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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 @12:02PM (#45906981)

    That court case did nothing of the sort - it was a court case against a local US bank subsidiary asking for records of other subsidiaries in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

    The real problem is the coming US FATCA law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Account_Tax_Compliance_Act [wikipedia.org]

    This US law requires foreign banks to provide information about accounts held by Americans, or ELSE.

    Canada is not generally regarded as a tax haven - there is no bank secrecy here, no secret corporate ownership and Canada isn't a low-tax jurisdiction. Our taxes are higher than most of the USA.

    There is a Canada-US tax treaty, and generally speaking US citizens living in Canada don't have to pay tax to the USA since they get an IRS deduction for the taxes they pay to Canada (they don't get taxed twice on the same income).

    Under US law, all US citizens have to file with the IRS every year, even if they live in a foreign country and owe nothing in taxes.

    However, for a Canadian bank to provide information about US customers to the IRS (absent a crime or court order) violates Canadian privacy law. So Canadian banks are in a very difficult position:

    - comply with FATCA and break Canadian law
    - get permission from their US customers to hand over info to the IRS
    - don't do business with US citizens living in Canada (of which there are about a million)

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @12:16PM (#45907085)

    It's actually worse than just them rolling over.

    See, Canadian operations are firmly within the jurisdiction of the NSA. So moving out of country makes you more hackable, not less.

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