July 17, 2013
An independent review of the UK’s anti-terrorism laws has found that the British “border patrol” functions much like ours when it comes to electronics. If you’re bringing it across the border, it can be seized, searched and the data retained indefinitely.
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”.
Data can include call history, contact books, photos and who the person is texting or emailing, although not the contents of messages.