FATCA: A Tool of The Electronic Surveillance State

Jim Jatras at Repeal FATCA has a great new article out which says what most of us surveillancebelieve. FATCA: A Tool of the Electronic Surveillance State.

I’m too FATCAed out tonight to read it in detail, but I wanted to post it for others to see. It is a good companion to Hazy’s Elephant In The Room. Neither of them are what any of us should be reading shortly before bedtime!

Canadians Are “Fair Game”

Canadians Are Not Safe from US Surveillance.

Toronto Star asks:

Think there’s a Canadian border between you and the U.S. government when it comes to online surveillance?

Think again, Canada. All your digital fingerprints are every bit as exposed to the watchful eyes of Big American Brother as those of our stateside cyber spyneighbours — and even more vulnerable, according to one of Canada’s leading cyber-researchers.

“There is no border. The way telecommunication traffic is routed in North America, the fact of the matter is about 90 per cent of Canadian traffic — no one really knows the exact number — is routed through the United States,” Ronald Deibert, director of University of Toronto Citizen Lab told the Toronto Star.

“Internet exchange points are critical — this is where traffic is passed between companies — and we have only two Internet exchange points in Canada . . . As a consequence, even an email sent within the city of Toronto most likely would transit to Chicago before being routed back to Toronto.

”Along the way, your Canadian data is subsumed through “filters and checkpoints, shared with third parties, with law enforcement and of course intelligence agencies that operate in the shadows,” he said.

As if that’s not enough, Mr. Delbert says Canadians are “fair game” because we’re foreign citizens.

“Let’s not forget, Canadians are ‘foreign citizens’ by the American definition. So we’re fair game when it comes to eavesdropping, should they want to do so,”

So, for FATCA, FBAR and all the other Fs the Americans want to throw at us, we’re “US persons.”: For surveillance, we are “foreign citizens. That makes us “fair game” all around.

Canada’s Privacy Watchdogs Are Silent on this.

BC Civil Liberties Association, in contrast, is outspoken:

“The ramifications of this are so vast it is hard to even know where to begin,” she said. “We’re getting to the place, honestly, where it’s ludicrous to talk about paranoia. There are no [conspiracy] theories, there are only facts.”

Micheal Vonn recounted how the U.S. government devotes “special attention” to Canada on account of the border it shares with the United States.

“This is not targeted surveillance, where there is a reason to be suspicious about something and so you look into x, y, and z,” she said. “‘This is population-based dragnet surveillance.”

“Population-based dragnet surveillance.” I think we could also apply that to FATCA.

And, what do you think of this quote?

“They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,”