Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canadian Government Backs Down On Airport Recording

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the too-many-complaints-about-the-maple-leafs dept.

Canada 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."

cancel ×

36 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wait for report... THEN install! (5, Insightful)

masteva (996554) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (4, Informative)

michaelwigle (822387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390247)

FTA:

"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...

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390391)

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.)

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40390425)

I care about being recorded in a public venue too! I wish I cared less about it than I do.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40396071)

FTA:

"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...

Wrong. The Canadian agency HAS to fulfill the impact assessment before the system goes live. Since one was never requested or conducted, it's been shut down until one is completed. The assesment itself is not going to block anything, that's not its purpose. It's there to provide information to Parliment who can either choose to go forward as-is, scrap it completely, or make modifications.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (1)

OldGunner (2576825) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390251)

It's the American way! :)
For the humor impaired -- I know the difference between the US and Canada.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40390331)

I don't think there's a difference anymore.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40390361)

Our eavesdroppers are bilingual.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40398559)

If America did not eavesdrop, then Canada WOULD HAVE to eavesdrop, just to be different!

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390953)

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.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40392337)

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.

Re:Wait for report... THEN install! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40394899)

That's not what a "Privacy Impact Assessment" is. It isn't a report to determine whether collecting the data is a good idea or not. It's the identification of the information acquired, it's use, it's storage, and the risks associated with the government retaining that data and how those risks are mitigated.

It really has nothing to do with the project going ahead or not, it's simply the identification, mitigation, and acceptance of risks.

It's incredibly counter intuitive to "spin" a PIA.

What's the point? (3, Funny)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390287)

What's the point of spying on people if you're not using one of those nudovision contraptions. Silly Canadians.

so who's accountable? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:so who's accountable? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390411)

Some junior person will get a slap on the wrist and probably be asked to copy/paste stuff about polar bears into the report.

Re:so who's accountable? (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40391711)

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.

My airport experience... (2)

Terracotta122 (2653543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390367)

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...

Re:My airport experience... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40391105)

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 the mistaken belief that the pepper might defeat the drug-sniffing dogs.

Headline fail.... (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390473)

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"

until a privacy review could be completed (2)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390533)

"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.

Just cleaning up his image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40390541)

So Vic Toews has been kicking around a lot in the news... that internet surveillance thing he's been pushing hasn't exactly been winning him a lot of fans (at least any fans that completely don't understand the internet).

$50 says this is him trying to clean up his image.

$100 says that as soon as his image is "clean" and he's heralded as the pinnacle of people's rights, he'll push through something far worse than what we've seen before.

$200 says it's right after an election that puts him where he wants to be, and very far away from another election that would otherwise oust him for doing as such.

This gov't doesn't care about (our) privacy (4, Insightful)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#40390765)

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

Re:This gov't doesn't care about (our) privacy (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40391019)

So the Conservatives staged a coup by forcing the left-wing parties to push them into an election that no-one other than the left-wing politicians actually wanted?

They're even more cunning than we thought!

Re:This gov't doesn't care about (our) privacy (4, Informative)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#40391167)

So the Conservatives staged a coup by forcing the left-wing parties to push them into an election that no-one other than the left-wing politicians actually wanted?

They're even more cunning than we thought!

The election was forced because Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken ruled that Bev Oda, a minister of the Crown, and, separately, the Cabinet itself could both possibly be in contempt of parliament,[10] the latter for its ongoing refusal to meet opposition requests for details of proposed bills and their cost estimates.[11] [wikipedia.org]

SO, the Conservatives wouldn't disclose the budget costs, the Conservative Speaker found that they were possibly in Contempt on two issues.

But you're okay with that [wikipedia.org] apparently. "Transparency and accountability for thee, but not for me": CPC's unspoken slogan.

PS, if you think the Liberal Party is "left-wing" you're out of your mind. They're mildly corporatist but wise enough to see which way the wind blows and change accordingly. Unlike the current ideologues...

