Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Tale of Eco-Surveillance

Ottawa Citizen June 4, 2014  Government orders federal departments to keep tabs on all demonstrations across country
"The federal government is expanding its surveillance of public activities to include all known demonstrations across the country, a move that collects information even on the most mundane of protests by Canadians.
The email requesting such information was sent out Tuesday by the Government Operations Centre in Ottawa to all federal departments.
“The Government Operations Centre is seeking your assistance in compiling a comprehensive listing of all known demonstrations which will occur either in your geographical area or that may touch on your mandate,” noted the email"

G&M Sept 14, 2014 Environmental extremism a rising threat to energy sector, RCMP warns
“Environmental ideologically motivated individuals including some who are aligned with a radical, criminal extremist ideology pose a clear and present criminal threat to Canada’s energy sector,” said the report, written in March 2011. Since then, the RCMP has held regular meetings with energy companies and federal officials to review potential threats to infrastructure
RCMP spokesman Greg Cox denied the force is targeting protesters or environmental groups in general

"In highly charged language that reflects the government’s hostility toward environmental activists, an RCMP intelligence assessment warns that foreign-funded groups are bent on blocking oil sands expansion and pipeline construction, and that the extremists in the movement are willing to resort to violence.
RCMP spokesman Sergeant Greg Cox insisted the Mounties do not conduct surveillance unless there is suspicion of criminal conduct. 
“As part of its law enforcement mandate the RCMP does have the requirement to identify and investigate criminal threats, including those to critical infrastructure and at public events,” Sgt. Cox said in an e-mailed statement. “There is no focus on environmental groups, but rather on the broader criminal threats to Canada’s critical infrastructure. The RCMP does not monitor any environmental protest group. Its mandate is to investigate individuals involved in criminality.”
... the report which is stamped “protected/Canadian eyes only” and is dated Jan. 24, 2014."

Global, March 17, 2015 CSIS helped government deal with Northern Gateway protests
"Canada’s spy agency helped senior federal officials figure out how to deal with protests expected last summer in response to resource and energy development issues – including a pivotal decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service prepared advice and briefing material for two June meetings of the deputy ministers’ committee on resources and energy"
"A B.C. climate change scientist says he got an "intimidating" call from RCMP because he had taken pictures on Burnaby Mountain near the site of a proposed [Trans Mountain] Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Tim Takaro, a health sciences professor at SFU, says he was having lunch in Tofino with his family on Wednesday when his daughter's [unlisted] cellphone rang. When she answered it, she was told it was the Burnaby RCMP calling and they were looking for her father."
Prof. Takaro works at SFU on Burnaby Mountain. He was taking pictures in a public park.
You can listen to his account at the link.

Some good news ...
Forum Research and VICE have a poll out today on plummeting support for Bill C-51 from 1370 online Canadian voters surveyed March 13 and 14th :
"When asked their approval of a number of specific provisions of bill C51, the majority disapprove of the Bill allowing security services to infiltrate and track environmentalists, First Nations and pipeline protesters (61%)"  
Support for tracking and infiltrating environmentalists, FN, and pipeline protesters came from Alberta (32%) and federal conservatives (56%)

Support for the overall stiffer legislation of C-51 (just under half of respondents) :
"is common to the oldest (62%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 62%), in Quebec (72%), among Conservative voters (84%), Bloquistes (76%), the least educated (74%), mothers of children under 18 (65%), Catholics (72%) and Evangelicals (82%)."


Boris said...

"His daughter's cell phone". Utterly despicable and terror inducing. I really have no words for how disgusting this is. Yet here we are, moving ever closer to our own Stasi, targetting climate scientists. We're off the charts now.

thwap said...

There needs to be a major house-cleaning in this country.

There's a lot of filth and garbage that's accumulated and we need to open up the windows and get out the stink.

Anonymous said...

"VANCOUVER–Danika Surm was rushing to a biology mid-term exam when two waiting police officers called out her name.
The 24-year-old nursing student at Vancouver's Langara College didn't have time to chat, but the police were insistent.
So was Surm. She was late; any chat would have to wait.
So the two officers waited outside until Surm was out of her exam. Then they started asking her questions.
Surm wasn't on the police radar because of anything she had done, but because she is a friend of a prominent anti-Olympics activist.
"I feel violated by the breach of my personal space and also disgusted that this is how they're choosing to spend their time, by trying to create fear," said Surm.
She was asked whether she knew if activist Chris Shaw, her friend, was planning anything illegal, a suggestion Surm dismissed as ludicrous.
Shaw, one of the city's most visible Games' opponents, is a neuroscientist and professor at the University of British Columbia. He has been steadily warning his friends they could be questioned by police because of their association with him, but he's surprised that they tracked down Surm, armed with information about her class schedule and her cell number."

Police sowing fear, Olympic Games dissenter says Oct. 2009

Alison said...

Anon@7:06 : I remember that one and a few others like it. The chill tactics for the Olympics were like a practice run for the G8/20, which in turn ...

Takuro's story, now a week old, received no media coverage afaik outside of CBC's On the Coast and some of the local papers. Apparently it isn't newsworthy or relevant to C-51's rebranding of Canadians citizens as potential impediments to the needs of a Texas pipeline company.

Thwap : A half-century of neo-liberalism means we require a considerable rethink to go with that really big broom. I imagine this comment falls under the RCMP's category of "individuals and/or organizations at odds with the status quo and the current distribution of power in society" and "grievances based upon notions/expectations regarding the environment and distribution of wealth".

Boris : Michael Geist has said telecoms cough up personal info of customers without a warrant 84% of the time.
A follow up CBC story has a Kinder Morgan spox promising to advise its security guards to say 'Is there anything we can help you with?' rather than 'Stop taking pictures.'
However last September a 71 year old woman taking pictures of their tank farm from public land for her presentation to NEB resulted in a visit from INSET 10 days later even though their intel must have made it obvious why she was doing it so I'm guessing its still all about the chill.

Boris said...

Alison, Takaro's story has gone around the world now. I two kinds of reaction to things like that. One, shock, disappointment and dismay at what is happening in Canada. Two, like yo've just told them in all seriousness that a secret cabal of space aliens control the earth from under the Pentagon.

What alarms me is that with something like C-51 the chill tactics will go beyond a sinister phone call or a "nice daughter you've got there, just know that we're watching you" to credit cards that don't work or door knocks in the middle of the night against the researchers who provide the data that challenge government narratives and drives the activism. Health and physical scientists I'm not sure are used to being marked the same way ye-old-leftwing-sociologists were, but here we are. Many I've met are nominally left or disinterested politics and activism.
As I've said before, the other bizarre thing about this is that oil/bitumen is an absurdly risky investment now with low oil prices and the push for affordable and scaled renewable energy. So all this fascist thuggery is is basically a desperate attempt to shore up the failing investent and development strategy the Cons fell for like chumps at a Casino because they can't bring themselves to listen to anyone's voice but their own.

Anonymous said...

If the RCMP called a uni prof's daughter in TO it would be front page on the Star.
Just sayin'.

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