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Canadian Government – “lost its moral compass”

A Canadian Samizdata Reader writes in to alert us about the state of privacy & civil liberties in Canada.

The Canadian Privacy Commissioner yesterday released a damning report of the Canadian federal government with respect to its approach to the privacy of the citizens of Canada. According to him, fundamental human rights are at stake and September 11th is being used as an excuse for the infringements. Frankly, as a Canadian, I have been consistently dismayed with Ottawa’s response to all matters related to September 11th.

There are articles in the major Canadian newspapers – including the National Post.

“The government is, quite simply, using Sept. 11 as an excuse for new collections and uses of personal information about all of us Canadians that cannot be justified by the requirements of anti-terrorism and that, indeed, have no place in a free and democratic society.”


Mr. Radwanski also took issue with proposals that would allow the government to monitor Internet activities and cellphone calls, stating: “I do not see any reason why e-mails should be subject to a lower standard of privacy protection than letters or phone calls.”


Mr. Radwanski’s complaints about anti-terror measures relate primarily to “function creep,” when information collected ostensibly to stop terrorists is subsequently used for a host of other purposes.

Additionally, you can go directly to the source, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

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