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Canada Government Privacy Transportation

Canadian Government Backs Down On Airport Recording 36

New submitter ryanakca writes "In a followup to a story we discussed on Sunday, Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has ordered a halt to the installation of eavesdropping equipment at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport until a privacy review could be completed. Although 'similar audio-video equipment has been operating at other Canadian airports and ports of entry for "many years,"' the Canadian Border Safety Agency failed to complete the Privacy Commissioner's required 'privacy impact assessment' before the Ottawa airport installation."
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Canadian Government Backs Down On Airport Recording

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  • by masteva ( 996554 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:10PM (#40390087)

    Hurray! So instead of putting them in now, the government will get a report done, spin it so it benefits them, THEN get them installed anyway but this time with some publicity of being "good for security and for the country"! Give me a break.

    • by michaelwigle ( 822387 ) <> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:22PM (#40390247) Homepage

      "While a completed (privacy impact assessment) is not a requirement that prevents the CBSA from continuing with AV monitoring and recording, it will provide us with additional information concerning how we can strengthen current practices and continue to evolve our operations," Nadon said.

      Nope, it's install and use regardless of the report...

      • Frankly I could care less if they are recording me in a public venue. I'll just carry my camera and record them right back. (The iPhone 4 has a 720p camera right? Maybe it's time to invest in one.)

    • It's the American way! :)
      For the humor impaired -- I know the difference between the US and Canada.
      • The difference between US Customs & Border Protection and the Canadian Border Safety Agency is that the primary purpose of the CBP is to inconvenience Americans. The CBSA's purpose, on the other hand, is to inconvenience Americans.
      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        In Canada they pay extra for terms like Long live free Quebec, De Gaulle, Long live Montreal, Quebec sovereignty, The October Crisis and any hint of a new Quebec Liberation Front.
  • What's the point of spying on people if you're not using one of those nudovision contraptions. Silly Canadians.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:26PM (#40390299)

    The summary says "the Canadian Border Safety Agency failed to complete the Privacy Commissioner's required 'privacy impact assessment'". Note the use of the word "required". So if it was required and nobody did it, somebody broke a rule. Who's going to be accountable for that and what will their punishment be?

    Surely it wouldn't be no punishment since that would just be sending a message that rules can be ignored and nobody will be held accountable.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Some junior person will get a slap on the wrist and probably be asked to copy/paste stuff about polar bears into the report.
    • You think by posting as an AC you're safe? They've got a camera *and* a mic just behind you.

      Don't criticize the government. Only terrorists criticize the government.

  • No joke, dead serious---Here in the US, they scan you again if you sneeze....really-- I sneezed, looked up, and all these TSA agents were looking at me like I killed someone. I'm like crap! I probably have a booger! I wiped my nose and turns out nothing! Maybe five minutes, later 5 TSA agents said I was selected for random re-screening. WTF!!! But who knows...maybe they just liked my crotch...
    • No joke, dead serious---Here in the US, they scan you again if you sneeze....really-- I sneezed, looked up, and all these TSA agents were looking at me like I killed someone...

      I believe you.

      My dog sneezes when it gets nervous. Personally, I'll yawn almost compulsively before I'm about to go on stage and give a public performance (It's because I'm always afraid that I'll yawn during my performance).

      I don't think my dog or myself are typical, but I wouldn't be surprised if TSA agents weren't trained to look these kinds of tell-tale signs of nervousness for the few of us that have these reactions. The sneezing could also be a tell-tale sign for putting pepper all over yourself, in t

  • OK, headline says "Canadian Government Backs Down On Airport Recording"
    Summary says "Canadian Government Halts Airport's installation of recording equipment due to failure of due process"
    Article says "Canadian Government is a stickler for red tape, but doesn't care about the results"

  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:43PM (#40390533) Homepage

    "until a privacy review could be completed"

    Which is another way of saying until the uproar dies down so we can sneak it in later without objection.

  • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:58PM (#40390765) Journal

    This is the government that wanted anyone authorized by the Minister (Minister Vic "You-support-this-spying-bill-(which-I-Haven't-Read)-or-you-support-child-pornographers" Toews), someone such as Pierre Poutine, to scour telecommunication records of anyone they deem worthy (watch out opposition MPs - the old election fraud scams need updating).

    They're just worried about Conservative MPs using the airport on a weekly basis. After all, their privacy is paramount, such as the same Minister being so upset and the gov't going on a witch hunt when public court records were posted to VikiLeaks that showed this minister knocked up his baby sitter, left his wife & children, and didn't pay proper support payments.

    Worst government in Canada's history; an illegitimate regime aquiring majority status through lies & election fraud: a coup in other words. A silent one. Like Quebec's Quiet Revolution but on a national scale, and malevolent.

    /end rant

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @04:59PM (#40390785)

    The problem was the airport they chose to do it at.

    Instead of some major or not-so-major one, they chose to use Ottawa airport. Which of course is frequented by all the politicians who may be having well, inflight meetings. You can bet having them listened to and recorded will probably make them uneasy and thus quash it.

    Last thing they need is for someone to leak out juicy details about meetings with industry following legislation.

    After all, Vic Toews has decided it would be better to have child pornographers than have their precious "constituent" meeting details leaked.

  • Privacy Impact Assessment. Sounds like annoying red tape that will tie up the government for an inconsequential amount of time.
    • Very very common in all healthcare projects here in Canada. A great way to put the brakes on a few initiatives or scare doctors into submission.

      It certainly is employing a lot of hacks. I've worked with a couple of great Privacy Officers, but also a couple of dozen who don't have a clue. Lots of money to make in that field. Especially in Ontario.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm almost certain they've listened in on lineups using microphones or parabolic microphones for a very long time. The change now is probably due to automation of the process. A computer can only be so accurate and the audio needs to be recorded for review by an officer. Maybe I'm wrong but they were legal to use listening devices - just not record?

    My experience:
    I was heading out on a student trip from Edmonton to Japan in 1988 or so. I whispered under my breath to my friend in the security line that "I ho

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was interesting that when the program was first revealed the justification was to help monitor gang activity in the airports among the cargo and luggage handlers. But the deployment is in the passenger spaces. Then we get informed that they are doing the same at border crossings. Any real terrorist or criminal would be smart enough to use code phrases to communicate in a public area where they might be monitored -- anybody ever watch TV? So what is the real objective? Will we be expected to chant the pra

  • This is just a great way to increase revenue in airports. Follow me on this

    Let the TSA hire "models" (both male and female) in screening roles.

    Let passengers opt out, and for an additional charge, they can PICK their groper.

    "Hi, here's $20, can the hot brunette please fondle my business? I swear I don't have anything illegal, but (s)he really needs to check thoroughly. Thanks"

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus