Border privacy handbook launched with workshop at UBC law

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The BCCLA is launching at a workshop at UBC Law School. a new handbook that helps people keep their information confidential when crossing the border.  The handbook and workshop are intended to help professionals, like lawyers, doctors, social workers and others with sensitive client information, as well as activists who attract government surveillance, to protect their information while crossing the border.

“Two hundred and fifty years ago, an English judge said that papers are often ‘the dearest property’ that one can have and threw out an attempt by the government to break into an office and seize papers without a warrant.  Private documents remain among our dearest property, but with technology allowing an entire office full of private information to be carried in your smart phone, the risks of unwanted disclosure are heightened,” notes Robert Holmes, Q.C., President of the BCCLA. “Border search laws allow authorities to rummage through private documents, including electronic ones, often without a warrant.  Professionals need to take basic precautions to ensure their confidential client information stays that way.  Our new handbook will help them do that.”

“This handbook covers some pretty technical turf, but does it in plain language to be accessible to everyone,” said Greg McMullen, the lawyer who wrote the handbook for the BCCLA. “At the very least, this handbook and workshop will help people understand the basics of information protection, and the powers that border guards have to search, copy, retain, and pass on information they find in your phone or laptop.”

What:        Launch of handbook to protect information on e-devices while crossing the border, and privacy workshop for professionals and activists

Where:      Allard Hall, UBC Law School, Room 106

When:       Monday, March 5, 2012 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Who:          Greg McMullen, lawyer, Branch McMaster, Carmen Cheung, lawyer, B.C. Civil Liberties Association

Download the BCCLA Electronic Devices Pocket Guide

Download the BCCLA Electronic Devices Handbook