Oh, and you're also wrong in that the "left-wing" parties did not want an election, but the Conservatives forced it by being in Contempt - you know, the only crime (Contempt of Court) where you can get indefinite time behind bars.

Re:This gov't doesn't care about (our) privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40393811)

If I had "retard" mod points to spend, you'd get 'em.

It's getting increasingly difficult to 'create your own reality' these days. The divide between hard facts and the warm-fuzzy make-believe reality some choose to hide in grows ever wider.

People seeking knowledge are growing stronger and wiser, while those who reject knowledge are getting more comically out of touch every day.

The mistake was the airport chosen... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

This (1)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40391537)

... because the logical conclusion is without continuous recording, the airport—and eventually the entire country—will be overrun with child pornographers.

I mean, look at what happened over the last 145 years: thousands, if not millions, of child pornographers have been rattling at the gates of poor Canada, trying to get in. Why do you hate Canada?

No, I say let them film, x-ray, record, and take DNA samples of every traveller. Because if they don't, then someone's child, perhaps my own, will get pornographized. It is an unescapable fact.

Re:This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40392045)

.

No, I say let them film, x-ray, record, and take DNA samples of every traveller. Because if they don't, then someone's child, perhaps my own, will get pornographized. It is an unescapable fact.

You are an idiot. They are passing our yellow stars in the other queue. You better gets yours before the supply is exhausted. Wear it with pride as you are led to the "showers" before your flight.

Re:The mistake was the airport chosen... (1)

Jazari (2006634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40392009)

No, it's been going on at many airports: "Similar audio-video equipment has been operating at other Canadian airports and ports of entry for "many years," according to the CBSA" ( http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Toews+orders+airport+eavesdropping+pending+privacy+review/6807247/story.html [calgaryherald.com] )

Re:The mistake was the airport chosen... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40394551)

No, it's been going on at many airports: "Similar audio-video equipment has been operating at other Canadian airports and ports of entry for "many years," according to the CBSA" ( http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Toews+orders+airport+eavesdropping+pending+privacy+review/6807247/story.html [calgaryherald.com] )

Another way to look at it is it was working fine until it was revealed that Ottawa airport had 'em, then it blows up and becomes a big deal.

If they didn't mention it, the politicians wouldn't care. But now it's THEIR conversations being spied on, it's a Very Big Deal(tm).

Unless it affects a politician, nothing gets done. Ever notice the internet spy bill only was pulled off after Vikileaks started up and how the Tories made a big deal that it was some Liberal staffer running it? And how it was practically a witch hunt even though all the records were already public - the only "unethical" thing was someone pointing it out. Nothing illegal, nothing classified, sealed, or hidden. It was just sitting on the court website in relative obscurity.

More Acronyms (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#40391281)

Privacy Impact Assessment. Sounds like annoying red tape that will tie up the government for an inconsequential amount of time.

Re:More Acronyms (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40392765)

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.

They've had this since 1989... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40391467)

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 hoped my baby brother hadn't put his squirt gun in my luggage". I was at least 50 feet back from the nearest security agent. As I got closer to the front of the line a female officer approached me and warned me not to talk about guns in the security line and that I was almost removed from the student trip. The only explanation that made sense to me at the time was that they had installed microphones in the ceiling or were using a parabolic microphone.
    There are other possible explanations ( like someone tattling on me.. and it was my classmates in line). I pondered it for quite a while at the time and the most plausible explanation to me at the time were microphones. 9/11 wasn't an issue but the Air India bombing had just occurred a few years earlier.

What is the real objective? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40391861)

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 praises of dear leader? Or participate in a two minute hate? Only nice part of a surveillance society is that they drown in data -- ask Eric Honecker how well that worked? Meanwhile, welcome to the Peoples Republic of Harperland...

From what I see ... (1)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40393647)

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"

What is there to terrorize in Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40395887)

A terrorist has just flew a plane into Canada's biggest Tim Horton's restaurant! Residents all over the nation rests timbits in rivers in honor of the donuts that were lost. In loving memory of decaf double-double 1967 - 2012.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?