Thursday, May 1, 2014

UPDATED:Are We Feeling Any Outrage Yet?

If we care a scintilla about privacy or any measure of aversion to government snooping into our private business, we damn well should be. As I wrote in yesterday's post, the Harper regime and its complicit agencies, intoxicated with power, have been requesting (sans warrants) and receiving data on us from the major telecoms and social media sites.

Now word comes that these Judases are being paid for their obsequious compliance by our tax dollars:

The Toronto Star reports the following:

Canadian taxpayers are footing the bill for government agencies to buy their private data from telecom companies without their knowledge.

According to parliamentary documents, government agencies pay between $1 and $3 for access to user data from telecom, Internet and social media companies.

Figures released Tuesday by Canada’s privacy watchdog indicate authorities requested that access from nine companies more than 1.19 million times a year, meaning authorities spend in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars to quietly access Canadians’ personal data.

Read that again. The telecoms et al. are not only betraying us, but they are also being paid through our taxes for that betrayal.

Compounding that sell-out is the fact that these companies are refusing the Privacy Commissioner's request for more information about this foul practice, which Thomas Mulcair yesterday described as an abomination:

Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada’s vice-president of regulatory affairs, told reporters Wednesday evening that companies are unsure how to comply with the federal privacy commissioner’s request that telecoms publicly report how often they co-operate with law enforcement and government agencies.

But Bibic refused to say how common that co-operation is, or how often information is handed over to authorities without judicial oversight.

Such truculent arrogance surely indicates the abject contempt in which they hold us, their customers.

Exactly what could the government do with the data these companies are so blithely turning over?

According to a report from the privacy commissioner, “basic subscriber information” can be used to paint a picture of online activities, including browsing history, membership with organizations, physical locations visited, online services used by the subscriber.

“This information can be sensitive in nature in that it can be used to determine a person’s leanings, with whom they associate, and where they travel, among other things,” the report reads. “What’s more, each of these pieces of information can be used to uncover further information about an individual.”

Of course, defenders of such state intrusion will doubtlessly rely on that old saw, "If you have nothing to hide, why would you worry?

Without question, the time for such innocent and naive proclamations is long past.

UPDATE: Click here if you want to see how the regime and its enablers are 'spinning' this scandal.


  1. The Stasi would be proud of these guys.

    Still, I don't see enough outrage in the country yet. Drip, drip, drip....... maybe sometime soon.

    Anonymous A

  2. The silence thus far, as they say, is indeed deafening, Anon.

  3. Lorne, corporations and government are in collusion with each other. Telecom companies will share the information even if they're not paid a cent. In return for information they can screw the public anyway they want, higher prices, and government will do nothing. It is sad state of affairs.

    1. Collusion is the right word, LD. It kind of reminds me of the cozy relationship that IBM had with the Nazi regime.

    2. Lorne, by the way there was a good discussion on this subject on CBC's Power and Politics. I hope you got the chance to watch it.

    3. Thanks. LD. I missed it, but I will check it out on the CBC website.

    4. Lorne, here is the link: