Friday, December 10, 2010

My people. My enemy.

The latest installment of the Harper party "Father Knows Best" endless onslaught to pull the chain on the rights guaranteed with Canadian citizenship.

The Harper government is bracing for a backlash over a border security agreement it is negotiating with the United States, anticipating it will spark worries about eroding sovereignty and privacy rights, a document obtained by The Globe and Mail shows.
Yes, and here's a little kicker.
“The Canadian public may underestimate the security threat to Canada,” the communication plan says.
On the other hand (that is "economist-speak") the threat to the United States is a dilemma of that country's own making. Not necessarily something any other country would be wise to buy into.

Of course, it would be really handy if the Harper hillbillies in Ottawa would take the time to articulate their assessment, real or imagined, of the "security threat" we are all supposedly underestimating. So far all we've ever seen or heard from the mandarins of the security establishment is paranoid musings of how grassroots defence of personal freedom gets in the way of creating a more powerful security establishment.

Actually, I got ahead of myself. They have clearly identified the threats to their security.

The communication strategy labels [federal privacy commissioner] Ms. [Jennifer] Stoddart as a “high risk” stakeholder who will “raise concerns re: information sharing and protecting private information.” It also anticipates criticism from civil rights groups and others such as Council of Canadians chairwoman Maude Barlow.
Got that? High risk. An officer of parliament.
Salient point:

The Canadian government is refusing to discuss the negotiations ...
You may begin to understand the problem. There is a threat, but they won't tell you what it is, except to tell you that the people appointed to protect the rights and privacy of citizens are a part of that threat. OK. Let's discuss it for them. In keeping with the spirit of the approaching season.
Greg has more.


Greg said...

And remember: 350 000 vehicular deaths in the U.S. in the last ten years.

About 3500 from terrorism.

Who, exactly, is underestimating what?

deBeauxOs said...

Josée Legault has a brilliant piece about the phenom of elected officials who feel deceived and persecuted by their constituency.

It's worth recalling Brecht's observation: "The people have lost the confidence of the government; the government has decided to dissolve the people, and to appoint another one."

Alison said...

Great quote from Brecht.

I can't imagine what Stoddart's working conditions must be like.

In 2oo8 the FBI convened a meeting between the US, Canada, UK, and Australia to discuss setting up a shared data base of biometric data.
Server in the Sky.
Anyway they didn't bother to advise Canada's Privacy Commissioner of the meeting and she read about it afterwards in The Guardian.

Stoddart has been very tough about sharing biometric data :
"In terms of Canadian participation, our citizens rightfully expect that their personal information remains safeguarded and understandably, could be reluctant to see that information freely shared with two countries that were ranked near the bottom of Privacy International’s ratings of privacy protection around the world."

btw The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has a blog.

kootcoot said...

There is a very real "security threat" a threat to my personal security or the security of my person. That is why I keep as much distance as possible between myself and members of the RCMP, the VPD and the Toronto Police and other similar organizations!