UK Border Police can take your phone, and everything inside it

What Governments are doing in relation to our phones is a hot topic at the moment, but a new report out of the UK claims that the Border Police can seize your phone and download all the data within it. The procedure can be applied under a domestic anti-terror law, with a blanket power so broad that reasonable suspicion doesn't even need to be established before hand. The report comes by way of UK newspaper The Telegraph:

Officers use counter-terrorism laws to remove a mobile phone from any passenger they wish coming through UK air, sea and international rail ports and then scour their data.The blanket power is so broad they do not even have to show reasonable suspicion for seizing the device and can retain the information for “as long as is necessary”.

Affected data can include call history, contacts, photos, and who the person is texting or emailing, but not the content of the messages. All border crossings fall under this, be that airports, seaports, even the international rail crossing between the UK and France. An independent reviewer of terror laws, David Anderson QC, is expected to raise concerns and recommend proper checks to ensure this power isn't being abused.

Given the furore across the water at this time, this latest report is surely not going to sit well with travellers to the UK, and even nationals. Speaking personally as a Brit, I can imagine how I'd feel if I were presented with this upon my return from a trip. What do you guys think? A step too far under the cover of 'anti-terror,' or are you happier that action is being taken at all?

Source: The Telegraph

Richard Devine

Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy. Follow him on Twitter and Google+