Of course, the first thing to say is that states are sovereign, including the United States of America, so in the comments that I've made in my opening remarks, I call on the Canadian government to take certain measures to protect the privacy of Canadians, first and foremost, in devising appropriate laws that protect the very sensitive information found in electronic devices—that's Canadian domestic law—and to the extent possible, in the pre-clearance agreement.
But at some point, a Canadian who wants to visit the United States either for tourism, business, or other reasons will come up against U.S. state authorities, and the U.S. is free to adopt the rules that are in their interest in order to protect their safety. That, apparently, means in part that U.S. border officials.... If you just set aside pre-clearance, if a Canadian wants to go to the United States and comes across a border officer, either inland at the border or at a U.S. airport, that person may be required to provide the password to their cellphone.
I don't think that is protective of privacy, but it is within the powers of the U.S. government to impose that rule. We may come into what that means in terms of a prudent approach by a Canadian who will face that situation, but you're now talking about U.S. laws and practices. The U.S. is competent and has the authority to impose these rules. I don't think they're good rules, but these are the rules that apparently will be imposed on travellers.
You're bringing in the private sector angle with your reference to the FCC changes and whether information collected by the U.S. government could be sold. I haven't analyzed this in any great detail. Certainly, following the executive order of President Trump that limited, if not eliminated, privacy protection for non-Americans, we were seized with, of course, concerns by Canadians. We looked at the situation of whether Canadians are protected. There are no laws to protect Canadians, but there are a number of administrative agreements that, until rescinded, do provide some protections. Among these administrative protections is an order made by then-president Obama that provides similar protections to non-Americans in regard to the activities of the NSA, particularly what the U.S. government does with information intercepted in the name of foreign intelligence.
I'm giving you the grande ligne of the rules that are applicable. There are still remaining administrative protections in the U.S. Of course, they are administrative protections and they could be rescinded tomorrow by the U.S. administration, but there are still, at this point, a number of administrative protections for Canadian citizens.