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What's Going On in Canada? 592

Posted by michael
from the glad-you-asked dept.
Jack Action writes "Up in Canada, the Privacy Commissioner of the province of British Columbia is recommending an immediate freeze on all outsourcing of public data to US-connected firms, Reuters and the CBC are reporting. After extensive consultations, the Privacy Commissioner has found that the USA Patriot Act threatens the private data of citizens even if they don't live in the USA (repeat: non-Americans are at risk). You can visit the Commissioners website, and download a summary or the full report." And reader digity writes "The long-standing Canadian battle on grey-market satellite dishes took a surprising turn in a Quebec courtroom yesterday. The grounds: freedom of expression. Yet another reason to come to the Great White North!"
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What's Going On in Canada?

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  • by violet16 (700870) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:04AM (#10671290)

    Shouldn't that be: "What's going on in the USA?"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:52AM (#10671409)
      Shouldn't that be: "What's going on in the USA?"

      No. We're not allowed to discuss that by law. Sorry, we're not allowed to tell you which law.
      • The first rule about PATRIOT Act is you do not talk about PATRIOT Act!
      • No No No No!!!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by temojen (678985)

        Typical to automatically assume the word citizen refers to American Citizens. The wording is a little off, but it is pretty clear they are referring to Canadian Citizens working for US-Owned corperations.

        The privacy commissioner was referring to Canadian citizens living in BC. The provincial government wants to out-source all medical services plan data to a subsidiary of an american defence contractor. Because we have mandatory health coverage, every resident of BC has an MSP record. That's 4 million Cana

    • by hype7 (239530) <u3295110@[ ].edu.au ['anu' in gap]> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:54AM (#10671414) Journal
      you know there's something wrong in America [myway.com] when Bin Laden starts taunting Americans about the country's PATRIOT Act:

      Bin Laden also said the Bush administration was like repressive Arab regimes "in that half of them are ruled by the military and the other half are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents."

      He said the resemblance became clear when Bush's father was president and visited Arab countries.

      "He wound up being impressed by the royal and military regimes and envied them for staying decades in their positions and embezzling the nation's money with no supervision," bin Laden said.

      "He passed on tyranny and oppression to his son, and they called it the Patriot Act, under the pretext of fighting terror. Bush the father did well in placing his sons as governors and did not forget to pass on the expertise in fraud from the leaders of the (Mideast) region to Florida to use it in critical moments."


      Obvious disclaimer: I in no way support terrorism, or even the use of force in conflicts unless there is no other alternative. I also consider Bin Laden a piece of shit, but that doesn't mean he hasn't got a point above.

      -- james
      • by marktaw.com (816752) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:15AM (#10671467) Homepage
        • Thanx for the link, but are you sure that's the full transcript? I'm pretty sure the TV news said it was 18 minutes long, and that transcript works out to around 48 words per minute. If that's right then Bin Laden is about the slowest speaker on earth.

          -
          • I don't know if it's complete, but another one I found that appears to be a different translation has basically the same content:

            http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTIC L E_ ID=41192

            And the video available for download on Al Jazeera's website was only about 5 minutes. I downloaded it, but didn't watch it because it had no subtitles. I had heard on the news that they provided the tape to Al Jazeera with english subtitles, but I didn't see them in the video.

            http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/news_serv
            • by advocate_one (662832) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:55AM (#10671730)
              I had heard on the news that they provided the tape to Al Jazeera with english subtitles, but I didn't see them in the video.

              You didn't expect the American News Agencies to actually show the version that was screened with English subtitles now did you??? They show the plain Arabic version which then means that those who watch the showing have to rely on the "translation" provided over it by the news Agencies... which also means that to the average American, also appears to be just another Arabic nutter warbling along in an incomprehensible language...

              • by pnewhook (788591) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:48AM (#10672187)
                This is not even close to the full transcript. The full transcript contains a lot of taunting of the ineptitude of George Bush, in that after the president was informed of the attacks he chose to do nothing and keep listening to the story of the goat. Here's a direct quote of Bin Laden speech(translated): "He thought listening to a child about her goat .. was more important" I find the American news media tends to self(?) sensor a lot lately, especially when the content is politically motivated. Try Canadian (CBC) or British (BBC) for the true story. If the US citizens don't start insiting on their rights of free speech, they are going to lose them without even realizing it.
                • by advocate_one (662832) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:57AM (#10672243)
                  According to Al Jazeera, Washington leant on the state of Qatar hard, to try and prevent the video from even being aired [aljazeera.net]...

                  "A US Department of State official said Washington had asked the government of Qatar, where Aljazeera is based, to prevent the station from airing the latest Bin Ladin tape."
      • by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:49AM (#10672192)
        Yes, cause Bin Laden really cares about our well being right? He's trying to act like Mr. Nice guy to divide us even more. oh we only set thousands of you on fire cause we want to kill isreal and have shari'a law. He's gone on record (in 1998 interview) That he thinks the american people to be weak and can easily be divided in long wars. Thats exactly what he (and many others) are someone what successfully doing.
      • by gobbo (567674) <wrewrite@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @11:41AM (#10672539) Journal
        Of course he's taunting: he won. He managed to force the hand of the NeoCons, and Americans are slowly starting to realize that it stopped being the Land of the Free a while ago (and never was for some). His analysis seems outrageous from inside the States, and uncomfortably familiar from outside.

        I used to think 'how can the current Administration with all its resources be manipulated so easily by a lowly scumbag who is hiding in caves?' -- but now am thinking that their goals may not be so far apart after all; the NeoCons got what they wanted in Congress--and so did Al Qaeda.

        • by mpe (36238) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:32PM (#10673370)
          Of course he's taunting: he won. He managed to force the hand of the NeoCons,

          Probably not too hard, since it appears that he and the NeoCons have rather similar ways of looking at the world.

          and Americans are slowly starting to realize that it stopped being the Land of the Free a while ago (and never was for some).

          Odds on most of the US population hasn't even started to realise this.

          I used to think 'how can the current Administration with all its resources be manipulated so easily by a lowly scumbag who is hiding in caves?' -- but now am thinking that their goals may not be so far apart after all; the NeoCons got what they wanted in Congress--and so did Al Qaeda.

          Politics makes for strange bedfellows. It's not even unknown for political groups who have apparently mutually exclusive viewpoints to activly co-operate.
          There's also the links the NeoCons have with right wing Christianity. Which is unlikely to be that far away from the kind of Islam the likes of Bin Laden believe.
    • by Amiga Trombone (592952) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:03AM (#10671433)
      Shouldn't that be: "What's going on in the USA?"

      What's going on in the USA is that we're in the process of forfeiting our economic dominance by screwing up our legal system such that doing business with American companies is becoming more of a pain in the ass than it's worth. It's not like there are many industries where we enjoy a monopoly any more, and these kind of laws are just further incentive for other countries to take their business elsewhere.
  • DTV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:05AM (#10671291)
    Let me be the first to congratulate Canada on now being able to watch free DirecTV again. While us americans get sued for buying card programmers.

    Let freedom ring.
    • Re:DTV (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, now Canadians can PAY for DirecTv - stealing is still stealing.
      • Re:DTV (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dr. Evil (3501) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:30AM (#10671813)

        Yeah, for those who don't know, the grey market is where a Canadian sets up a subscription to DirecTV (or whatever) from the U.S., and sets up their dish in Canada. It only violates the content regulations and stuff. They're still paying their bill and everything.

        For somebody who wants "ethnic" programming like Mexican Spanish content in Canada, it can be the only option, so I have a hard time faulting somebody for subscribing.

        The reverse (U.S. resident getting a Canadian dish) applies as well. I'm not sure what Canada has that the U.S. isn't allowed to get though.

        Now I think you could set yourself up to be pretty much impossible to track if you partner up with a friend on the other side of the border... you set up their dish and they set up your dish, you each pay for each other's subscriptions so that there's no money-trail. Just make sure your dish doesn't have advertising written on it :-)

        If they're compatible, you might just be able to swap receivers...

        Mod-chipping and stuff for free viewing is black-market... unless you're a cypherpunk or something and can't stand the thought of signals passing through your body without knowing what they mean. Yes, it's illegal to tune them in and decode them.

  • Oh Canada (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheOnlyJuztyn (813918)
    The grass is always greener...
    • Re:Oh Canada (Score:5, Informative)

      by Grey Ninja (739021) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:13AM (#10671316) Homepage Journal
      As a Canadian, I have to say that in many many ways, I never want to leave my country. The only reasons I could possibly have for going to the US are for work related reasons, or to visit a special someone. I don't really have any desire to leave Canada, as our country is actually a fair bit saner in my experience.

      So no, I wouldn't say that the grass is always greener. :)
      • Re:Oh Canada (Score:4, Interesting)

        by connorbd (151811) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:53AM (#10671411) Homepage
        Y'all make secession from the US to the Great White North awfully tempting...

        I'm actually surprised Canada would have a law like the satellite dish law on the books to begin with. And hopefully with the amount of cross-border business done between the US and Canada the checkbook will do what the activists couldn't to the Patriot Act.
      • by poptones (653660) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:18AM (#10671608) Journal
        The best parts of it are the strip bars. Don't know what it's like now but 20 years ago we used to go up there just to spend the evening at Jason's or the Latin Quarter because the women were incredibly naked and incredibly beautiful and the exchage rate made it cheaper per dance or drink than going to an american bar right across the border. Walk down the street at 2AM and you could find old people out strolling or eating at a sidewalk cafe. And they have that great healthcare system and a penal system that seems to genuinely be about reform rather than revenge.

        Don't want to leave canada? Just wait until a couple more generations get raised on that violent american TV you're so eager to import. Detroit is right across the river and, unlike the beer sellers at tiger stadium, the people who sell black market guns don't give a shit where you're from.

        I do think making it illegal for someone to "import" american tv into their own home is absurd. Nice to see one government is figuring out prohibition never works. But no matter how stupid the law it's easy to see the motivation for it.

        Better legalize that profitable black market drug trade before the culture shift moves in. The gunsellers are waiting...
      • Re:Oh Canada (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kentmartin (244833) * on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:02AM (#10671742) Homepage
        -snip- I never want to leave my country (sic Canada). The only reasons I could possibly have for going to the US are for work related reasons, or to visit a special someone. I don't really have any desire to leave Canada... -/snip-

        Oh god, this can't-see-past-my-own-borders-clearly disease is spreading. There are other places on the planet worth considering going besides the US and Canada?

        Still - at least you acknowledge there are two countries worthy of your thoughts - that's a whole 100% more than some.

        (Note to author of post above, don't mean to make you feel bad, that probably isn't even what you meant, but, the gist of your post is "I never want to leave my country coz the US isn't for me" and didn't consider that there are thousands of other places on earth with a richness and diversity beyond imagination)
      • Re:Oh Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vorpal22 (114901) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:50AM (#10672204) Homepage Journal
        I'm a Canadian citizen who recently lived in the US (Washington, DC) for three and a half months. I was planning on staying longer, but the Social Security Administration screwed up (read: lost) my application (I'm an American citizen also, having been born in Colorado, but I left for the sunny beaches of Canada when I was less than a year old).

        I should have known that the SSA was going to botch my application when I had the following conversation with the woman processing my forms at the office:
        Woman: Where did you live most of your childhood, sir?
        Me: In Manitoba.
        Woman: Where is that, sir?
        Me: I think it's just north of North Dakota.
        Woman: I thought that Canada was up there.
        Me: It is.
        Woman: *obviously confused* Then where is Manitoba?
        Me: It's in Canada.
        Woman: What province is that in, sir?

        When I did finally move back to Canada upon discovering (after waiting nine weeks) that my application had mysteriously vanished, I have to say that I was utterly relieved to be back home in the land of healthcare (I couldn't afford coverage in the US, and that made me very nervous) and sanity.

        The truth of the matter is that we don't have nearly as many religious fundamentalists as you guys have: I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who believed one of our politicians was ordained by god to bring freedom to the rest of the world.

        We don't exploit our national symbols like the maple leaf in order to press propaganda: in the US, I went to the Bank of America, where they had a sign saying, "Due to the 9/11 attacks, we must request that valid photo ID be presented with all transactions." This message was printed on a watermarked picture of the American flag. Why? I do not know, but perhaps for those with a lower level of education, somehow seeing this picture makes this annoying negative request (which I fail to see a connection between and the 9/11 attacks) somehow okay.

        We don't throw around buzzwords like "independence", "liberty", and "freedom". Walking through the streets of DC and seeing security guards on nearly every intersection, and walking past police officers armed with semi-automatic weaponry certainly didn't make me feel particularly safe or free. Frankly, I felt observed and under suspicion, even though I had no reason to feel as such. A concert held in the park was an "Independence Concert". A show on the National Mall was a "Liberty Art Show". It was ridiculous. What does an art show have to do with liberty? I support patriotism, but tempered with common sense and sanity. These ideals of American life are losing meaning through their overuse and through the laws passed since 9/11.

        I also suspect that our poverty levels are far lower here in Canada. Living in DC on the edge of the projects, where every poor person was black was incredibly depressing. Trying to see people raise a two children family on a $15k / year salary was heart-wrenching. There are poor families in Ottawa where I'm from, but those are largely the people who pull in a combined household income of $40k / year, take public transportation, and maybe have their two children sharing a bedroom.

        Our politicians don't prance their families around on stage like some kind of ideal of American goodness. Frankly, the only reason I know that Jean Chretien is married is because his wife recently made the news in a rather entertaining way. I mean, seriously, why do Bush and Kerry's children speak at the national conventions? What do they have to do with politics? How is their opinion remotely valid in the context of the parties, any moreso than yours or mine?

        Additionally, Canadians seem to be less divided on issues like politics and religion. I tire of hearing the atheist vs. christian debate about words like, "In God We Trust" written on your money, and "Under God" in your pledge of allegiance. While I'm atheist in the sense I reject the concept of god, up here in Canada, we have the words, "God keep our land glorious and free" in our national anthem, but i
      • Re:Oh Canada (Score:4, Interesting)

        by NeoCode (207863) <unnamedplayer@ro ... Yom minus author> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @12:36PM (#10672924)
        I, whole-heartedly agree on this. Being a minority Canadian is not like being a minority American. Here I am treated like a human being first. Being brown in the US these days is not a pleasant thing. Even more disheartning is the Americans' inabilitiy to distinguish differnt races. A Sikh [sikhcoalition.org] is not an Arab and an Arab is not a terrorist. Thats exactly the kind of attitude/violence/hate that begets the same.
        But, I guess thats just the way it is down in US. I am Canadian and goddamn, I am proud to be one.
        --
        "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."
        -- Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • by ntxb229 (542609) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:19AM (#10671334)
    Is it me or does it seem like the US is quickly losing it's place as the center of the business world? This seems especially true in the technology sector where anytime a company does something they have to look over their backs for some other company sitting on a patent, or a DMCA violation claim coming their way. This just seems like one more for the pile of reasons to do your business outside the U.S.
    • Probably... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Benm78 (646948) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:52AM (#10671410) Homepage
      The US is no longer considered the ideal place for many types of businesses, and anti-american sentiments are definitely growing in europe and asia.

      With more and more privacy-invading legislation being installed, the US will rapidly become unusable to any business that has trade secrets to protect, or deals with private customer data.

      Canada has put in a nice document with recommendations what most of the world already knows and acts on.
      • Re:Probably... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MeanSolutions (218078) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:20AM (#10671480)
        The US is no longer considered the ideal place for many types of businesses, and anti-american sentiments are definitely growing in europe and asia.

        And for good reasons. I know I'll be taunted and modded down by the bible bashing extreme right wingers (and supporters) for saying this, but to quote Michael Moore, spreading democracy through the barrel of a gun rarely works.

        But I digress. From a business perspective, patent and copyright systems in the US is broken and are not working as intended. The efforts to force these broken systems upon the rest of the world (to protect american companies and interests) is not going down to well. The US is being seen as the spoilt brat that when things doesn't go its way, it throws all the toys out of the pram.

        Over time, if the attitude and behaviour of the US increases in hostility, the US will find itself more and more isolated and possible facing sanctions or trade embargoes. Before you mod me down as a troll, take a second to listen to me and try and comprehend what I am saying.

        The US people have got to realise that the words 'compromise' and 'diplomacy' will get them a lot further in a medium/long term perspective than 'aggression' and 'shock and awe tactics' will. A level playing field, a little more understanding and less of the arrogance and favouritism currently in place will quickly change the perception of the US, and hence there will be little reason for other countries to put things in place like Canada has done.

        With more and more privacy-invading legislation being installed, the US will rapidly become unusable to any business that has trade secrets to protect, or deals with private customer data.

        It is the same with UK and companies that trade in EMEA. UK has, due to its policies of mimicking US, been deemed unsuitable to store encryption keys in. Other european countries have saner laws and subsequently been deemed as more suitable to be the location where said keys are stored.

        The laws that are being passed in UK and US to prevent terrorism have little or nothing to do with preventing terrorism and everything to do with installing a police state as a precursor to some form of dictatorship. Sorry if that view offends, but that is what it looks like from here...
        • Re:Probably... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Alsee (515537) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:29AM (#10671643) Homepage
          The US people have got to realise that the words 'compromise' and 'diplomacy' will get them a lot further

          Actually most "US people" do realize that. The problem is that as far as "Intellectual Property" laws and various treaties the people are entirely oblivious to what is going on. And as for Iraq and the 'War on Terrorism', a great many people have been deceived [pipa.org] and believe we *have* had compromise and diplomacy and honest relations with the world. Many Americans are under the mistaken impression that most of the world (and our allies) generally support Bush and the US's invasion of Iraq and our terrorism efforts, or that world oppinion is at least neutral. Most Americans have no idea how badly Bush has alienated out allies and ruined our global relationships and support.

          Some Americans do realize the problem and are attempting a local "regime change" in this election, other Americans have been deceived, but then of course there are also a small number of nutjobs. For example that report was posted on Free Reublic website (radical right-wing nutjobs) and naturally those loons somehow managed to rationalize global opposition as a GOOD thing. Yeahhhhh... those evil Norwegians only show 7% Bush support because they are jealous and want a "weak America". Sigh.

          I'm more horrified at the huge number of people who have been decieved and may elect the next president than the small number of wackos.

          -
          • Re:Probably... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MeanSolutions (218078) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:51AM (#10671719)
            Actually most "US people" do realize that. The problem is that as far as "Intellectual Property" laws and various treaties the people are entirely oblivious to what is going on. And as for Iraq and the 'War on Terrorism', a great many people have been deceived and believe we *have* had compromise and diplomacy and honest relations with the world. Many Americans are under the mistaken impression that most of the world (and our allies) generally support Bush and the US's invasion of Iraq and our terrorism efforts, or that world oppinion is at least neutral. Most Americans have no idea how badly Bush has alienated out allies and ruined our global relationships and support.

            I suspected as much that this was the case. Some people on here keep saying that Fox News is the only source of news that is slanted to the right and that most (all?) the others are slanted towards "commies" and "pinkies" (whatever that is supposed to mean). From what I can tell, watching things like CNN, it is slanted towards the right. Okay, the definition of "right" might be different between Europe and US, but here the general view is that your Democrats are right wing, and your Republicans are even further right.

            It is disconcerting how effectively this disinformation has been used in the US, to create the perception that you have the support of the rest of the world while the truth is somewhat different. I can just hope that you get fair elections, no tampering with the result, and that the people elect someone that is less damaging to your nation.

            Could the USA survive another 4 years of obscene budget deficits under Bush?

            For example that report was posted on Free Reublic website (radical right-wing nutjobs) and naturally those loons somehow managed to rationalize global opposition as a GOOD thing. Yeahhhhh... those evil Norwegians only show 7% Bush support because they are jealous and want a "weak America".

