Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Patriot Act reality check and Canadian authorities' similar powers

I had the honour of being invited to speak to the Canadian Bar Association's Alberta branch earlier this week about cross-border privacy issues.
We have had to deal with them rather acutely in Nova Scotia since the passage of the Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (PIIDPA), which prompted me to take a closer look at the different regimes for access to personal information by law enforcement and national security types on both sides of the border.
Most people are surprised to learn that some of the most "problematic" provisions of the USA Patriot Act are replicated in Canadian law in the Anti-Terrorism Act. We just don't hear about it as much. People are also surprised to learn of huge amount of information sharing that takes place between agencies in Canada and their counterparts in the US.
For example, we have our equivalent of the FISA secret court in the form of designated judges of the Federal Court of Canada acting under the CSIS Act, who issue secret orders. Our National Defence Act allows for warrantless interception, for the purpose foreign intelligence, of private communications directed at foreign entities located outside of Canada. This is very similar to authorizations by the Attorney General of the United States under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Here's the presentation I gave:

1 comment:

Scott Huminski said...

U.S.A. State Sponsored Terror (rock music video) Released

Anti U.S. Police State Musician/activist releases his 5th rock video.

Television interview at: