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,”



10 thoughts on “Canadians Are "Fair Game"

  1. Here’s a fascinating interview from the Guardian with the NSA Whistleblower
    This kid (young man actually, but a kid to me) has a head on his shoulders and the courage to speak out when it’s needed.
    He says: “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries.”
    “You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”
    He says “nothing good” is likely to happen to him. He hopes Hong Kong won’t deport him. Yet, “I do not expect to see home again, though that is what I want.”
    Another group of “whiz kids cyber warriors” with purple hair and jeans are preparing for cyberwar.
    Sort of makes you wonder why bother with FATCA when you can just hack into records with “Cyber Command’s” troop’s “geek-style creativity.”

    1. Related

  2. FATCA allows us to trap ourselves – much less trouble for the US, than actually having to do something.
    In today’s world, a person can never assume that there is any kind of privacy left on your computer, mobile device or cell phone. I know people find that hard to believe, as there are still people out there who make their banking password ‘password’, or ‘123456’. As we keep reiterating on all these sites – you’re not paranoid if they’re really after you.
    @Calgary411 – you gave me a much needed laugh. Love it!

    1. quote:
      Ronald Deibert: It is depressing. But at the same time, the fact that we are becoming aware of this — through whistleblowing, through leaks, through the fact that people are just up in arms about this — gives me great encouragement. We also have very strong privacy commissioners in Canada. I would very much like to see the reactions of people like Jennifer Stoddart (privacy commissioner of Canada) and so on.

  3. There’s some news from Canada’s Privacy Commissioner.
    There’s a proposal that Treasury Board will have to report every data breach to the Privacy Commissioner.
    In the Privacy Commissioner’s Annual Report, Ms. Stoddart wrote: an ever-evolving digital landscape with new threats in cyberspace means the law “conceived in another millennium, is no longer up to the task.”
    She’s sure right about that.
    In calling for stronger PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronics Data Act), she said “Stronger enforcement measures in PIPEDA would provide incentives for organizations to take their responsibilities more seriously in the first place and build in privacy protections up front, knowing that the financial consequences of breach under a stronger regime could be real and significant.”
    Bank responsibilities for privacy fall under PIPED, so so we want that to be as strong as possible. However, changes to privacy laws were introduced two years ago and are still in second reading.
    “Stronger enforcement measures in PIPEDA would provide incentives for organizations to take their responsibilities more seriously in the first place and build in privacy protections up front, knowing that the financial consequences of breach under a stronger regime could be real and significant.”
    The Privacy Commissioner has also issued a report, Fixing Leaky Taps: Raising the Bar on Privacy.
    I tweeted her asking Please turn off taps b4 IRS drowns Canada with FATCA.
    Ms. Stoddart also announced today the scope of information reportedly being collected by US raises “significant concerns” (You think?)
    She says she plans to contact fellow international data-protection authorities, who may share similar concerns about the information of their citizens, to discuss combining fact-finding efforts.
    If those contacts are the other four members (US, UK, New Zealand, Australia) of the “Five Eyes,” I’m not sure I’m reassured.

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