            I hear what you are saying and I understand what that website was trying to achieve. I do not think that the rest of the world wants a weak USA, rather we want a fair and just USA that is not the schoolground bully boy.

            I hope that the people of USA manages to shake themselves awake and turn the ship around before it is to late. Good luck friends.

          • Re:Probably... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Larthallor (623891) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @11:15AM (#10672350)
            The US people have got to realise that the words 'compromise' and 'diplomacy' will get them a lot further
            Actually most "US people" do realize that.
            I wholeheartedly disagree. Most Americans (I'm sorry if it offends you that we have monopolized this term for ourselves, but we don't have much choice, since terms like "US people" are non-starters) don't respect compromise and diplomacy. Let me repeat that, because it is an important concept for non-Americans to understand about the only remaining superpower: Most Americans do not respect compromise and diplomacy. Most Americans respect strong, aggressive winners. To many Americans, patience, compromise, and diplomacy are code words for cowardice, naivete, or weakness. Think Neville Chamberlain. For many others, compromise and diplomacy are respected at an intellectual level, but don't inspire the respect at the emotional level like strong, decisive action.

            Our society, at a deep, emotional level, is oriented towards competition, not cooperation. There is a winner and then there are the losers. Second place doesn't mean you were really good; it means you failed to win. Cooperation is seen only as a method for gaining a competitive edge against others. Once the competitor is vanquished, the need for cooperation is done.

            I wish to stress that not all Americans believe this. Some of us do believe that we and everyone else would be better off if compromise and diplomacy were our modus operandi. But our culture of competition and our respect and admiration for strong, take-charge individuals (e.g. John Wayne) give lie to the statement that "most" Americans believe we'll get farther with compromise and diplomacy.
    • by luvirini (753157) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:14AM (#10671593)
      It is not only you..

      I am currently involved in a startup in Dubai of all places. When orginally planning where to set up things, quite many places were considered, but in the end this place won.

      The reasons for coming here were:
      -Low regulations, but still holding contracts.
      -Very low extra costs for labor above wages.
      -Good availability to labor, with pragmatic immigration policy for getting emplyees from abroard.
      -Working infrastructure.
      -Low taxes
      -Easy incorporation
      -Low crime rate

      In the end it basically came down to having a reasonable place with not too much bullshit and a place where we can concentrate on the thing we do... unlike Europe or US...

  • by boringgit (721801) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:24AM (#10671344) Homepage
    As a UK citizen, the US government has decided that it has a right to collect any information about me that it chooses, from any agency in the UK (because we are Americas lap dog and would never dream of saying no), and then use that info as it sees fit. My data is not protected in any way because I am not a US citizen.

    Nice to see that Canada has the balls to stand up the the USA.
    • The worst thing about it is that it's against EU and UK law. The outgoing European Commission is just as bad, though.
    • My data is not protected in any way because I am not a US citizen.

      I see, and it is if you are a US citizen?

      Freedom starts with saying "no".

    • You should at least have a legal avenue if you can prove it happens, because unless there is an explicit permit to export personal data, it is in violation of the EU data protection laws (which should be british law soon, if they aren't already). That's the whole reason they made such a big deal about the extra data the US wanted for in-bound travellers from europe.
    • Wrong about the UK (Score:5, Informative)

      by horza (87255) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:12AM (#10671588) Homepage
      Anyone storing data about you must conform to the Data Protection Act [hmso.gov.uk], where it explicitly states "it is immaterial that it is intended to be so processed or to form part of such a system only after being transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area". Your data IS protected because you are a UK citizen. The Data Protection Registrar takes any breaches very seriously and can be contacted via their web site [informatio...ner.gov.uk].

      Phillip.
      • by Triskele (711795) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:27AM (#10671633)
        LOL! Do you really thing the DPR will act against the USA. It's simple: the US has told the UK that it will bar entry to flights from the UK and UK citizens for whom full data records are not handed over. In the interest, of course, of 'security' and 'prevention of terrorism'. The US is starting to make the old USSR look enlightened in its entry requirements.
  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:25AM (#10671346) Homepage
    Can anyone explain me why that is necessary in the 1st place?

    I assume this would be fairly common practice for some uses of that data, but basically: if you want to do anything with data, why not do it on-site? If some off-shore company was hired to process millions of government-held records, wouldn't the safest way be to let that company only produce software for that purpose, and 'apply' that software locally?

    Can anyone give some compelling reasons why you would move that data itself (knowing that it's privacy-sensitive)? BTW: With 'off-shore' I mean any third party relative to the data involved.

    • by icejai (214906) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:11AM (#10671456)
      It has nothing to do with where the data is actually stored.

      Case and point.

      Up here, Royal Bank of Canada's credit card business is outsourced to a U.S. firm. Because of this setup, this U.S. credit card firm has to give up RBC customer data to government officials if they use the Patriot Act to get at it.

      http://canadaeast.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID= /2 0041002/TTMONEY08/210020513/-1/MONEY

      So, let's say (hypothetically) that the scenario is flipped around. So instead of RBC outsourcing to the U.S., we're talking about Chase Manhattan, and they've outsourced their credit card business to RBC. I think it'd be pretty safe to say that credit card data would still be accessible to the U.S. government through the Patriot Act.

      I think this would be the case for any company that incorporates in the states, no matter where their head office or data is.
  • by marktaw.com (816752) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:28AM (#10671358) Homepage
    In a world where Echelon is used for international corporate espionage, and where we've declared war on any country that we think is harboring terrorists, then why should anyone's privacy be protected?

    Those damned pinko Canadians may be terrorists, and we need to protect ourselves.
  • Tin Foil (Score:5, Funny)

    by chrome (3506) <chrome@NOspam.stupendous.net> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:28AM (#10671360) Homepage Journal
    Its ok, I have my tin foil hat. It keeps the government microwaves from reading my brain patterns.

    Seriously folks, what does the patriot act allow the US government to do that it wasn't able to do before, just illegally? I mean, sure, it means they can do this stuff more in the open, but that doesn't mean that they weren't doing it before anyway.

    The US Government has been the biggest customer of high-end computing firms for the past fourty years. What do they do with all that computing power? They use a lot of it to churn through the data we create. Not to look for ciminals, or mass murderers, or whatever - no - to look for people that could challenge the status quo, that could expose the real people behind the governments of the last fifty years who control the American people.

    Come on, you've seen the X-Files! Its all real! ALL of it! NON FICTION, I tell you!

    Are you ready to believe? TRUST NO ONE!
    • Re:Tin Foil (Score:5, Insightful)

      by reddish (646830) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:59AM (#10671425) Homepage

      Seriously folks, what does the patriot act allow the US government to do that it wasn't able to do before, just illegally?

