you took a picture or your neighbor's kids in the tub (with yours for instance). I mean, this has got to be a slipperier slope than cartoons of nude children... isn't it???

    Perhaps I'm being naive to expect logic in child porn laws.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @05:16AM (#32095838) Journal

    The only software I have on my laptop is OpenVPN. All I do once connected is VPN in and RDP to my workstation.

  • by AlexiaDeath (1616055) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @05:16AM (#32095842)
    Oh really? Some people can beat it off to grandmothers dance rehearsals and girls in tight jeans on the street. Lets declare that illegal too.

    This sort of insanity does not protect anyone.
    IMHO, what should be a focus of such laws is the amount of pictures in ones possession. 2-3 bathtub pictures of 1 or two kids you have some natural connection to is quite normal. 100+ pictures of strange nude kids on the beach is not. Heck, even 100+ pictures of fully clothed kids going to school warrant an investigation at least, but not pictures some parent has of their kid in a tub.
  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @05:25AM (#32095892)

    100+ pictures of fully clothed kids going to school

    That's a good way to catch people who are creepy but seems somewhat disconnected from the justification for CP laws- ie child abuse.

    Is the goal to lock up child abusers?
    it should be.

    Lock up anyone who might become a child abuser?
    Possibly.

    Or just lock of everyone who is creepy in any way for being creepy?
    This seems to be the reality and what the majority(especially parents) seem to want.

  • ICWhatUC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @05:55AM (#32096042) Homepage

    Can't get over the cheapy-ten-dollar shareware that is the program they use to look for infringing material. I've probably written better software that does the same job *accidentally* while working on other projects.

  • Re:Encryption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @06:42AM (#32096230) Homepage Journal
    Yes listen to the TSA in action over some cash.
    Steve Bierfeldt of Campaign for Liberty confronted by TSA 3/27/09
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3394970594491846292# [google.com]
    Be very careful in what you say over any computer device. As suggested keep it simple and "hope" you get to see a lawyer at some point.
  • by AlexiaDeath (1616055) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:39AM (#32096580)
    You would need to lock up half the population on this planet and put the rest as guards.
    Yes, it really is that bad. Only a small percentage however actually ever commit a crime against a real child, and even that means more molested kids you ever imagine.

    And its the people you least expect to commit this crime. Priests, people in trust of the family, your brother, youth workers etc... Bathtub photos have nothing to do with it. 99% of actual child abuse results in 0 photos and a handful of confused memories for the kid. People who harm children are the only ones that should be hunted down. The rest should be really mindful about what is sensible and what not to investigate further, to see if somebody has been harmed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:39AM (#32096584)

    every picture of the burning twin towers is a record of international terrorism, but there aren't any laws against possessing those images. in fact, after sept 11, you couldn't ESCAPE those images.

    the idea that possessing an image - ANY image - is a "crime" has never sat well with me, no matter what "justification" is used.

    images are not "crimes".

  • Re:Unfortunately... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:14AM (#32096914)

    Pardon, but why the hell should the Canadian gov't and its arms give a bloody red cent about a U.S. law and the supreme court of another country think?

    (Catpcha: disaster)

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:19AM (#32096964)

    The photos in circulation of the twin towers attack weren't taken as part of the terrorism. They weren't taken by the terrorists themselves, or by accomplices to their crime. There was no plan to take photos as a means of either making money for the terrorists or encouraging others to start doing terrorist acts and send more photos to the terrorists in exchange.
        You can't claim any of the same points about child pornography, and that's the justification. Note, not the "justification", but the justification. A witness to the twin towers attack was not an accessory to the crime, a witness to child rape is at the very least an accessory.

    images are not "crimes".
    Those quotation marks constitute begging the question. For shame, for shame.
    Beyond that, money is not a crime (or a "crime"), but stealing money is a crime. A gun is not a crime, but possessing a gun if you are a convicted felon generally is a crime. The real argument here is about whether simply possessing these images should be a crime, and if so, should it be as serious a crime as producing those same images. There's arguments worth considering on those points, but your little sound-bite isn't one of them.

  • Re:Blacklist (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:05AM (#32098462)

    Sorry I wasn't too clear on the timing, it was 2am GMT, so 9pm in Ottawa, but I wasn't so much referring to whether the commission was open and accessible, but simply the fact that I was just far too tired to think straight, let alone put up more of a fight to defend myself.

    Somewhat coincidentally, I'm actually going out with a girl now who is Canadian but now living and working in the UK and I've been with her a few years (which is why I've been back to Canada since a few times- to see her family) and we've talked about migrating to Canada, but I'm worried now whether this whole customs lark on some record about me will cause problems. I get the impression it's not an easy process as is, let alone with stupid little things like the details of my interrogation being brought up - i.e. the claims of me lying because they found a porn popup which an immigration officer mentioned when I flew over once and is hence obviously recorded, the immigration officer just made some comment along the lines of "I see you've caused trouble lying to an immigration officer before".

    It shouldn't cause any problems because at the end of the day I did nothing wrong, and wasn't charged with anything or anything like that (christ, I've never even been done for speeding, and I've never even so much as touched a cigarette- I'm about as innocent as it gets!), but it's still a weight on my mind now, and I'm concerned it's something that's going to linger over me forever when I deal with travel/immigration to Canada now.

  • by DM9290 (797337) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @04:21PM (#32104694) Journal

    The justification for Child Porn laws is that every photo is a record of an act of child abuse.

    Now the children probably don't particularly like being sent to school, but I don't think any reasonable adult would consider it an act of child abuse.

    This is not the justification for Child Porn laws in Canada. Canadian child porn laws include drawings, and photographs of adults depicted as children, audio recordings and written material including entirely fictional narratives that involved no actual children in any way in their production.

    no children need to have been involved in the production of Canadian child pornography. The justification that the court found is that the person who sees child porn might as a result suffer a "cognitive distortion" as a result of it, and the state has an interest in protecting people from suffering cognitive distortion even if the method used is to lock them up and destroy their lives.

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