Some poor sap drops his ipod in the airplane toilet and no amount of explaining prevents the plane from making an emergency stop in Ottawa followed by strong-arm and small-mind tactics of the local police etc etc etc.
The bit near the end when the ‘bomb scare’ is over, where he’s dealing with customs is equally disgusting. These morons who work for the government have too much leeway methinks.
Oop, now that I’ve posted this, they’ll put me on a watch list and I’ll get ’special treatment’ the next time I fly, I’ll bet …
It was me and a gruff, humorless customs official. He unpacked my luggage entirely, ran the contents of my wallet through a bomb sweep, and carefully examined all of my belongings. He then asked me to turn on my laptop. I did, and he began using it. I saw him open Spotlight and begin searching.
“Do you connect to the Internet on this laptop?”
“Have you downloaded and images?”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Do you have any pornography?”
I waited in total silence for about 10 minutes as he kept searching and searching, until I finally asked him, “What are you looking for?”
“Contraband,” he said without looking up at me.
“Child pornography, hate propaganda.”
“Child porn I can understand, that’s illegal. But hate propaganda is protected speech.”
Now he looked up. “What country do you think you’re in?”
“Oh, it’s illegal in Canada?”
“I honestly don’t know. But that doesn’t matter. I get to decide what goes in this country. Do you have a problem with that?”
I paused for a long time while I thought about what I should say to this. “Yes.”
“Yes, you do have a problem?”
“Yes, I do. If it’s illegal in Canada I’ll understand, but saying ‘I don’t want it in my country’ isn’t good enough when you’re a government official.”
I agree with the “if it’s illegal, it doesn’t come in.” and I believe hate propaganda is not allowed by law in Canada, same as child pornography. The customs agents though should know exactly what is and is not allowed, by law, and not say they are acting on their own personal opinions instead…