      It allows it to do bad things legally. Any other questions?

    • Re:Tin Foil (Score:2, Interesting)

      by phobos13013 (813040)
      sure, it means they can do this stuff more in the open, but that doesn't mean that they weren't doing it before anyway

      Ohhhhhhh, they were doing it before _anyway_. That makes it ok then right? So see that is the purpose of dissent and citizen action. You oppose it when its illegal and you oppose it when its legal. Just because it IS legal, doesnt make it right. Which is becoming the ways of many many laws in the US.
    • Re:Tin Foil (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swordgeek (112599) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:59AM (#10671570) Journal
      First of all, entrenching formerly illegal actions into law is NOT a good thing. The fact that they were being done before isn't a valid reason at all to make them legal.

      Secondly, this law allows the US government to compel American companies operating in foreign countries to secretly hand over information on foreign employees, in violation of that country's laws. THAT'S why BC is raising the red flag on this one.
    • Re:Tin Foil (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tobias Luetke (707936)
      Rules are always bend. If the magnitude of the patriot act is the framework in which they were doing things illegaly before than I don't want to know what they do illegally now where all that crap is legal.

    • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:11PM (#10673204) Homepage Journal

      Its ok, I have my tin foil hat. It keeps the government microwaves from reading my brain patterns.

      This is WRONG!! chrome is a government COLLABORATOR, pretending to be an informative rebel in order to feed us DANGEROUS disinformation. DON'T LISTEN TO HIM!!

      Just to clarify: Even the BEST Tin Foil* hat CANNOT prevent the government from READING your brain patterns. Tin Foil is useful to prevent MIND CONTROL but is COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE at preventing MIND READING (more properly called MIND SCANNING). Do NOT make the MISTAKE of believing that you can think in SAFETY AND PRIVACY just because you're wearing Tin Foil.

      If you want to be safe from MINDSCANS you need to ENCASE your head in at LEAST 1/4" of LEAD, or 1/16" of DEPLETED URANIUM. Also, make sure that there are NO CRACKS OR HOLES larger than 1/16". Yes this means that it's not possible to think and see at the same time. Some well-meaning FOOLS have claimed that lenses of LEADED CRYSTAL provide mindscan protection while allowing visibility but this is ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

      Since you obviously CANNOT wear a lead helmet 24/7, anyone regularly thinking SUBVERSIVE THOUGHTS must also LEARN to CONTROL THEIR THOUGHTS WHEN UNPROTECTED! After YEARS of EXTENSIVE RESEARCH conducted in part by INFILTRATING the CIA, I have learned the ONLY way to do this EFFECTIVELY and AUTOMATICALLY. My method is based on the SAME techniques used to train CIA AGENTS to defend themselves against MINDSCANS. For only 26 LOW LOW monthly payments of $29.99 I will deliver DIRECTLY TO YOU a series of DVDs and PRINTED MANUALS that teach you QUICKLY AND EASILY to DEFEND YOURSELF agains MINDSCANS. I have to deliver these educational materials BY HAND, of course, because ALL of the postal and delivery services are TOOLS of the INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY HEADED BY THE ILLUMINATI UNDER THE GUISE OF THE UN.

      Call quickly, supplies are limited.

      * Pre-1987 Reynolds wrap is the best Tin Foil, by the way. Other brands were never sufficiently thick and post 1987 Reynolds has been modified at CIA REQUEST with MICROSCOPIC WAVEGUIDES that actually FOCUS the MIND CONTROL SIGNALS.

  • by marktaw.com (816752) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:31AM (#10671366) Homepage
    Firms in India are setting up shop in Canada as a front for their offshoring operations. Our confidential information that crosses in to Canada ends up in India. Canada's confidential data that crosses in to the United States ends up in... well, probably India.

    Folks, we're witnessing a major coup. In the century where Information is Power, all of the information is going to one country - India! India is the new world power.
  • by Cordath (581672) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:32AM (#10671371)
    I found out that my Bank Visa card is vulnerable to this sort of crap because they've outsourced data management to an american firm. Guess what card just got the scissor treatment?

    If enough Canadians who value their privacy take similar action we might see some amendments to the patriot act introduced. Fighting terrorism, etc. has been, and always will, be of secondary importance to the american government. It's business that really matters to them, and we're one of the few nations on Earth that do enough trade with the U.S. to place an effective ammount of pressure on them to do away with laws that compromise the privacy of citizens from other countries. At the very least we can pressure them into modifying the patriot act so that it only effects U.S. citizens. After all, did we elect Bush?

    Okay okay... We don't really know who or *if* Bush was elected, but we damned well know it wasn't us who did it!

  • oh funny story :( (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeckil (633197) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:37AM (#10671378)
    Patriot Act threatens the private data of citizens even if they don't live in the USA (repeat: non-Americans are at risk).
    Tell that to us (Mexico) a u.s. intelligence branch, illegally obtained/purchased the entire Mexican voter registration database about a year ago.... still with that many infomation floating around i think they'l look at it till 2179 :P
    • Illegal?

      Naah!

      The Patriot act says that it is fine - They are protecting themselves from Terrorism you know!
    • by FFFish (7567) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @12:32PM (#10672897) Homepage
      A side-effect of data-sharing/outsourcing our Canadian data to the USA is that said data is then available for import (resale) back into Canada to agencies that would not normally have access to that data.

      A few years ago the feds wanted to consolidate a bunch of our data into one data centre: our income tax, medical records, national police data, etcetera, all into one facility with one common database and interface.

      The privacy commisioner ixnayed that, saying it would be far too easy for agencies to abuse the system, obtaining access to information that would normally not be available to them.

      If we outsource our data, we're liable to end up in much the same situation: the RCMP could, f'rinstance, get easy access to medical records and income tax reports, when looking up a driving violation. Bad, bad idea.

      All Canadians should be somewhat concerned about where this is heading. We've traditionally had excellent privacy rights, and excellent oversight of those rights. But with a few easy moves, all that could change.
  • Oh Canada! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dupper (470576) <adamlouis@gmail.com> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:41AM (#10671384) Journal
    All right! Time for our turn for blind patriotism. We've got free health care, we've got real (ie, not just lip service) equality (racial, sexual orientation, &c), we have effective 3rd parties (debatably leading to accountable government), we don't have Bush, we won't have Kerry, and we do have nearly-legal weed.

    And, just to piss off some neocon Bush babies who hate our freedom even more: remeber, we're half French!

    Ô Canada!
    Terre de nos aïeux,
    Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
    Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
    Il sait porter la croix!
    Ton histoire est une épopée
    Des plus brillants exploits.
    Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
    Protégera nos foyers et nos droits,
    Protégera nos foyers et nos droits!

    Whoo! Aaaaargoooos!! Strike, Leafs, strike!!!

    • by thepoch (698396) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:56AM (#10671942)
      aïeux

      Only the French could have a word that begins with four vowels and ends in a consonant. Damned French.

      Don't hate me, don't hate me! I'm Canadian as well. I've been to Informative and Insightful and Interesting lately that I'm just trying to be funny. =)
    • by ari{Dal} (68669) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:10PM (#10673203)
      i always enjoyed the rick mercer version.

      O CANADA
      A GREAT BIG EMPTY LAND
      WE LOOK TO AMERICA
      FOR A HELPING HAND
      WITH BANNOCK BREAD
      AND CARIBOU EGGS
      AND TRUE NORTH BIG AND COLD
      O CANADA
      WE ARE ON TOP
      WE'RE CLOSE TO
      THE NORTH POLE
      FERMEZ LA BOUCHE
      MANGEZ POUTINE
      CANADA
      A LOVELY WINTER DREAM
      O CANADA
      LA, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA
    • Fine then we should use the old anthem! It sounds better anyway...

      In Days of yore,
      From Britain's shore
      Wolfe the dauntless hero came
      And planted firm Britannia's flag
      On Canada's fair domain.
      Here may it wave,
      Our boast, our pride
      And joined in love together,
      The thistle, shamrock, rose entwined,
      The Maple Leaf Forever.

      [CHORUS]
      The Maple Leaf
      Our Emblem Dear,
      The Maple Leaf Forever.
      God save our Queen and heaven bless,
      The Maple Leaf Forever.

      At Queenston Heights and Lundy's Lane
      Our brave fathers side by side
      For freed
  • by luvirini (753157) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:44AM (#10671390)
    You have to remember that this threat is present in any transmission of data to countires with different laws than yours.

    Like take for example the case of medical data going o subcontractors in india, that data is handled unde r their (nearly nonexistant) laws in that regard.

    The fact is, for some sort of data to be protected in todays world, you have to make sure not only of making laws on the data protection, but also put in proper limits of where it can be handled.

    The European union Personal data directives try to make rules on this, forbidding transfer of such data outside EU.

    Too bad they caved in to US pressure on airtrafic part of it...

    • by tuxette (731067) * <tuxette&gmail,com> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:54AM (#10671413) Homepage Journal
      The European union Personal data directives try to make rules on this, forbidding transfer of such data outside EU.

      This is not entirely true. According to the EU Data Protection Directive [cdt.org], in order for data to be transferred out of the EU/EEA to third countries, the country in question has to have "adequate level of protection," cf article 25. Adequacy is determined by various factors such as existing data protection legislation and professional rules and security measures in relation to the type and sensitivity of the data being transferred.

      • I concede that point.. :) But that only reinforces my point about having to also think of where data is prosessed when you limit what to do with data... and they have obviously done that..
      • by Teun (17872) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:55AM (#10671560) Homepage
        the country in question has to have "adequate level of protection"

        Sounds good but commissioner Bolkestein considered the US statements about data protection sufficient.
        For this great feat he has just earned himself the Dutch Big Brother Award for 2004.
        See Bits of Freedom [www.bof.nl] .

        The European Parliament has called on the European Court of Justice to declare the agreement null and void, a ruling by the Court can at the earliest be expected by next year.

  • by jason ward (581483) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @06:47AM (#10671397) Homepage
    I for one welcome our new pro-privacy overlords!
  • by Sara Chan (138144) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:07AM (#10671444)
    In the USA, many directory-assistance and billing records are processed for the phone companies by Amdocs, an Israeli-based private telecommunications company. Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest phone companies in America.

    The power that this gives is huge. (Does some senior politician have a mistress or do private business with a drug dealer?--Amdocs has the information. Etc. And Slashdotters are surely familiar with data mining.) Many people have claimed that this power has been abused by the Israeli government--in particular, by Mossad--and such power obviously facilitates espionage. Whatever abuses have occurred, it seems insane to give this much power to a foreign agency.

    For references and links to more information (there's lots, and it's downright scary), google for "Amdocs" and "Comverse Infosys" [google.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not everything is peachy here when it comes to privacy. Yesterday our Supreme Court ruled [www.cbc.ca] that the police can use infra-red devices without a warrant to view heat radiation coming from a home.

    It's mainly used by the police to look for marijuana grow-ops. I just hope the police chopper flying overhead isn't watching my heat signature as I'm taking a dump or viewing internet pr0n. :-) The Court's full decision is here [umontreal.ca].

  • This is something we should all, in Canada, fight to prevent. In the case of US firms or US citizens, Canadians shouldnt have a right to tell the US how to dictact its policy, but when it comes to Canadian citizens, the US should keep its nose out of where its not wanted. Another thing that irks me, is that this sort of information sharing between countries has been going on for a long long time. Most countries do not have a 'patriot act' to allow blantant civil rights abuses [ie: No privacy for John and J
  • by 26199 (577806) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:31AM (#10671501) Homepage

    Since the UK has stricter rules than the US (the Data Protection Act), US firms handling data from the UK have to agree to follow them. (A "safe harbour agreement"). If the Patriot Act means they can't guarantee to follow the rules... then no UK company can legally send data to America.

    This would extend to any data at all in which a person is uniquely identifiable...

  • by marktaw.com (816752) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:47AM (#10671536) Homepage
    From the summary: All levels of government in Canada must ensure that their laws are consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that their policies and actions do not off end Charter protections. Several submissions suggested that putting British Columbians' personal information at risk of seizure under the USA Patriot Act might confl ict with privacy protection under the Charter. While we do not analyze this question, we acknowledge that Canadian courts require Charter values and rights to be considered in interpreting legislation such as BC's FOIPPA.

    So I decided to look up this charter, and I found it. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [justice.gc.ca], which goes to unusual lengths to tell the world that French and English are it's official languages.

    Then I decided to look for the US Bill of Rights, which is located not on a website with the words "law" and "justice" in the URL, but rather on "archives.gov" and what I'm reading is a Transcript of the Bill of Rights [archives.gov], as if it's chronicling an event and not informing me of my rights.

    And I noticed the transcript of the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger , and I contrasted it with Canada's charter: 9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. 10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor; b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful. Period, end of sentance, no "except."

    Is America more interested in the history of it's laws than in the current reality? Are we, under the Patriot Act, in a constant state of "public danger" and therefore subject to being held, as I've heard people have been, without being told the crime they're being held for, with no court date, and no trial. What a strange, and convoluted time we live in that we are in a constant state of being the exception and not the rule.
    • by dpm (156773) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:43AM (#10671693)
      In October 1970, early in his tenure as Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act in Montreal after a series of terrorist bombings and kidnappings (one ending in murder) -- Habeas Corpus was suspended, I think curfews were imposed, and armored personnel carriers rolled through the streets of Montreal. Even as early as the mid 1970s, we were learning about that in grade school as one of the major mistakes in Canadian history, and the country still suffers from it today (many French Canadians saw it as an attack on them by the English majority).

