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Responding to the Crisis in Canadian Telecommunications by Requesting All Records Containing Your Personal Information

n-ONLINE-PRIVACY-largeChristopher Parsons, The Citizen Lab – On April 29, 2014 the Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Chantal Bernier, revealed that Canadian telecommunications companies have disclosed enormous volumes of information to state agencies. These agencies can include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canadian Border Services Agency, as well as provincial and municipal authorities. Commissioner Bernier’s disclosure followed on news that federal agencies such as the Canadian Border Services Agency requested access to Canadians’ subscriber data over 19 thousand times in a year, as well as the refusal of Canadian telecommunications companies to publicly disclose how, why, and how often they disclose information to state agencies.

This post argues that Canadians are not powerless. They can use existing laws to try and learn whether their communications companies are disclosing their personal information to state agencies. I begin by explaining why Canadians have a legal right to compel companies to disclose the information that they generate and collect about Canadians. I then provide a template letter that Canadians can fill in and issue to the telecommunications companies providing them with service, as well as some of the contact information for major Canadian telecommunications companies. Finally, I’ll provide a few tips on what to do if companies refuse to respond to your requests and conclude by explaining why it’s so important that Canadians send these demands to companies providing them with phone, wireless, and internet service.

Learn how to file a request of access to information here

No Secret Spying!

Openmedia.ca – According to online surveillance expert Ron Deibert, a secretive Canadian government agency is collecting our sensitive private information, giving them the power to “pinpoint not only who you are, but with whom you meet, with what frequency and duration, and at which locations.”

The key agency collecting our sensitive information is called the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), which the Globe And Mail describes as an “ultrasecretive Canadian electronic-eavesdropping agency”.

This is important: We need to know what private data is being collected and stored, and why.

Even the government’s own Privacy Commissioner’s Office has ominously stated, “we know very little specific information at this point, but we want to find out more”.

We need to use this moment—when privacy issues are in the spotlight—to get answers. Call on the government to stop this secretive spying scheme, and to tell Canadians exactly what’s going on. We deserve to know

Please sign the online petition and share widely!

Stop Secret Trials – Statement Against Security Certificates

The_Secret_Trial_5_4We have grave concerns regarding the continued use of sections 9, 76-87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allow for the imprisonment in Canada of refugees and permanent residents under the authority of a “Security Certificate”.

We believe that the existing Security Certificate process is undemocratic; violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and violates fundamental human rights, to which the government of Canada has committed itself through the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Convention on Torture.

Accordingly, we demand that the Security Certificate process be abolished.

For those currently detained under security certificates, we demand:

• That their certificates be removed, and, if any case against them actually exists, that they be allowed to defend themselves in open, fair and independent trials with full disclosure of the case against them.

• That they not be deported.

Sign the statement now!

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