July 10, 2006

July 10, 2006: Disingenuous? Duplicitous? Genuine Concern?

bumped up

Lawyers urge tories to protect privacy of canadian net surfers

Canada's lawyers have written federal Cabinet ministers urging them to take action against a "trend" of cyber spying by Internet service providers. The letter was crafted in the wake of Bell Sympatico, Canada's largest ISP, amending its service agreement with customers three weeks ago to reserve the right to "monitor or investigate" activity for possible reporting to government. [....]

Which particular group of lawyers? What are their affiliations? Particularly, what are their political affiliations? Who are they representing? Did they poll the rest of us?

Most of us see how Canada is losing out to guns, drugs, gangs and criminal levels of corruption. IMHO, there must have been politicians facilitating or at least turning a blind eye to the increased criminal activity in Canada. Just consider that Senator Kenny and his Committee have been trying to bring it to Parliamentary and public attention for years. Mainstream media have ignored it mostly. Canadians want our security services to catch and get rid of (not catch and release, note) the criminals and those who have aided them. Consequently, many of us are willing to suffer the indignity of potentially having someone listen to our gossip, especially if it is for a defined period of time, and there is monitoring.

More to the point, I have no illusions but that this has been going on for a long time anyway, though more likely for political purposes. Our telco switches--is that the right term?--so I'm told, have (always?) had a back door for security services to use where necessary ... and sometimes where it was not. It is time to use this capacity to clean out the crud in Canada. Anyway, many of us lead such singularly dull lives--stultifyingly boring ones--that we don't fear that these lives would be exposed to prying eyes, as long as there were time limits and the group overseeing this were chosen from average citizens, not from those poised to gain or remain in power through corrupt use of this capability.

Why do I write that? For example: a telco employee asked for the password, claiming he needed it to set up the ISP account; he'd call back later, after he had (checked what was on the computer?) set up the account for a novice who knew no better than to give that password. I know of two similar cases in two provinces and there are other stories which could be told ... I suspect the spying on citizens has been occurring for years ... for another purpose ... a political one.

Outrage depends so much upon why and for whom the monitoring and investigating are to be used ... whether for politics or security.
Do you really think we have been kept in thrall to one political party (and even that the mainstream media have been so supportive of it) in Canada through honour? Think of the scandal iceberg. I have no illusions that this is new at all. It has been another aspect of power corrupting those who discovered they wielded it (even in a small pond) or of those who had plans they didn't want disrupted. (Think about that for a minute.) Those who control the telco wires have had a monopoly and too much control. It must have been tempting to use it. Competition might help.

In the end, it depends upon for whom the spying is done ... whether civil liberties are threatened ... and whether the usual group who have run things too long feel threatened ... perhaps with exposure ... Leave a comment if this is wrong or if you want to add to this.


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