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Privacy Canada Government Transportation

At Canadian Airports, Your Conversation May Be Remotely Recorded 211

New Jazari writes "Careful what you say when traveling, since the authorities will soon be able to zoom in on your conversations and record them for an indefinite amount of time. The story is about Canada, but I see no reason to think that this capability will not soon be installed in most places (if it's not already)."
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At Canadian Airports, Your Conversation May Be Remotely Recorded

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  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2012 @08:37AM (#40350799)
    This is ridiculous, I use to do risk assessments and anti-terrorism work in the aviation sector protecting airport assets and I see no practical reason for listening in on conversations. If a threat is already within the area-of-interest then you've this doesn't help with detection because the main threats we are meant to look for these days aren't the sort of people who are going to go blabbing on their cellphone about what they're about to do within the AOI. This technology does nothing about reducing attack surface area or reducing the impact of a successful attack. However, if we shift focus away from anti-terrorism this technology becomes slightly more useful in monitoring crime within airports, which believe it or not, happens more often then you think. Either way, it's still unethical and I know that this would be illegal in the jurisdiction I worked in at least.
  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2012 @08:49AM (#40350863)
    Original poster here, there's more truth to that then you think but more along the lines of "It's always fact when the government says it is". That's the reason I stopping working in that sector. I'd be calculating risk for various threats and all of a sudden I get a document from the relevant LE entity stating that the expected annual occurrence of a terrorist attack is once a year.... with background explanation being some political diatribe about Muslim extremists in an age of globalisation blah blah blah. Well I'm sorry, but I base my risk assessments on actual facts or reasonable metrics and statistics not some airy-fairy stereotypes who refuse to show you how they arrive at their numbers and conclusions because showing them to your risk assessment team would "threaten national security", what? We're here trying to follow your bloody legal compliance regulations and protect your assets. If you can't trust us you can't trust anyone!
    It truly is security theatre when were forced to alter risk in assessment based on nothing but a two paragraphs saying that terrorism is scary.
  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Informative)

    by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @08:53AM (#40350893) Homepage Journal

    Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [un.org], ratified by all western countries, states:

    "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

    I don't know if you have a Court of Human Rights in Northern America, but that's the final instance that should grant you your human right for privacy.

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Loosifur ( 954968 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @12:19PM (#40352089)

    There's also the issue of sovereignty and enforcement. A state can't remain a state and abdicate sovereignty at the same time, and a key element of sovereignty is the sole legitimate right to the use of force. In order for an entire state to be subject to a law made by another entity, it would by default had to have relinquished its own sovereignty to the entity in question. That's why the UN doesn't actually make "laws"; a law implies enforcement, and the UN lacks the authority to enforce anything.

    That's different than states using violence or other forms of compulsion to force other states to comply with agreements or treaties. A sovereign has a positive right to use force to compel a subject entity to follow laws it has established, and the subject has an obligation to adhere to laws passed by the sovereign. Other obligations may at times outweigh the citizenship duty, but it's way up there. On the other hand, the highest responsibility a state has is to 1. maintain sovereignty, and 2. protect its citizens. International agreements always fall below that in terms of ethical force.

    So, yeah, in addition to the UDHR (which is a little bit of a misnomer, because not everyone on Earth, let alone the Universe, signed) not being ratified by Congress, the strength of the binds that hold any country to a treaty or agreement are tenuous at best.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler