Thanks to veteran Bitcoin and cryptocurreny analyst, Will Woo, Ethereum World New was made aware of new rules by the customs departments of both Australia and New Zealand. Willy Woo first notified the crypto-community of the possibility of New Zealand Custom officials, asking for your phone and laptop passwords when you enter the country. His exact tweet stated the following:
Get your act together New Zealand. You have the opportunity to lead the world in freedom (see woman’s suffrage, nuclear free NZ). Don’t lead the world in stripping it away. [Speaking as a Kiwi who lives overseas. We come home only if it stays “home”.]
$5,000 Fine by the New Zealand Customs
Will Woo was replying to a tweet by Andreas Antonopoulos, who was vowing never to visit New Zealand again due to the ‘Orwellian’ policy of asking visitors for the passwords to their electronic devices. He was responding to a notice that stated the following:
Passengers refusing ‘digital search’ at the New Zealand border (surrender laptop and phone passwords!) now face $5000 Customs fine and their electronic devices seized by the New Zealand Customs:
The full tweet can be found below.
It was nice visiting New Zealand twice. Pity I won't be going back… In today's society this kind of orwellian bullshit is unacceptable. https://t.co/9PIZAJHK8T
— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) October 1, 2018
You Could Get 10 Years in Australia for Not Providing your Passwords
Digging deeper into the story, Ethereum World News found out that its not only New Zealand that has such policies for visitors entering its borders. Australia has a similar policy that could land you 10 years for not abiding by it. It is included in a new bill that is about to introduce the toughest legislation for refusal of handing over personal data.
According to the Australian Department of Home Affairs, such strict measures are necessary as explained below:
Encryption and other forms of electronic protection… are being employed by terrorists, child sex offenders and criminal organisations to mask illegal conduct. The exploitation of modern communications technology for illicit ends is a significant obstacle to the lawful access of communications by Australia’s law enforcement and national security agencies.
Australia was one country that seemed friendly to crypto by having partnered with IBM for blockchain solutions as well as some of the country’s utility company’s, accepting crypto payment for monthly bills.
Will It Affect Your Crypto Holdings when You Visit Australia and New Zealand?
Of particular concerns to many crypto enthusiasts, is to whether these new requirements apply to cryptocurrency holdings. Using basic logic (and not legal expertise), both Australia and New Zealand cannot impose taxes on visitors who are citizens of other countries. Taxes only apply if you live and work within their borders.
The nagging question is, once the Australia and New Zealand authorities access your electronic devices, will they share your information with the authorities back home?
What do you think of the new requirements for visitors of both New Zealand and Australia? Perhaps deleting personal apps and wallets before planning a visit is one way of working around the policies. Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.
[Image courtesy of www.newstalkzb.co.nz]