Author Topic: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Richard Ernst

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Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« on: November 30, 2016, 10:24 PM »
Award winning Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou was turned away from the US border recently as he was enroute to cover the protest against an approved proposed pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. US border officials interrogated him for six hours, photocopied his personal papers and diary as well as tampered with his three mobile phones after Ed refused to unlock them. No reason was given to Ed why he was not allowed into the United States.

This should be a cautionary warning to all journalists entering any country - even the United States - these days.

Here are some links that describe Ed's experience in more detail.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/does-what-happened-journalist-us-canada-border-herald-darker-trend

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/11/30/u-s-border-agents-stopped-journalist-from-entry-and-took-his-phones/?utm_term=.764b3f953be4

This link is to the CBC site and includes audio from CBC Radio's interview with Ed on Wednesday with the current affairs program, As It Happens:

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-wednesday-edition-1.3874554/canadian-photojournalist-detained-for-hours-refused-entry-to-u-s-1.3874563

Ed says his experience is quite troubling because these methods are being used by countries to extract information from journalists and even their own citizens.

Ric Ernst



Offline Lars Hagberg

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 07:34 PM »
Will there be a statement from NPAC, condemning what happened?


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Offline Richard Ernst

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 02:30 PM »
No doubt NPAC should issue a statement. To what effect it may have is questionable but there is nothing wrong going on the record opposing the methods of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection use to extract personal information from the travelling public and / or targeting journalists to do the same.

It would appear the the US border has become a place where authorities are searching digital devices like they would search a suitcase. Question is, if your phone or computer is the same as your backpack. More than anything, I think NPAC members should be aware this can happen anytime they leave Canada - as a working journalist or otherwise.

As far as an official statement, I am not sure what our executive is planning or may have in the works already.

Here is another link to a NY Times story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/business/media/canadian-journalists-detention-at-us-border-raises-press-freedom-alarms.html?ref=media&_r=0

Ric Ernst.



Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 04:36 PM »
Quote from: Richard Ernst
It would appear the the US border has become a place where authorities are searching digital devices like they would search a suitcase. Question is, if your phone or computer is the same as your backpack. More than anything, I think NPAC members should be aware this can happen anytime they leave Canada - as a working journalist or otherwise.


It's the same in Canada. Canada Border Services can search any of your electronic devices without a warrant. If you refuse to give them your password to unlock a device, they can seize that device.

Quote
Canada Border Services Agency officers are authorized to conduct searches of people entering Canada, including their baggage, parcels or devices such as laptops and smart phones. These searches may be conducted without a warrant. Officers may examine devices for photos, files, contacts and other media.

If your laptop or mobile device is searched, you will likely be asked to provide the password.  If you refuse, your device may be held for further inspection. Our understanding is that the issue of whether a border security agency can compel an individual to provide a password for a personal electronic device at a border crossing is not something that has been specifically looked at by the Courts in Canada.


One such case in Canada. The guy pleaded guilty and was fined $500. This case did not go to trial so there was no challenge to the law.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 04:44 PM by Warren Toda »

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Offline Richard Ernst

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 06:09 PM »
Legal or not, NPAC members should be aware this can happen.

It would seem border security can perform these searches because you are engaging them as opposed to the other way around. In the simplest of terms, laws prevent authorities from stopping you on the street and making you dump out your back pack and hand over your mobile phone to be searched through. But once you've approached a border crossing and knowingly engage them, it's a different game. You are making yourself available to them and you don't have the same rights as a citizen being stopped randomly on the street.

But where it gets troublesome is what happens when border security wants to go through all your emails and personal records if you've given them no reason to think you're carrying contraband or involved in any illegal activity. Where is the line drawn? If they can search your luggage and car and look through any paper documents you may have at the border, can they demand to look at your emails on your phone, too?

Millions of people cross back and forth the Canadian and US borders without incident. But be prepared and know what your rights are - or lack of them - when doing so.

Ric Ernst.



Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2016, 01:33 AM »
Searching a suitcase for booze/drugs/weapons/etc. makes sense. But it makes absolutely no sense to search a device like a phone or laptop.

Why wouldn't a criminal/terrorist upload their data to a cloud service, reset their phone, cross the border with a "clean" phone, and then download their data back to their phone? Oh wait, they already do this.

It's like security/police who say you can't take pictures of a building due to "security" restrictions. Then you ask them about Google Streetview or Microsoft Streetside or Bird's Eye, and they don't have a clue.

Don't they know criminals use cloud services to sync their devices specifically to avoid searches like this? The only folks who don't do this are Joe and Jane Public.


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Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 03:10 PM »
The Freedom Of The Press Foundation yesterday called on camera manufacturers to build encryption into their cameras. (Ed Ou is one of the photographers who signed this letter).

Canon did have such a feature but it was discontinued as it wasn't that secure and was apparently cracked.



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Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2016, 05:07 PM »
The US government last week started collecting social media account information on many foreign travellers who are planning to enter the US. At this time, the requested information (name of social media platform and your username) is optional.  Canadians appear to be excluded from this.


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Offline Richard Ernst

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Re: Canadian Photojournalist Ed Ou stopped from entering USA.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 12:39 PM »
The New York Times recently wrote the following in their travel section. Good to know when travelling to the U.S.A.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/business/border-enforcement-airport-phones.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0

Ric Ernst.