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Canada Quietly Offering Sanctuary To Data From the US 184

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the privacy-and-poutine-eh dept.
davecb writes "The Toronto Star's lead article today is Canada courting U.S. web giants in wake of NSA spy scandal, an effort to convince them their customer data is safer here. This follows related moves like Cisco moving R&D to Toronto. Industry Canada will neither confirm nor deny that European and U.S. companies are negotiating to move confidential data away from the U.S. This critically depends on recent blocking legislation to get around cases like U.S. v. Bank of Nova Scotia, where U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records to the U.S. Contrary to Canadian law, you understand ..."
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Canada Quietly Offering Sanctuary To Data From the US

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 09, 2014 @11:50AM (#45906869)

    They've been doing intelligence cooperation with the US for ages, why would they be any more trustworthy?

  • Meaningless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @11:51AM (#45906879) Homepage Journal

    This is completely meaningless as long as any data has to traverse any network in the US. For that matter, I highly doubt that Canada or any other US ally won't actually cooperate with the NSA. This is nothing but a marketing move on Canada's part.

  • Re:Meaningless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:08PM (#45907025)

    Its all about the perception of their customers. US territory is tainted in the eyes of the world now.

  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:11PM (#45907037)
    Yeah, I'm Canadian. Canada has a pretty good "sharing" relationship with the US. It's a safe bet that if data is stored here we're pretty much just going to hand it to any US government org. that asks for it. I'd be willing to bet this is a scheme cooked up by the NSA because they know Canada will just roll over and hand the info back to them so they can just continue on business as usual. We're not really the confrontational types up here.
  • by alexhs (877055) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:11PM (#45907045) Homepage Journal

    American citizens, come and host your data on canadian soil !
    Therefore, it will technically be foreign data.
    Therefore, the NSA will be able to spy on it without trespassing any law regulating spying on its own citizens.
    Thanks for your cooperation.

  • by MouseR (3264) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:14PM (#45907073) Homepage

    I think it would be worse for US to store their data in Canada because at that point, NSA is just spying on another country rather than in their own turf. Something that is in high scrutiny at the moment.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:19PM (#45907115) Homepage
    The argument is premised on the idea that Americas largest multinational corporations are somehow so divorced from the legislative and governance process of the United States as to need to seek asylum in a foreign country.

    companies only care about customer data if consumer market research data indicates negative shifts in earnings as a result of their inability to assauage customers of the validity, sanctity and security of their data. A prime example is the Target scandal recently. the cost to shore up security was probably much greater than the cost to issue apologies in the media. Target further mitigated the impact by using weasel words like "may have" or "possibly" when describing the outcome of their data breech. This in turn led the financial companies beholden to the cardholders to issue, of course, similar statements with a key advisory to "watch" your credit card, not to replace it which while effective would have been vastly more expensive for the financial company.

    when companies face any real backlash from their customers, they legislate their way around it through the appropriate channels. AT&T demanded immunity from Bush wiretapping and received it. had they cared about your data, they would have fought the government to eliminate warrantless surveillance of this kind. But the law is ever on their side as they are the ones who craft it. Verizon lobbied extensively for stricter laws protecting arbitration clauses. They did it in response to a string of class action lawsuits related to overbilling customers. had they cared about the letter of the law, they would have made major changes and improvements to their billing system that prevented the plaintiffs from suffering the ridiculous mischarges in the first place.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:24PM (#45907161) Homepage

    Thank you

    Thank you kindly.

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:47PM (#45907451)

    I think it would be worse for US to store their data in Canada because at that point, NSA is just spying on another country rather than in their own turf. Something that is in high scrutiny at the moment.

    Excellant point. Data stored abroad would not necessarily be afforded the same legal protections as data stored in the US. Even given the recent revelations companies should take that into consideration as well.

  • by scamper_22 (1073470) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @01:31PM (#45907953)

    As a Canadian, I always find our ability to blame everything on America quite interesting.

    Anything that is not some liberal utopian ideal is BECAUSE AMERICA.

    We talk about drug laws in Canada... and it's those damn Americans who force us into the war on drugs. Of course Canada's history isn't full of old conservative white folks who feared Chinese workers and their opium.

    We talk about sexuality and its the damn American influence that prevents us from being a nudist paradise.
    We don't have any history of conservatism or banning Madonna for too much sexuality. All that must come from the US.

    We talk of wars and it's always those damn Americans and their war machine. No hint of Canada's history of war.

    And yes, when it comes to spying or betraying its own citizens... it's always those darn Americans. Canada didn't have anything to do with Japanese internment because Canada has human rights. The US doesn't. Canada has never had to spy on its citizens. Surely Canada didn't spy on the various Quebec separatist movement historically.

    At the end of the day, it's as if people don't realize that historically Canada and the USA are very similar. Both led by old Europeans. Sure there are differences. And much has changed post WW2. But still remarkably the same.

  • by mdielmann (514750) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @02:50PM (#45909143) Homepage Journal

    The difference is, when your data is stored in the US, the US can pass laws saying that the data has to be handed over, and the companies holding it for you can't tell you. If it's in Canada, there are two options.

    First, Canada rolls over and requires the data be sent to the US. Of course, we don't currently have laws to require that, or for us to be silent about it if it does happen. Granted, we have the notwithstanding clause [wikipedia.org], which allows plenty of leeway, but not so much that they can emplace gag orders or warrantless searches.

    Second, the Canadian company holding your data knowingly and actively does all it can to stop the unlawful access of your data, and responds if there are attempted breaches. Note that this will not and can not happen in the US as things currently stand.

    At worst, it will be no different from having your data in the US. At best, you may have actual corporate security.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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