Wednesday, February 04, 2015

CIMS nostalgia

Whoa, imagine finding this again!  An old CBC broadcast of CBC's Keith Boag being given a walk through CIMS with commentary from Michael Geist and Garth Turner. I've posted it twice over the years only to have it taken down at source. We'll see if it stays up this time.

First broadcast over seven years ago on Nov.21 2007, the report shows CPC Direct Voter Contact manager Andrew Harris explaining CIMS to Boag. Mr. Harris left the Cons' employ a year later and founded his own voter contact firm, Picea Partners in 2010.

Billed as "Canada's first and leading provider of Telephone Town Hall meetings", Picea did a tele-townhall in 2010 for by-election Vaughan candidate Julian Fantino, hosted by Senator Mike Duffy. They've also worked with Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC party, and more recently James Moore and Peter Kent. The governments of Canada, Alberta, and New Brunswick are listed as clients.

On their North American direct marketing and sales page, Picea boasts of "25 billion records from hundreds of different sources" :
"We gather data from real estate and income tax assessments, voter registration, hydro & gas connections, bill processors, and other sources before we output our lists to ensure quality and accuracy for your campaign."
Their "wide variety of targeting options" includes "Age, Estimated Household Income, Marital Status, Gender, Home Value, Ethnicity, and more".


"you can export data out of CIMS, load it into NationBuilder, interact with people, and then load that data back into CIMS"
the Cons might have actually built that "political super-weapon" they bragged about in the last election.

h/t Waterbaby for new link to CIMS broadcast.


the salamander said...

.. thanks for ruining my day.. depressing me..
OK .. not your fault.. not at all..
But consider the reality here...

The so called 'Conservative Party' has all that data on us piled into CIMS and The Harper Government (which is the same entity) has everything else.. ie what we had for breakfast or bought for dinner this weekend .. the dirt or data can flow back and forth via the PMO unsanitary septic think tanks and sewer system.. There's a pipe connecting the RCMP, one leading back and forth to Ray Novak, another pumping to n from Jenni Byrne.. various sewage lines to Joe Oliver, in case any of us have donated to bird refuges or environment or read books on nature..

They call this Nation Builder eh ?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is all a bit unnerving isn't it?

If a political party has access to all of this, and the political party is not subject to any kind of meaningful disclosure requirements, then it really makes you wonder whether the idea of privacy even exists.

Anonymous said...

Holly Stick here:

Did you mean to say Manning Centre has courses on using Navigator or should that be NationBuilder?

There is news about Navigator and Randy Dawson today, helping Danielle Smith, former WRP leader, now PC Prentice cheerleader:

Alison said...

Thanks, Holly Stick, for this - typo corrected - plus your earlier update re MHF. At least the bio under her newest editorials mentions she's working for a CAPP astroturfer.
Shorter MHF : Universities' divestment from tarsands is so ineffective I'm having to write a whole column in the G&M explaining how ineffective they are, and btw, where does your funding come from?

Anon : Yes.

Salamander : Put it together with 1)CSEC using NSA and GCHQ databases to search 15 to 20 million metadata per day and then targeting profiles linking FB, Gmail, pix, and
2)the new unaccountability of CSIS under the gov's proposed anti-terrorism bill, and
3)the increasing blurring of lines between Harper gov and Con Party and

yes, we have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Trudeau will support proposed anti-terror bill

As they promised before they'd even read the thing, "the Liberals will support the legislation even if the Conservatives don’t agree to the amendments, Trudeau said"

Alison said...

Anon@12:38 : They always do.

Anonymous said...

Holly - It's interesting about the MHF piece. I tweeted to someone that she was in that PR group, learned later that the introduction telling of her and Charest's connection was there; and I can't recall if that intro was there from the beginning or added later. I might have missed it in the first place, or some twitter-reading G&M person might have added it later

Anonymous said...

Holly here:

Ethan Cox pulls no punches about MHF & Charest & their astroturf group:

Alison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

For anyone wondering what Hollystick and I are on about, last July I wrote about Martha Hall Findlay being a spokesey for CAPP-backed Partnership for Resource Trade and its website Power of Canada [] and how the G&M did not mentioning this when they ran her editorial in support of the Northern Gateway pipeline.
Insider tarsands astroturf - Power of Canada.

Hollystick left a link to a great piece published on Ricochet today on same.
Liberal heavy hitters trade the public interest for the oil interest

HollyStick : I noticed G&M started adding her association with Partnership for Resource Trade to her bio last September when she teamed up with Charest..

Beijing York said...

I don't know about the other data sources but back in the day when I worked for the Feds it was illegal to have access to any Canadian's tax files including income tax assessments. In administrating tax credits, we worked closely with RevCan (then CRA) and had to have top secret security clearance to work on those files. How can a private firm buy that highly confidential information? The only other data I know of that was as highly protected were individual health records.

Anonymous said...

1.Some of the tax files would be discernible/calculable through property assessments+purchase price. Meta-data profiling could probably eventually map an individual to the point where an expected yearly gross income could be - to what level of precision I don't know - be inferred from the overall mapping. Likely only including reported incomes and not unreported.

2.The National Change of Address data set is a component of Picea's data-profiling. Curiously, the Canada Post website has this recent change to the NCOA licensee program:

"Please be advised that, effective January 1, 2014, Canada Post will no longer permit the distribution of the raw NCOA database outside of Canada. International mailers and service providers will still be able to process Canadian NCOA data; however, all processing will have to be done on Canadian soil. Mailers should contact their mail service provider to determine if and how they are impacted by these changes. Canada Post has been working with licensees since late 2012 to help them adapt to the changes and to mitigate any impact to mailers."

Not too far of a stretch to infer that a massive data mining operation was undertaken sometime in 2012. It's a little too convenient that with all the reports of American pollsters working on the 2011 campaign that data exports wouldn't have happened, neh?

Quite the nefarious business

Anonymous said...

Looking at the application process for licensing, I really have to wonder if it would be at all possible to get NCOA applications through FOIA?

Anonymous said...

BeijingYork re access to individual health records

BC in Aug 2013
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - The personal information of about 16,000 patients of a medical-lab service in Kamloops, B.C., has gone missing, says the company's president...

BC in March 2012
"B.C.'s Health Ministry must improve privacy controls following three massive data breaches involving the personal records of millions of British Columbians, a report from the province's privacy commissioner concludes.

The privacy breaches came to light last year when then-health minster Margaret McDiarmid revealed seven ministry employees had been fired or suspended for allegedly passing the personal health records of millions of British Columbians to contracted researchers on unencrypted computer memory sticks and flash drives."

Alberta in Jan 2014
Laptop stolen with health information of 620,000 Albertans
"A laptop with the unencrypted personal health information of 620,000 Albertans was stolen last September, Health Minister Fred Horne announced Wednesday.

The laptop contained the names, dates of birth, provincial health card numbers, billing codes and diagnostic codes of the individuals seen at Medicentres between May 2, 2011, and Sept. 10, 2013."

4 other cases of stolen health data in Alberta:

There are many more examples.

the salamander said...

.. bottom line ..
there is Zero verifiable seperation
between Harper's CIMS election data
& whatever the hell Harper sanctioned spies
are rooting through on us..
all funded on the taxpayers dime ..

we do not know who they are..
but they know who we are
beyond our wildest fears

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