Australian Border Force searched 822 phones in 2021 despite having no power to demand passcodes

Greens digital rights spokesperson says officers should be required to get a warrant before going through travellers’ mobile phones

Australian Border Force officials searched 822 travellers’ mobile phones in 2021, despite admitting it has no power to force arrivals to give them the passcode to their devices.

In January, Sydney software developer James told Guardian Australia that he and his partner were stopped on their return from Fiji by border force officials who asked them to write their phone passcodes on a piece of paper before taking the codes and their phones to another room to examine for half an hour. The phones were then returned and they were allowed to leave.

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