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Canadian Big Brother is Listening in Airports

Or they will be soon if the Canada Border Services Agency has any say in the matter. It is on said agency’s behalf that high-definition cameras and microphones with the capability to eavesdrop on citizens travelling through the airport are being installed. They’ve stated that no audio recording is happening at current but that they will, in the future, be able to record conversations. Surely they will use this power responsibly and not just record everything. Or not.

The implementation of such extreme measures might be linked to a Canadian initiative to help curb illegal smuggling and other criminal activities that tend to crop up around Canada’s borders and specifically airports. It’s not unknown for certain airport individuals to be planted by criminal enterprises to allow for easy access to both coming and going cargo. Who better to improve your illegal smuggling than the person that loads and unloads planes?

If they’re already installing the devices, you’d think that they would have already filed their “privacy impact assessment” to the Treasury Board — a requirement for any government agency looking to establish or change any activity involving personal information. But the board has yet to see one come their way. They could just be splitting hairs, of course, as they specifically say they haven’t seen one involving the Ottawa airport.

So if you’re wanting to be interrogated, you should be able to drop a few key phrases in a Canadian airport and be picked up soon. If that’s your thing.

(Edmonton Journal via Slashdot, image credit via Nick Richards)

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