Thursday, October 09, 2008

SPP : "We're getting better all the time."

Stockwell Day, the RCMP, Bell Canada and Microsoft will be partnering on "a national cyber-security strategy that will seek to protect key infrastructure as well as Canadians' identities".
"A high-level security conference being hosted by the Conference Board of Canada" will take place on Nov 5 and 6th.
The Conference Board of Canada, you may recall, partnered with the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to launch the North American Future 2025 Project , "to help guide the ongoing Security and Prosperity Partnership". At their conference in Calgary last April their agenda noted : "the overriding future goal of North America is to achieve joint optimum utilization of the available water."

So you'll excuse me if I cast a jaundiced eye on whatever new plan to protect my "Canadian identity" they might be hosting this time round. One of the original objectives of the SPP was "improving the coordination of intelligence-sharing, cross-border law enforcement".

At least Canada's Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, has been invited this time and will be addressing the conference on "Balancing Privacy with Cyber Security".
In May there was a "Server in the Sky" meet-up in San Francisco to discuss the FBI's proposed shared database of biometric information - our fingerprints, palm prints, and iris scan data to be exchanged among the International Information Consortium of US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and eventually the EU. Ms Stoddart first heard about the conference by reading about it in the British press.

As Ms Stoddart said on CBC in response to that meeting in May : "Canada has a very weak 25 year old Privacy Act with no human rights standards built in to our agreements with other countries." Additionally she was alarmed by "the conflating of criminals and suspected terrorists", the lack of oversight of the biometric info once it passes to other countries, and the rise of "a surveillance society".

One of our partners in the International Information Consortium is already well on the way to becoming a surveillance society:
The Daily Mail via Statism Watch :
"Every person in Britain could have their internet history, email records and telephone calls tracked under a proposed £12 billion plan by ministers.
The system would see hundreds of hidden devices planted to tap into communications on the internet and via mobile phone providers.
And a national database would be created to store the information which officials say would help in the fight against terrorism and organised crime."
I thought we already had Facebook for that.

"In terms of Canadian participation [in Server in the Sky], 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."

David Black, manager of the RCMP's cyber infrastructure protection section, says of the Bell/Microsoft/RCMP plan for "the protection of critical cyber infrastructure and the convergence of technological and physical security", presumably to be shared in due course with the other members of the FBI's International Information Consortium :
"We're getting better all the time."

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