Perimeter Security Deal Threatens Canadians’ Privacy, Warns Security Expert

Media Release
For Immediate Release
September 15, 2011

OTTAWA- The Rideau Institute has released a new report that provides a critique of the recently announced Shared Vision Declaration between Canada and the United States.

The report, called Shared Vision or Myopia: The Politics of Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness and written by former Foreign Service officer and CIA liaison Gar Pardy, examines the threat to the privacy of Canadians’ personal information posed by this new initiative.

“The Shared Vision approach is the latest in a series of bilateral initiatives since 2001 attempting to deal with American security paranoia in order to ease border restrictions on trade,” says Gar Pardy. ”But it overlooks the fact that the Fortress America mentality remains central to American policy.”

The report’s recommendations include these highlights:

1. Authorize the Privacy Commissioner to review all new agreements with the United States that affect the privacy rights of Canadians, to monitor the implementation of the agreements, and to report annually to Parliament with the results of the reviews and monitoring.

2. Following the Arar Commission’s recommendation, create a single authority to oversee all federal police and security organizations involved with the transfer of information between Canada and the United States. Designate this authority to receive, investigate and report publicly on any complaints arising from the provision of information to the American authorities.

3. Negotiate a separate treaty on the protection of personal information being transferred to the United States for national security purposes, which would protect such information if it fell outside the current bilateral treaty framework between Canada and the United States.

“This report is a clear call for greater public scrutiny of the proposed perimeter security deal between Prime Minister Harper and President Obama,” said Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute.

The Rideau Institute is an independent research, advocacy and consulting group based in Ottawa.

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“Shared Vision or Myopia: The Politics of Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness” is available here.

For more information contact:

Steven Staples, President o. 613 565-9449 c. 613-290-2695 e. sstaples@rideauinstitute.ca

 

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