“The Politics of Surveillance” Workshop 2012

November 9, 2012, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Room 728

This invitational workshop will bring together surveillance/privacy advocates and academics to review the status of current policy issues related to surveillance in Canada and to consider possible courses of action. The two primary topics for discussion will be:

  • The current “lawful access” debate in Canada
  • The Canada-U.S. “Beyond the Border” $1-billion perimeter security pact

A secondary purpose of the workshop is to help the Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) conference broaden participation in its discussions and activities, including proposing speakers and topics for CFP 2013, to be held in Washington, DC.

The workshop will also preview the New Transparency’s Politics of Surveillance Internship Program – designed to connect students via a short-term internship with an advocacy organization to work on surveillance-related projects

Workshop Schedule: Friday, November 9, 2012 | 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

12:00-1:00 Lunch Provided – Room 728
Session I
1:00-1:20 Welcome & Introductions
(Andrew Clement; Jonathan Obar)
1:20-1:40 Opening Remarks – Lawful Access
(Abby Deshman; Anne Dagenais Guertin; +?)
1:40-2:10 Lawful Access Discussion
2:10-2:30 Lawful Access Actions
2:30-3:00 Break
Session II
3:00-3:20 Opening Remarks – Canada/US Perimeter Security Pact
(Sukanya Pillay; Micheal Vonn; +?)
3:20-3:50 Perimeter Security Pact Discussion
3:50-4:15 Perimeter Security Pact Actions
4:15-4:30 CFP Annual Conference Proposals
5:00- ? Drinks, …

We have time for one or two others to make opening remarks on either topic. If you wish to be included among those, please let us know.

Remote Participation
For those participating remotely, we will be in touch in the next few days to discuss connecting to our GoToMeeting call.

Contact Information
Jonathan Obar – jonathan.obar(at)utoronto.ca | (647) 391-6261
Andrew Clement – andrew.clement(at)utoronto.ca | (416) 922-0251

Event Location
Room 728, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto 140 St. George Street, Toronto.

Additional Information
The two main topics to be addressed at the workshop, described further below, will be:

The current “lawful access” debate in Canada

This past year, ‘lawful access’ legislation has been hotly debated in Canada with the introduction of Bill C30.  In the face of stiff public reaction, including responses from many of the groups that we intend to have represented at our event, the government quickly withdrew the Bill. However, the possibility exists that the Bill could be reintroduced at some point in the near future. We are particularly interested in the new ways government and law enforcement agents are seeking ‘lawful access’ to personal information collected by telecommunication service providers about individual activity for surveillance purposes. This legislation is based on the Cyber Crime convention and is related to the US Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).[1]

The Canada-U.S. “Beyond the Border” $1-billion perimeter security pact

In 2011, US President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Harper announced plans to launch a new security perimeter program that would enhance and expand border security facilities, as well as related programs designed to track individuals involved in trade and travel. The programs will apparently also provide the Canadian government with the ability to track immigrants and residents, for example, “enhanced powers to track unemployment insurance recipients who skip the country and landed immigrants who don’t spend enough time here to meet residency requirements.”[2] In June 2012, a Joint Statement of Privacy Principles was released, addressing a policy concern central to this new initiative. It will be interesting to explore connections between this security pact and the current EU-US negotiations on data-sharing and privacy. Our intention will be to discuss the status of the pact and the impact that its implementation will have on civil liberties and national sovereignty.

[1] See our New Transparency video on (un)Lawful Access (http://unlawfulaccess.net/), and the ongoing IXmaps research project that highlights internet backbone surveillance (notably NSA splitter sites) and its privacy implications through mapping data packet traceroutes (http://www.ixmaps.ca/).

[2] http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/12/05/pol-cp-perimeter-robertson.html

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