      When Trudeau helped bring in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms more than a decade later, near the end of his tenure, he may have been trying to undo some of the damage he caused -- certainly, he seems to have learned from his mistake.

      There is never a good reason to suspend basic human rights. Period. In the U.S., Democrats (Japanese internment) and Republicans (Guantanamo Bay) have both been more than happy to flush Habeas Corpus down the toilet when the voters let them get away with it, so keep your eyes open, guys.
      • by MachDelta (704883) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:59AM (#10671738)
        Yeah, the War Measures Act basically placed Canada under a state of martial law. You could be detained indefinitly and without reason at any time. Basic rights and freedoms could be temporarilly ignored. The government pretty much had unlimited power.
        The WMA was only ever invoked three times in Canadian history. World War 1, World War 2, and the FLQ Crisis (mentioned by parent). When it was used during the FLQ crisis it stirred up a lot of shit, because it was abused. People all across the country were arrested just because they were french or black or whatever. So in 85 the WMA was replaced with the Emergencies Act [justice.gc.ca]. Its a much tamer piece of legislation, and doesn't allow the government to superceed the entire Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It does give them additional powers, like the ability to kick you out of your house and lay claim to your property, but you can't be arrested for no good reason (though you CAN be arrested for not complying with the government's new powers). Fortunatly the Emergencies act doesn't apply to the whole country (like the WMA did), only to the area(s) actually experiencing the emergency.
        So yes, the potential for abuse is still there, but compared to the draconian mindfuck that was the War Measures Act, the Emergencies act is a fluffy white bunny. Which brings up the odd realization: Other countries are moving AWAY from being able to strip people of their rights... the US is moving towards it. Scary? I think yes.
        • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet.hotmail@com> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:46PM (#10673447) Journal
          Its a much tamer piece of legislation, and doesn't allow the government to superceed the entire Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

          A minor point worthy of note: the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was only enshrined in the Constitution in 1982. Consequently, no legislation can now supercede it--it's part of the Constitution, not a conventional statute. In contrast, the earlier law (the Canadian Bill of Rights, 1960) was a regular statute, subject to amendment or repeal by Act of Parliament. It also only applied to the federal government, though many of the provinces had similar legislation in force.

          The War Measure Act (enacted only in WWI, WWII, and--with questionable appropriateness--during the October Crisis) could not be used today, precisely because its provisions would now be unconstitutional.

          It's probably also worth noting that the Charter of Rights is better written than comparable U.S. law (spread out over various Amendments and Supreme Court rulings) because it was written so recently. Loose equivalents to the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments, the Miranda rights, plus other goodies are all in the same Legal Rights section of the Canadian Charter. Canada got it "right" because they had the chance to watch everybody else screw up.

      • Democrats (Japanese internment) and Republicans (Guantanamo Bay) have both been more than happy to flush Habeas Corpus down the toilet when the voters let them get away with it, so keep your eyes open, guys.

        Guantanamo Bay is a bad example. I personally feel that what we're doing there is inexcusable, but it doesn't match your argument. You bring up two cases from Canada and the US where civil rights of citizens were violated, and one where those of foreign nationals were. You're better off pointing at the
    • by MKalus (72765) <mkalus&gmail,com> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:09AM (#10671991) Homepage
      Actually the most intersting difference between the two documents is that MOST of the points in the Canadian Charter of Rights apply to ANY person on Canadian soil, NOT just citizens.

      There are some expections, but that is something that differentiates the two countries as well. The US Constitution grants its rights only to US Citizens, Canada is a lot more open there, as long as you are a human being, you're pretty much covered.
    • 10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor; b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful. Period, end of sentance, no "except."

      You missed paragraph 33, which allows a federal or provincial parliament to make any law they pass immune to the charter at will. The only restriction is th

  • by wikinerd (809585) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:45AM (#10671700) Journal
    I wonder why they needed 3 years to understand that private information is not safe anymore in USA.

    Obviously something needs to change. All this terror-paranoia is not normal. We, the Europeans, also suffered attacks in Madrid but we didn't pass laws like that. We didn't get mad. We do fight terror, but we do not destroy our civilisation of democracy and freedom just to catch some crazy terrorists.

    I hope the USA legislators will understand that they can fight their enemies without undermining the privacy and freedom of Americans (and the world!). I believe that laws like PATRIOT aren't needed.

    BTW I wrote a story with some more information here [wikinerds.org]. As you can read, the probe started in May and produced a report consisted of more than 100 pages. The report was written by OIPC, a Canadian authority on privacy issues in British Columbia.

  • by dpm (156773) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @08:50AM (#10671717)
    Remember than in Canada its also legal to share music and movies (as long as you don't sell them). Several provinces now allow gay marriage, and most politicians favour decriminalizing (though not legalizing) marijuana.

    On the other hand, while many Canadians own rifles and shotguns, most of us are not allowed to carry concealed weapons; also, provinces are starting to ban smoking in all public places, and the federal government regulates how much foreign content radio and TV stations are allowed to show.

    So, in brief, if you're an MP3-sharing, pot-smoking, gay privacy freak, c'mon up and join us; if you're a gun-toting, tobacco-smoking, Baywatch-watchin' law-and-order freak, you might be happier staying down in the U.S.
  • This is an example of why the US citizenry has the strange experience of people from all over the globe pitching in on their election. The empire (that they don't have) consists of surveillance, business interests, and >700 military bases installed in foreign countries.

    Yes, who wins your election will have hegemony (well, dominating power) over us. It IS our business.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:32AM (#10671822) Homepage Journal
    And reader digity writes "The long-standing Canadian battle on grey-market satellite dishes took a surprising turn in a Quebec courtroom yesterday. The grounds: freedom of expression. Yet another reason to come to the Great White North!" - actually as a Canadian I see a problem with this. The problem is that if everyone in Canada is allowed to watch/listen to the US content then our local radio/tv stations will be obliterated. Maybe not instantly but within 1-2 years for sure.

    The reason is that the USA is much richer, much mor powerful and has much more money. It is a simple fact that even in the USA there are only a few major players in the radio-land who everyone recognizes almost immediately (Rush Limbaugh, anyone?) So what is going to happen to our local news stations is that they will quickly become non-profitable.

    Yes, what I am saying is that without regulations in a free market Canadian programming will not survive against the neighbour in the South.

    I don't watch TV (don't even have one) but it is nice to know that if I turn to Pulse 24 it covers Canadian news.

    I do however listen to radio every morning and in the evening while driving to and from work. I LIKE listenning to the AM radio, because it is allmost all talk-shows that carry Canadian point of view.

    I do not want to have to listen to the major USA radio stations in the morning, who have nothing to do with the place where I live.

    Yes, sure, in Toronto CFRB 1010 [cfrb.com] will still survive and the MOJO radio (640) [mojoradio.com] will probably still continue. But what about the rest of the stations. The smaller places, even Ottawa? Will the local news even exist there anymore? I doubt it.

    So, while it is seen as great by many, that canadians could be allowed by the canadian judges to buy grey-market equipment to listen to american programming, I see it as a huge mistake, that will bring on the demise of our local programming, which implies the demise of our culture. That is simply because there will be no culture if there will be no point of our different point of view.

    Well, personally, I may have nothing against becoming the next state of the USA, I WANT a 2-tier health system. But the rest of you, Canadians, don't be surprised when in a decade from now, if this is allowed, there will be only 1-tier - American Style health system. And you will be listenning to the King George Bush the Third on your radio stations, and you will be wondering about what happened to those old local stations and news and what happened to this country.

  • Not just Canada (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:59AM (#10671951) Homepage Journal
    It's not just Canada. Many european nations are concerned, too. There was a scandal over here recently because the EU Commission gave approval to the exchange of airline customer data against the wishes of the EU Parliament and against massive outcry from privacy advocates.

    The US is generally seen as a country with very little privacy protection.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:29AM (#10672075)
    For those of you that think Canada is some free paradise, let me just immediately, as a Canadian, disavow you of that notion.

    If Canada is being held-up as superior to America when it comes to freedom, compared to the United States, even in spite of recent attempts to limit freedom down there, then either people's definition of what freedom is has changed, or we have become so desparate as a civilization that we no longer know what up and what's down anymore. Canada is, socially, an extremely repressive country, especially these days. Forget about being an individual up here, coz it ain't on. If you do not conform to the prescribed standards, you are ostracized and marginalized. I see it all the time every day up here. We are not an innovative country, we don't like it. Anyone that tries to engage in it in Canada is looking for trouble, and it doesn't particularly matter what kind of innovation it is, they just don't like it here. You need only compare the Canadian and American constitutions to know what Canada is really all about. Americans have the "...right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Canadians have the "...right to peace, order, and good government". Wow, lucky us. Those are exactly the kind of conditions dictators have been providing since dictators have existed.

    I once had an English professor of mine make the statement that "...people have this foolish notion that lifestyle is a human right". In other words, people have this crazy idea that they're allowed to live their lives as they wish (so long as they're not affecting others, of course), without fear of molestation from anyone. This man is about as deeply Establishment as anyone gets. He married into money, was born in Britain, has had a direct role in formulating federal and provincial government social policy in the past, has been the head of English departments in highschools and schoolboards. I could go on, because the list of his accomplishments is lenghty, and the reach of his influence is far, but you get the point.

    Ask any average person in the middle class up here how they feel about a given controversial topic, and wonder at the conservative response you get. Speak in public say, in a cafe, about that same topic and observe the dirty "shut-the-fuck-up" looks you get. You are not entitled to your own opinion up here, or to even criticize. If you go there, you can expect direct, serious social consequences. Once I was talking, in a park, about a play my spouse and I had gone to see. I held a different view than everyone else about the central conflict in the story. Some lady that had been listening in, a complete stranger, had the audacity to approach me and order me to 'stop being so different, stop having a different opinion'.

    THAT, my friends, IS Canada. Get in line, conform, and dont make a fuss. This attitude crosses generation, class, and gender lines. That is the truth of Canada and, in a greater sense, the world we live in today. If you are worried about your freedoms being taken away from you, my American friends, don't hold up Canada as a model of how things should be. Most Canadians regard indiviual freedom as dangerous, and only "OK" so long as they don't threaten the current established order. In other words, any antithetical opinion is automatically a threat, and must be quashed by any means neccessary.
    • Canada is, socially, an extremely repressive country, especially these days.Forget about being an individual up here, coz it ain't on. If you do not conform to the prescribed standards, you are ostracized and marginalized. I see it all the time every day up here.

      Depends on where you live. I was born in northern BC, and this was the case. It certainly isn't the case here in Vancouver. This repressiveness is not due to any law. It is due to your fellow neighbour.

      We are not an innovative country, we don'

  • by theantix (466036) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @12:27PM (#10672872) Journal
    Yet another reason to come to the Great White North!

    I must start off by saying that I love my beloved Canada -- but I just want to add a dose of realism to this discussion. Canada is not a freedom-lovers paradise by any means. We have our fair share of problems which don't happen to be in the spotlight as much as the USA transgressions on freedom because it's not so unusual.

    (1) We don't have free speech in Canada.

    Hate a group of people, and want to say it in public? You're breaking the law, as Hate Speech is a violation of the criminal code. That's right, you can get fined or thrown in jail for something you said because others find it hateful. Whether you agree with this or not, it's certainly not near the ideal of free speech attempted by the USA's first amendment.

    (2) Our constitution has an exemption clause.

    The USA Constitution is set in stone, and can only be overridden by an amendment which is a very difficult process. Canada's constitution has a built-in "or maybe not" clause, letting politicians willfully violate our Charter of Rights and Freedoms if they want to in a process much simpler than in the USA. Again, this has benefits as well as drawbacks, but there are no absolute protections for rights like the USA constitution enshrines.

    (3) We have our own "anti-terror" violations of due process.

    In the USA you have the PATRIOT act and Guantanemo Bay, but here in Canada we have "Security Certificates". These are used against Muslims -- er, make that evildoers -- who are suspected of terrorist activities. They are handed out by a secret court and a secret judge, and the accused is not allowed to see the charges levied against him or her.

    (4) Our media regulator is trigger happy.

    In the USA you've got Stern being targeted and fined by the FCC, but the situation in Canada is little better. We are far more liberal about nudity and sexuality -- it's not uncommon to see full male or female nudity on broadcast television and we have shows on our cable networks that need to be censored on USA cable networks. But if you say something deemed hateful, you're not welcome.

    During the brief period Stern was broadcast here, he ran afoul of the hate crimes police for poking fun on French-Canadians. More recently, they tried to revoke the radio license of the most popular station in Quebec City because one of the DJs made some off-colour remarks that were deemed hateful.

    Anyhow -- I want to reiterate that I love living in Canada, and that I prefer it to the USA. But many Americans are under the false belief that it is a paradise of freedom, but we have our own warts too and the full truth deserves to be out there so people can make informed decisions.

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